The Sydney Morning Herald is reporting that Tasman voyagers James Castission and Justin Jones have run into trouble. Cuts and blisters have infected their skin and the vessels solar desalination machine for making fresh water has lost power under overcast skies. They are attempting to be the first to kayak, unsupported, the whole of the Tasman Sea – 2200 kilometers between Australia and New Zealand.
“To lose the electric desalination machine is a massive hit to expedition … this is the first trigger level of concern,” expedition assistant Patrick Brothers told the Herald.He has been in contact with them twice a day. “Without fresh water they can’t hydrate, they can’t clean their skin. The battery also powers the communication and tracking equipment, which is fundamental to the trip.”
They’ve also been drifting. “We found that we were moving back towards Australia,” Justin says in a recent podcast, the last of which was made November 23. “And we’ve been moving really slow.”
It was also reported that they were in contact with a passing yacht, which lifted their spirits after rouge waves crashed into their sleeping quarters, leaving their bedding soaked. Castission and Jones have battled five meter swell and a gnarly headwind in recent days.
Just last year, Australian Andrew McAuley disappeared while attempting the same crossing.