Adventure book: Tales from the crossing

  • BY Amy Middleton |
  • July 13, 2009

The story's out about the extraordinary adventure of a couple of seemingly ordinary Sydney lads.

Australian Geographic Society's 2008 Young Adventurer of the Year, James Castrission, has released a novel detailing what he and his mate and fellow award-winner, Justin Jones, got up to in the summer of last year. It’s a tale of setting goals and overcoming obstacles that get in your way.

Sound like something you can relate to? Well, depending on what you do, chances are the obstacles these boys faced will prove less than familiar…

For 62 days straight that summer, James and Justin were fending off sharks, suffering intense sunburn, and holding onto their food-deprived stomachs as the kayak that became their only form of shelter was flung over eight-metre high waves.

That was a day in the life of our Society-sponsored paddlers as they challenged the treacherous Tasman on their world-first attempt to kayak from their home country of Australia to the shores of New Zealand.

A novel of an idea - Australians first to kayak the Tasman

Both in their mid-twenties, the boys’ journey of more than 3300 kilometres is now an adventure novel about the human thirst for conquest, how good it feels to have your best mate by your side in times of real trouble (when a shark is attacking your kayak, for example), and how to ignore the voices of those who tell you your plans are probably insurmountable.

For a bit of action and inspiration, grab a copy online at their website, and find out why the ambitious duo were named Young Adventurers of the Year at last year’s AG Society Awards.

Read more from Australian Geographic about Justin and James.

First mate
James and Justin conquer the Tasman
James and Justin speak!
News: AG at science in the city
Kayaking tips for adventure racing
2011 Adventure grant winners announced
Win a $10,000 adventure grant
2011 adventure race world championships
How to think tough: Mental stamina
10 best kayak day trips in Australia
South pole Australian explorer dies
Perth woman oldest to swim channel
Andrew Lock: life in the death zone
The new extreme: underwater cave diving