A New Zealand adventurer has become the first person to kayak the Tasman Sea solo after a gruelling two-month voyage that saw him pestered by a shark and battling “washing machine” conditions.

Scott Donaldson set off from Australia’s Coffs Harbour on May 2 on a six-metre long carbon-fibre kayak and paddled ashore at New Plymouth, on New Zealand’s North Island late Monday night.

Donaldson said he often paddled for 16 hours a day in choppy conditions and swells of up to six metres.

“It was bloody hard work, I’m knackered,” he said.

“Some days I paddled to the point of exhaustion then got up and paddled harder the next day.”

About halfway through the trip a “frisky” shark approached the kayak as he was taking a break, forcing him to resume paddling.

“We had a little game of peek-a-boo and he wanted to chew on my rudder but luckily I managed to avoid that,” he told TV3.

Donaldson, who undertook the journey to raise funds for asthma research, said after he landed that he was looking forward to a shower and tucking into a meat-and-vegetable pie.AFP

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