Travels with Paddles

a sea kayaking journal

Axel Schoevers (Photo: A. de Krook) Name:
Axel Schoevers
Rijswijk, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Upon leaving Barwon Heads, John and Tina gave me the book "Solo" by Vicki McAuley. Yesterday evening I finished reading it. And when the disastrous day unfolded in it, it dawned upon me that it was exactly 4 years ago, on 9 February 2007 that Andrew McAuley was lost at sea in the Tasman.

This week I am in Sydney and I came across quite a few (place) names that are mentioned in the book; the area where he lived, worked, trained and tested out his equipment. Andrew was a local Sydney paddler. He has touched many lives. And with the age of the internet we know this is world-wide. It is an emotional read, even more so than the viewing of the documentary with the same name.

The Tasman Sea at the 40 degree parallel is a very, very dangerous place. After reading the book I now have some clue of what "The Roaring Forties" are about to any vessel, let alone a sea kayak. It also gives a close-up insight to what it is to live with an adventurer.

In many ways the book is a true love story. Allowing someone to pursue his dreams with the ultimate sacrifice of losing the one you love and dealing with loss. Andrew's spirit of adventure was never lost.

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