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A boat named octopus, owned by Microsoft's co-founder, Paul Allan, here in Cairns Harbour.


7 May: Cairns - Is there really such a thing as solo sea kayaking?
Monday, 7 May 2012

The past two days I've been at Rordon and Dale's place while I wait for my kayak to arrive here in Cairns.

This started me thinking about the journey I've been on and the fact that its been a solo sea kayaking journey, but is it really solo when you have the wonderful generosity of so many people.

This 'solo' expedition wouldn't have been possible if not for help of these people. So I'm going to start from the beginning and tell you who they are.

First there's my beautiful wife, Irene, who is so understanding about what I do and lets me do what I love so much. She puts up with so much, the months of planning before hand, the preparation of gear spread throughout the house and the work she puts in just so I can go off and play.

Then once I'm on my way, you have Mark in Airlie Beach who always has a place for you rest your head for the night, and there's Reg and Sandra in Gladstone, who on past expeditions have always welcomed me into their home.

Here in Cairns there's Rordon and Dale, they have always welcomed me into their home and even look after my car for me while I paddling of into the sunset. Rordon and I both like remote control helicopters, but Rordon has a shed with the tools and machinery you could ever wish for!

When you're out on the water and on your way, there're even people out in the middle of nowhere lending you a hand, like Dave on Restoration Island, who is kind enough to not only have you stay on his island, but also look after your food drop thats sent up to him by ship. So thanks Dave for your 'restoration' on your island.

Then there's the total strangers you meet along the way who would give you the shirt off their backs just to help you. Ray and Nanette who I meet on Lizard Island, the Army boys I meet at Somerset Bay and others that I just didn't get their names, thanks to you all.

On past expeditions I was lucky enough to meet Bruce, Juanita and the crew of the Wildcard, a fishing boating up here in the north, who have always made me feel like part of the family aboard the Wildcard. I've caught the biggest fish in my life while spending time with them.

On Horn Island there's Garth and Peita. Over the years I've paddled up to the top of Australia, they have done so much for me and it was just the same this time. Garth's a builder up on Horn/Thursday Island and just before I left, Garth told me that the Hardware store on Thursday Island was having a big tool sale in the coming days.

He said that you can even buy a pink cordless drill in the sale. I said that he should get one and show the boys on the construction site that you are proud to be seen in pink! Well he did just that (see photo below). I'm so proud of you mate!

Lastly there's Peter Litchfield, my good mate down in Brisbane who has been whinging about no mention of the sponsorship of my wine glass he gave me, so hopefully this will keep the bitch happy for a while! And to all my sponsors, without you all my dreams of paddling would still be just that, dreams.

So I thank you all.

Mongrel.


I just managed to get my iPhone through the security fence to get this photo with it's 'backdoor' open.
The view of Octopus from our restaurant table.
This helicopter had just taken off from the helipad here in Cairns.
Garth's proud to show off his new pink cordless drill!

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