Kiwi kayaker Scott Donaldson.
Kiwi kayaker Scott Donaldson. Frank Redward

Trek hits rough patch

AS RAIN, wind and sizeable swell rolls onto the coast over the coming month, spare a thought for New Zealand adventurer Scott Donaldson, who is alone at sea on a kayak bearing the winter chill of the Pacific Ocean.

Mr Donaldson, 43, departed Coffs Harbour in mid-April bound for New Plymouth in what he hoped would be a record-setting paddle of more than 2000km.

Reaching Lord Howe Island in late May, Mr Donaldson spent a week carrying out repairs to his water desalination machine while enjoying the local hospitality.

Setting out again this week he faced the harsh realities of the open ocean.

"It has been a week of two steps forward, one step backwards," Mr Donaldson's support crew said.

"Conditions are unpleasant, every element has been thrown in the mix - lightning, thunder, head winds, opposing current, roller-coaster swells, rain - often all at once.

"One day Scott paddled for 10 hours for a 12-mile gain.

"It is extremely hard.

"This coming week is not looking much better, with east currents starting to fade.

"The aim is to head south as far as possible and pick up on any advantage with whatever current remains."

Mr Donaldson is said to be halfway through the epic crossing of the ditch.

His crew estimated he could be 25 days away from the New Zealand coastline.

This is Mr Donaldson's second attempt at the crossing after equipment failure halted the mission last year.

Track Mr Donaldson by clicking here.

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