180km to go – NZ almost in sight for Tasman Kayaker Scott Donaldson
With Mt Taranaki almost in sight, it’s the final push for home for Tasman Kayaker Scott Donaldson, as he sits around 180km from New Plymouth.
With the most critical part of his journey about to come, Donaldson was met by a support boat in the early hours of Friday morning, and was re-stocked with a few supplies for the final push towards home.
The vessel has trailed Donaldson for the past 36-hours and is about to head back to New Plymouth.
Team leader Nigel Escott says that meeting Donaldson with a boat was always part of contingency planning.
“We planned this some time ago, even going as far as rehearsing how Scott and the vessel would find each other at sea,” said Escott.
“With his GPS location updated on the boat every few minutes, he was actually very easy to find and considering it was in the dark of the night.”
“We’ve restocked Scott with some of his favourite foods, so he’s enjoyed some sausage rolls, a few chicken sandwiches and some Peanut Slabs. We’ve also taken the opportunity to make sure his on-board batteries are fully charged and everything is set for this final phase of the trip.”
Escott says that having the support boat rendezvous with Donaldson has also given the Kayaker a huge confidence boost.
“We have to remember, Scott has been out there alone in the Tasman Sea now for six weeks since he left Lord Howe Island on May 19. So, seeing a few friendly faces will give him a huge lift. Today, he’ll also get a glimpse of Mt Taranaki for the first time which will really motivate him to push on and get home.”
Today and tomorrow Donaldson will enjoy a North-West tail wind, pushing him towards the Taranaki coast. On Monday the wind is due to change to a Westerly which will push him directly towards the coast.
It is predicted that Donaldson will now make landfall somewhere on the Taranaki Coast.
“At this point we’re fairly certain it will be Taranaki, we’re still not sure quite where along the coast he will end up however. Bob McDavitt our weather guru is constantly running different scenarios as the weather updates, and even he’s not quite sure yet.”
“He could come into New Plymouth itself, but it could be a bit further north, such as Mokau which is around 80km north. We’re hopeful he will make landfall on Monday or Tuesday.”
“We will have a firm idea of location on Sunday evening.”
With his Trans-Tasman Kayak attempt, Donaldson is raising funds for Asthma research. Donaldson himself is an Asthma sufferer. Donations can be made via Givealittle.
Follow Scott Donaldson’s progress via the website http://tasmankayak.com/