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Sea kayaking adventure

11/06/2018 / by admin

KALARU man, David Winkworth recently returned from a 2,500km sea kayaking expedition from Cairns to Darwin.
Nanjing Night Net

He was accompanied by a friend, Arunas Pilka, from Canberra.

The pair paddled around Cape York and into the Gulf of Carpentaria to Weipa before catching a cargo ship across to Gove.

They then paddled the Arnhem Land coast to Darwin.

During the two-month trip, the paddlers were virtually self-sufficient for food and water, resupplying only twice and also catching fish to supplement their diet.

Mr Winkworth said the Cape Wilberforce area of the Arnhem Land coast with its strong tides, reefs and islands was one of the highlights of the expedition.

A previous sea kayaking trip by the two men four years ago from Cairns to Thursday Island was cut short when Arunas was attacked by a large saltwater crocodile near Macarthur Island.

David wrestled with the crocodile and in doing so saved his friend’s life, an action which resulted in him being awarded the Australian Bravery Medal.

During this latest expedition the two men revisited Macarthur Island.

“It was something we both wanted to do,” David said, “to lay a few demons to rest”.

The visit this time was also not without incident, a large crocodile surfacing behind David’s kayak as they paddled in.

“It was a nervous time for us while we were on the island and we’ve advised our sea kayaking friends to take Macarthur Island out of any North Queensland paddling itinerary.

“I also had a big croc pretty close to the kayak on the last day as we entered Darwin harbour and that called for some extra speed,” David said.

In the main however they avoided large mangrove areas and as a consequence had no major problems with crocodiles.

“On this expedition we paddled many beautiful coastlines that are quite remote to most travellers but it’s good to be back on the NSW south coast, which I regard as the sea kayaking capital of Australia,” Mr Winkworth said.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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