Tasmania circumnavigation by kayak

It was an amazing and very tough trip for both of us. We learnt a lot about the sea and ourselves. We're happy that we encountered rough seas and winds, and we dealt with them. There were so many different days during the expedition: calm and rough, sunny and pouring rain, fun and scary, pleasing and frustrating.
All around Tasmania we met amazing people who helped us a lot, and this is another great experience besides the amazing seas.

We did it very fast (30 days) for the following reasons:
1. We pushed hard on the NW, because we were not sure whether we're able to complete the circumnavigation under 6 weeks.
2. We pushed hard on the W, because we were simply scared of this coast and we knew a violent storm is approaching in a few days.
3. We pushed hard on the SW-S, because we didn't have proper weather forecasts and we were sure it would get only worse. Ironically we made the roughest part of Tasmania in very rough condition: high seas & gale winds, something that we would definitely avoid if we had access to weather forecasts.
4. We pushed hard on the E because we knew we will get lots of head winds. So when it was a tail wind - we pushed hard because it was unusual, and when it was a head wind - we pushed hard because it was usual :-)
5. We pushed hard on the NE, because we lost our tent, sleeping bags and mattresses. Every night was a nightmare, since we didn't know where we will be sleeping. We wanted to finish it as soon as possible.

Thank you all for supporting us along our trip. If we could do it - many of others can too. It's all in your mind. Let's go kayaking!

Alon and I were separated for 2 hours in Hobart, after we have spent already side by side, mattress by mattress, kayak by kayak more than a month. Finally I was walking alone, by myself, enjoying the silence, the thoughts swimming freely to my head, the complete absorbency in the surrounding streets, people, cafe and the blue skies. I could stop wherever I want, lay on the grass, open the book without leaking a single word. I read, and got up, heading back the center of the city. I still have 45 minutes of loneness before our scheduled dinner. I entered a small cafe to have my small cup of cappucinno and bumped into Alon there. He is sitting by the table at the final stages of espresso. I feel like I met a friend that I haven't seen ages before. I missed him.

I discovered a new friend in this expedition. I see Alon collapsing while long walks trying to stretch his agonizing leg. I see him paddling in 5 meters huge waves, stopping for a moment to open the spraydeck and take a few pictures with his camera. He's nuts. He cooks the porridge every morning, cause I burn it each time. We sing songs on the water. Two different languages, Russian and Hebrew, merge together in a funny mix. We sit still in the kayaks, keeping the paddles as low as possible. The screaming 45 knots wind tries to twist the paddle in my hands. We wait till the gust will calm down a little. We struggle not to capsize. Alon's face expresses about the same as the cliff on our left side: nothing. We are both tensed and concentrated, but no one shows the fear dancing inside. The highest sea. The biggest breaking wave. The strongest wind. The longest paddled distance. Somehow we experienced it all when we were together.

Misha Hoichman
Tasmania will always be a unique place for me. Circumnavigating the Island was my first big kayak accomplishment. I discovered for the first time what I could do; I could paddle in rough conditions, I could overcome pain and I could push myself to the limit and enjoy it.

This expedition proved to me that the mind is the strongest instrument and by sheer determination I can manage anything. I have learnt so much about myself and more. This expedition taught me also the value of a good friend which was the most amazing thing to happen to me. Misha was a good friend prior to this expedition but during long days of paddling and at times in very difficult conditions our friendship grew stronger. We did argue and we did have disagreements but we knew how to overcome them.

Misha and I promised ourselves that we would never forget the hardships we experienced and would never romanticize our expedition. After a few weeks or months one forgets most of the difficulties and is left with nice memories and a huge sense of achievement.

The people we met, the wildlife and the beautiful scenery topped it all.

Alon Ohad

Day Lat/Lon Place (Coast) Dist Paddling
Wind (kn) Waves (m)
1 S 4104.001'
E 14557.900'
Burnie (N) 20 km VRB <5 Calm
2 S 4046.017'
E 14517.863'
Stanley (N) 68 km 20-25 2-2.5
3 S 4043.601'
E 14451.831'
Robbins Island (N) 48 km 15-25 1.5-2
4 S 4051.660'
E 14442.535'
Mount Cameroon (NW) 47 km (am)
15-20 Calm (am)
3 (pm)
5 S 4113.780'
E 14441.311'
Temma (W) 53 km 20 (am)
5-10 (pm)
2-2.5 (am)
1-1.5 (pm)
6 S 4142.429'
E 14455.133'
Pieman River (W) 64 km 10-20 2-2.5
7 S 4213.298'
E 14513.803'
Macourie Harbour (W) 68 km 20-25 4
8 0 30-35
9 0 35-40
10 0 45-55
11 0 25-30
12 S 4237.403'
E 14517.303'
Points Hibbs (W) 65 km 5-10 1-1.5
13 S 4304.062'
E 14540.997'
Nye Bay (SW) 63 km 10-20 2-2.5
14 0 25-30
15 S 4322.929'
E 14557.381'
Stephens Bay (SW) 50 km 15-20 (am)
40-45 (pm)
Day Lat/Lon Place (Coast) Dist Paddling
Wind (kn) Waves (m)
16 S 4331.428'
E 14619.382'
Louisa Bay (S) 56 km (am)
25-35 5 (am)
0.5-1 (pm)
17 S 4334.636'
E 14654.139'
Cockle Creek (SE) 62 km 25-35 2.5-3
18 S 4321.861'
E 14721.300'
Cookville (E) 57 km 20-30 2.5-3
19 0 25-30
20 S 4314.881'
E 14723.190'
Adventure Bay (E) 14 km 25-35 1-1.5
21 S 4302.117'
E 14756.156'
Eaglehawk Neck (E) 76 km (am)
5-15 0.5-1.5
22 S 4239.925'
E 14801.292'
Maria Island (E) 46 km 20-25 0.5-1.5
23 S 4217.980'
E 14816.706'
Schouten Island (E) 54 km 5-15 0.5-1
24 S 4152.319'
E 14818.196'
Bicheno (E) 55 km 20-30 0.5-1
25 S 4134.317'
E 14818.633'
Ironhouse Point (E) 36 km 20-25 0.5-1.5
26 S 4115.095'
E 14818.381'
Binalong Bay (E) 48 km 10-20 0.5
27 S 4056.511'
E 14818.135'
Pardon Bay (NE) 39 km 15-25 0.5
28 S 4048.452'
E 14737.843'
Waterhouse Island (N) 74 km (am)
15-20 1-1.5
29 S 4100.694'
E 14708.828'
Weymouth (N) 48 km 10-15 0.5-1
30 S 4109.330'
E 14609.710'
Ulverstone (N) 87 km 5-10 Calm
Total 1298 km
Average per day 43.3 km
Average per paddling day 54 km


Nigel Dennis who trained us and made us believe in ourselves.

Kerry Etkin of Align Physiotherapy and Pilates who contributed to the "hi-tech clothing" to keep us warm in the harsh conditions of Tassie.
Kerry also treated Alon for his back and shoulder injury.

Mark Elkington of Kayanu gave us an NDK kayak. Mark also gave us a repair kit and was a great support along the way.

Snap Dragon for giving us the use of their superb Spray decks.

Lendal who gave us two of their amazing paddles (Kinetik and Nordkapp).

Clive from Waterhouse island who gave us a shelter and dinner when we lost our tent.

Justine Curgenven & Earl de Blonville. They both circumnavigated Tassie before. Their advises helped us to plan our expedition.

Jenny & Fred from Bruny island who opened their heart and home to us.

Michael from Cockle Creek gave us shower and amazing wallaby burgers.

Fisherman Gary from Temma who gave us shower, beer and valuable advices for the West coast.

Linda from Weymouth. She gave us mattresses and blankets and saved us from sleeping another night on the ground.

William Cooper who informed our families on the tensed days on the SW coast.

All those fishermen who helped us with forecasts although we didn't always understand their accent. :-) They also gave us fresh water on the SW coast.

All our friends who followed our expedition reading the internet updates.

The one and only Inna Hoichman. She sat and worried every single day, sent us weather updates twice a day, updated the website and looked after the two kids at the same time. She was supportive all the way - thank you.

Back to the expedition

Last updated: June 24, 2005