Transtasman kayaker rides out big blow

Transtasman kayaker Scott Donaldson.
Transtasman kayaker Scott Donaldson.

A transtasman kayaker attempting to make landfall in New Zealand is content bobbing in the open ocean while he waits for wild weather to abate.

Taupo rescue pilot John Funnell said last night that kayaker Scott Donaldson was 30km off the coast of Taranaki, drifting to the south-west.

"He's in good spirits. He's happy to sit out this adverse weather - those gale-force winds are going to get up."

Mr Donaldson was within sight of Mt Taranaki, but poor weather halted his attempts to make it to land, three months after he set off on his journey.

A ship tasked to shadow Mr Donaldson to shore was forced to returned to port yesterday because of the treacherous weather.

The MV Reef Spirit set sail from New Plymouth on Monday with the intention of remaining with him to the finish. But conditions became so bad, it was deemed too dangerous for the vessel to stay.

Despite the wild weather, the kayaker remained unfazed, Mr Funnell said.

"He's done three months of it, he's faced these conditions out in the mid-Tasman in the past ... He knows he just has to sit it out."

Conditions were expected to abate by Saturday and Mr Donaldson was expected to reach landfall at Port Taranaki by Sunday or Monday next week, Mr Funnell said.

Mr Donaldson left Coffs Harbour in New South Wales on April 19, hoping to be the first person to kayak solo across the Tasman.

APNZ

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