Meeting a legend – Paul Caffyn

We headed south from Westport bound for Franz Josef Glacier with a planned stop to visit one of the most interesting sea kayakers of my generation. Paul very kindly offered us an invitation to drop by his reclusive retreat – for a ” cuppa tea ” — a lovely crib right on the coast overlooking the often savage west coast surf – which on occasions envelopes his crib with spray and foam from the southern ocean storms that hammer this coast.

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We spent a wonderful hour with Paul with a wide ranging discussion of things ” kayaking ” and he gave us lots of advice on possible adventures we might enjoy as we head further south. The photo above of Barb and Paul as we gave Him a show and tell about our amazing kayak stowing device on our 5 th

Paul has many ” firsts ” to his palmeres – including the first man to paddle a kayak round Australia – I consider this one of the greatest small boat voyages of our times and largely unheralded . He also circumnavigated NZ , the UK , Japan, New Caledonia and the first to paddle the entire coast of Alaska . He was thwarted twice in his attempts to cross the Tasman – a trip to home from Tassy – but considers this very doable – but admits it may now something that “will be” accomplished by a younger man – perhaps admitting he has left his run a little too late.

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Looking back northwards towards Pauls place

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