Two buddies paddling throughout the Bass Strait to shine a light-weight on psychological well being points have efficiently accomplished the primary leg of the journey.
- Longtime buddies Stuart Baker and Matt Flower will cowl greater than 200km over no less than eight days
- The journey is Mr Baker’s newest act in a decade-long effort to boost consciousness about psychological well being
- The primary leg of the journey has gone properly, however tough climate might lie in watch for the pair
Albury residents Stuart Baker and Matt Flower left Victoria’s South Gippsland coast on Monday and paddled greater than 50 kilometres to Hogan Island, which took about six and a half hours.
In the present day they’re again within the water tackling one other 42-kilometre stretch to Deal Island, in Bass Strait’s north.
Mr Baker’s son Henri is following his father’s epic journey and mentioned the pair had been dealing with robust situations, with 10-knot winds forecast.
“It’s an unbelievable feat to be taking up,” Henri mentioned.
“So, we’re wishing all of them the very best and hoping it’s a profitable day, as a result of it is among the key segments of the crossing — so fingers crossed for them.”
To date, so good
The journey is predicted to take the long-time buddies about eight days to finish of their kayak, however that can rely on the climate.
“They’re fully beneath their very own steam, so there isn’t any help crew or something like that,” Henri mentioned.
“They’re carrying all their very own provides together with meals and water, so it’s actually a closely laden boat for the primary couple of elements of this journey.
“I believe the climate was attributable to take a flip right this moment and doubtlessly they had been trying to wait it out on Deal Island for a few days whereas the poorer climate handed and earlier than it turned clear once more to take the following a part of the crossing.”
Henri mentioned regardless of the undesirable climate forecast, they males had been in excessive spirits when he final spoke with them.
“All optimistic up to now, I have never heard any experiences concerning the water temperature so hopefully meaning they’re staying fairly dry,” he mentioned.
Deeply private journey
For Stuart Baker the journey throughout the Bass Strait is the most recent act in a decade-long effort to boost consciousness about suicide and psychological well being.
His daughter Mary took her personal life10 years in the past and since then Mr Baker and his spouse Annette have devoted their time to advocating for larger consciousness.
The Bakers co-founded the annual Albury-Wodonga Winter Solstice in 2013 and funds raised by this paddle will go in direction of supporting this 12 months’s occasion.
Earlier than he left, Mr Baker informed ABC Goulburn Murray the continued help from the Border neighborhood had been unbelievable.
“We’re simply hopeful that among the beneficiant neighborhood help that we often obtain for that may have the ability to be channelled in direction of this crossing,” he mentioned.
Proceeds may even go towards help advocacy group Australians For Psychological Well being.
“Our neighborhood right here is superb and help these items and due to that they have a much better understanding than maybe different communities round Australia,” Mr Baker mentioned.
He admitted he was initially apprehensive concerning the 260km trek when he was approached by Mr Flower.
“It isn’t one thing I’ve ever thought of doing or have even contemplated,” he mentioned.
“I thought of it for a number of weeks and he stored saying, ‘Will you do it?’
Describing it as “daunting, however not insurmountable or inconceivable” Mr Baker mentioned the plan was to be affected person and never head out in harmful situations.