BBC 2 tonight 9pm

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BBC 2 tonight 9pm

Post by jmmoxon » Sun Feb 22, 2009 4:42 pm

Sunday evening showing this programme about attempt to paddle from Australia to New Zealand:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00hy0wb

it's on in a couple of days if you live in Wales...

Mike
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Re: BBC 2 tonight 9pm

Post by JP9 » Sun Feb 22, 2009 8:05 pm

Thanks Mike for the info.
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Re: BBC 2 tonight 9pm

Post by Mark R » Sun Feb 22, 2009 9:59 pm

Not easy watching.
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Re: BBC 2 tonight 9pm

Post by MikeB » Sun Feb 22, 2009 9:59 pm

Quite astonishing achievement - and so very sad - Mike.

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Re: BBC 2 tonight 9pm

Post by Neilgr » Sun Feb 22, 2009 10:06 pm

That was so hard to watch.

I remember checking his website every day and watching his position on the map get closer to New Zealand.

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Re: BBC 2 tonight 9pm

Post by Edwindle » Sun Feb 22, 2009 10:26 pm

Very hard to watch. So close aswell.
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Re: BBC 2 tonight 9pm

Post by Fluidskills.com » Sun Feb 22, 2009 10:31 pm

I am still thinking about it now, very hard watching and the house here was silent all the way through!

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Re: BBC 2 tonight 9pm

Post by mikeyak » Sun Feb 22, 2009 10:37 pm

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Re: BBC 2 tonight 9pm

Post by Jersey Kayak » Sun Feb 22, 2009 10:37 pm

To hear someone’s last words is not easy. So close to finishing.

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Re: BBC 2 tonight 9pm

Post by Strad » Sun Feb 22, 2009 10:38 pm

An interesting but sad program, so close to finishing.
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Re: BBC 2 tonight 9pm

Post by Debaser » Mon Feb 23, 2009 9:01 am

There is something incredibly gut-wrenching when you hear radio messages like that.
At this time we know the outcome, but to hear a coastguard operator repeating a callsign, not knowing a thing and probably hoping against hope for an answer, it's very eerie, and it leaves a hollow feeling in the pit of my stomach.
I felt the same thing after watching a documentary on the Penlee lifeboat disater.
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Re: BBC 2 tonight 9pm

Post by tizereyes » Mon Feb 23, 2009 9:50 am

That was so incredibly difficult to watch and so so sad. I'm still thinking of it now.

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Re: BBC 2 tonight 9pm

Post by Chris Denehy » Mon Feb 23, 2009 10:07 am

I keep asking myself why. Why did he do it? His grief stricken face as he left shore seemed to tell us that he was facing the worst, that he was facing his fear and he was facing losing his life. By paddling two miles out and coming back would he not have faced these fears and lived?
In my mind the experience crossed over from adventure and just became a matter of survival. The challenge was not the kayak crossing, but was getting through the horrendous situation alive. As the Frenchman said there is no way you can make a 30-day crossing of the ocean with out at least one storm hitting you. In which case to attempt the crossing will always mean surviving and hoping you come back alive, but with a huge probability that you will not.
If this is compared to say climbing Everest there are many dangers, but you are not climbing it knowing that with absolute certainty that at some stage in the trip you will have to survive to come back alive.
Yes if you are extremely lucky you can make the crossing, if you survive. Is it a challenge that should be made? I do not think it is, the odds are just too great; the chances of success are just to slim. If you do survive will you ever be the same person again. To have lived in your kayak with only thoughts for death in the most horrendous seas, day after day. Could you ever readjust?
I am still totally sadden by the programme, of how a man probably spent his last few weeks alive thinking of little else except that he was most likely going to die, and was at the totally mercy of the sea. Totally, totally heart breaking, one of the bleakest things I have ever seen, so terribly sad.

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Re: BBC 2 tonight 9pm

Post by applejack » Mon Feb 23, 2009 10:27 am

I've just watched it on IPlayer. When I realised the concept I thought that it must be an elaborate form of suicide. Like climbing K2 solo in a single push. He was obviously besotted with his family so why put them through what he did ? The fact that it nearly came off was remarkable in itself.
I think the poor guy had crossed the threshold of adventure and entered the realms of madness. A realm we mere mortals can only imagine in our wildest nightmares.

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Re: BBC 2 tonight 9pm

Post by jamesl2play » Mon Feb 23, 2009 11:29 am

When I saw the boat he was using I thought that he was crazy, it was not alot different to ours. I can understand the challenge using a recognised craft like the the one Pete Bray used even though that would still be a momentous undertaking. As the programme went on my respect just grew for him. So near but so far, life can be so cruel sometimes.

For me his wife summed it up at the end when she said something like 'Andrew paddled the Tasman, anyone who says he didn't can get stuffed'

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Re: BBC 2 tonight 9pm

Post by steve crofts » Mon Feb 23, 2009 11:30 am

Yes very hard to watch, esp when he left his lovely wife and child in that fabulous location in Tasmania, my over riding feeling was one of his selfishness in putting his wife and child through that given the odds of success,you have to ask yourself why?

With my coastguard hat on I would have liked to have known a bit more about his approach to New Zealand.I would like to think that the authorities were monitoring his journey and when he came into helicopter range they would be aware of that.

It appeared from the film that his wife was in New Zealand a few days before and knew how was close he was.

I would like to think that the coastguard hearing the words " kayak" "sinking" "going down" etc got a helicopter in the air with heat seeking equipment to fly
a track from a projected landfall to his last known position.But the time it took them to release the radio transmissions I don,t think they did.

After all the work they put into checking out his craft and assessing the viability of the journey you would have thought that there might have been a bigger reception effort,maybe somebody from New Zealand can gives a fuller picture?

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Re: BBC 2 tonight 9pm

Post by Nick P » Mon Feb 23, 2009 11:51 am

Very hard to watch.

His reaction during the first departure spoke volumes – a man realising he may never see his family ever again. I can’t even imagine how I would feel at that point – such a voyage would be so far from my capability.

Amazing that he got so far and nearly made it. The final VHF message was haunting in a similar way to the Solomon Browne/HMCG final transmission.

Many questions though. Was he ‘losing it’ mentally at the end after a month of sleep deprivation, anxiety and undoubted mental & physical stress? Could did he not use the EPIRB?

More fundamentally, why did he chose to use what was essentially a standard sea kayak design (albeit modified)? Traditional kayaks were never designed to be used for ocean crossing voyages – our boats evolved from their hunting origins to the modern coastal and offshore cruisers, but surely for open ocean crossings the specific designs like Pete Bray’s, or the double used by the other team in the programme would be more appropriate with no detraction from the overall achievement.

In the end, it was Andrew’s choice. But, as others have commented – a bit like Everest, and perhaps parallels with Mallory and Irvine who may indeed have made it to the top, but that’s not the point, its making it and getting back alive that counts.

Overall, an astoundingly brave achievement to make it so far, but heartbreakingly tragic for those left behind.

Nick

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Re: BBC 2 tonight 9pm

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Mon Feb 23, 2009 11:55 am

This was an extremely moving film and I think Andrew's wife has been very brave in allowing it to be made. I would completely have understood if she wanted to keep her grief private. I am only guessing but I suspect part of her motive was to let other adventurers think about the potential consequences of their adventures. We are all adventurers. There may be a spectrum from someone like Andrew to someone who likes an afternoon paddle on a sheltered lake, but we are all on the same spectrum.

My wife does worry and one of the reasons I carry a mobile in the wilds is to give her reassurance. When my children were dependent, I did cut out a lot of my risk adventures but I was still on that spectrum.

I thought the comments by his friends were very thoughtful and insightful. Andrew clearly excelled at extreme rock and snow as well as on the sea. However, I wonder if even he misjudged just how extreme the sea conditions would be. I thought the French(?) yachtsman, who had spent much time in the Southern Ocean, and new what the conditions would be like probably didn't think Andrew had the ocean experience to know what he was letting himself in for. Even so, as a fellow adventurer, he was still prepared to support Andrew by providing weather information once he went.

At the end my wife was in tears. I think the production company has created a masterpiece of adventure film. They could have sensationalised the story or ignored Andrew's weaknesses but they did neither. In the absence of a book from Andrew, this film must become one of the defining works on what drives the adventurous spirit. I am glad it was made.

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Re: BBC 2 tonight 9pm

Post by johnb » Mon Feb 23, 2009 12:28 pm

A pretty sad and amazing story. It just looks as though his mind, his equipment and his body were gradually worn down over the voyage such that he all but made it across. He obviously needed to put himself into an extreme zone to challenge himself. I for one can not contemplate the mental toughness required since I know it is well beyond my own.

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Re: BBC 2 tonight 9pm

Post by muzz » Mon Feb 23, 2009 12:42 pm

I don't mind saying that I didn't sleep properly last night after watching it.
I don't know how to describe it. Moving, disturbing, shocking and amazing.

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Re: BBC 2 tonight 9pm

Post by Cameron » Mon Feb 23, 2009 1:25 pm

A tragic tale.

Douglas wrote
In the absence of a book from Andrew, this film must become one of the defining works on what drives the adventurous spirit.
We saw lots of the drive required to push the mind, body and spirit to the extreme but I don't think we saw any of the what (or why).

I agree with Chris Denehy, what he did was unjustifiable.



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Re: BBC 2 tonight 9pm

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Mon Feb 23, 2009 2:38 pm

Hello Cameron, I thought the film made the very obvious point that Andrew was addicted to risk.

His friend with the beard, who I think was a doctor, said that after each successful challenge people like Andrew need a bigger and bigger risk to get the same gratification. In Andrew's case this made him blind to the needs of his family and to the risks of the Southern Ocean. Pretty much the same happens with any addictive behaviour, drugs, gambling etc. He was also competitive which is dangerous in high risk situations.

I too am addicted to sea kayaking, if I don't get out for two weeks I definitely get withdrawal symptoms, cabin fever call it what you want. The only difference is that I don't do it just for adrenaline and I get scared with just a little bit of adrenaline. So in my psychological makeup, self preservation is stronger than addiction to adrenaline.

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Re: BBC 2 tonight 9pm

Post by AllanJ » Mon Feb 23, 2009 2:52 pm

Hard to watch and terrible to be let down by (as it seems) an equipment failure after surviving so much. I don't know of anything even remotely like it being attempted in a 'traditional' kayak - even Romer's and Ed Gillet's epics were done in boats that allowed them to move about a bit and adopt a half-decent sleeping position - let alone the 'kayaks' that have been used on some recent big crossings.

Very, very impressive mental strength through truely awful conditions which will help me keep things in perspective next time I'm paddling in unpleasant weather!

Whether it was right to attempt it or not I don't think it's for others to judge. I only hope his preperations weren't compromised by a need to set out before that paddlers in the double 'kayak' could beat him to the 1st crossing.

Allan

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Re: BBC 2 tonight 9pm

Post by Chris Denehy » Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:15 pm

Allanj write ''Whether it was right to attempt it or not I don't think it's for others to judge.''
Hi Allan, I would have to totally disagree on this one.
I think if any positive things come out of the nightmare then it is to be through asking questions, in raising debate and enlighening all of us, and anyone who enjoys their own adventures, what ever they may be. Of course we will be asking ourselves was it right to attempt, was the equipment up to it, could things have been done differently, and a hundred other questions to boot. If we were not to question then I believe we would never learn, and that would be our own sad loss.

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Re: BBC 2 tonight 9pm

Post by MikeB » Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:27 pm

Chris - I'd contest there is a very big distinction between your statement that Andrew's actions were "unjustifiable" and your most recent comment that things "should be questioned".

It's not any of us to sit and make statements as to whether someone elses decisions are justifiable or not. Only the person who made the decision, with his knowledge, experience, understnading of conditions etc etc is in a position to do that.

Learning, questioning, understanding - yes indeed. All are good.

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Re: BBC 2 tonight 9pm

Post by Chris Denehy » Mon Feb 23, 2009 4:26 pm

Hi Mike
Just to follow up '' I'd contest there is a very big distinction between your statement that Andrew's actions were "unjustifiable" and your most recent comment that things "should be questioned".
In my first post I asked the question ''Is it a challenge that should be made?'', and gave my own answer ''I do not think it is, the odds are just too great; the chances of success are just to slim''
I do not think this is a statement saying it was unjustified to make the crossing, it is simply my own feelings I am expressing.
In my mind I am questioning and trying to understand. As I have said I personally feel that asking these types of question can only be good. I certainly do not feel that I am judging, or that I am saying right or wrong. I think what I wrote in reply to Allan clearly show that I am not attempting to judge.

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Re: BBC 2 tonight 9pm

Post by Cornholio » Mon Feb 23, 2009 4:32 pm

I can only echo what's been said before. Disturbing, tragic and in my own opinion a journey that should never have been attempted. I was almost in tears when he first set off, not easy to watch at all.
In what looked like a fairly standard kayak totally unsupported how could you properly feed/hydrate/defecate(especially locked inside for 48hrs or whatever during a F10 storm?) and not mentally deteriorate stuck either sitting or lying wedged in for a month?
Like others have said, surely the press knew what he'd achieved, and someone could have gone out to see him back safe from a distance for the last part, especially given the concerns of rogue waves....

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Re: BBC 2 tonight 9pm

Post by MikeB » Mon Feb 23, 2009 4:41 pm

Chris - thanks for that - much clearer now. Mike

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Re: BBC 2 tonight 9pm

Post by Mark R » Mon Feb 23, 2009 5:12 pm

As I thought that the film explained/made clear very effectively right from the start, judging MacAuley's decisions and choices using our conventional values and attitudes is to miss the point completely. They simply didn't apply to him; his whole psyche was coming from somewhere else completely.

His wife knew and understood this, as anyone reading her web updates during his paddle would have clearly gathered. Whether his son will grow up to also understand and sympathise with his father's choices is impossible to divine, but MacAuley's achievements and his death are the business of his family to judge, not us.
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Re: BBC 2 tonight 9pm

Post by Owen » Mon Feb 23, 2009 5:48 pm

Cornholio wrote:, surely the press knew what he'd achieved, and someone could have gone out to see him back safe from a distance for the last part, especially given the concerns of rogue waves....
To do that would have scuppered any clam to be "unassisted", I doubt he'd have been very pleased with that.

He came from a mountaineering background, there's a saying in such circles (actually a Tibetan proverb). "It's better to live one day as a Tiger than ten thousand as a sheep". He lived his life how he wanted to, and if he liked playing Russian Roulette then that's his prerogative.

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