On Saturday 28th June 2014 Tony and I went for a paddle out the Heads to see if we could say "hello and well done" to Jason Beachcroft - a man who was expected to complete his beautiful personal journey from Rose Bay to Rose Bay, the very long way.
It was gusting up to 25 knots outside, so we returned to the harbour thinking that the tired man of the sea was probably slogging it up the cliff line from Botany Bay.
A helicopter was making a nuisance of itself, buzzing around the harbour in a desperate search for its news story and stalking anyone in a kayak who looked vaguely as though they had just paddled 17,500 kms.
- "Who? I can't hear you ... that fucken helicopter is making too much noise"
"Here we go! There's a greeny-blue canoe at 270. That must be the guy!"
"Ok ... keep her steady ... I've got a great composition forming up here"
Fifteen minutes of aviation fuel later ...
Camera operator: "Hang on! Even I know that's not a Nadgee! That's a bloody imported kayak!! We've been following the wrong bloody paddler all morning!!!"
Helicopter Pilot: "Shit, eh? No fuel left, mate - we're outta here."
Quite appropriately, the elusive Mr Beachcroft quietly slips ashore to a round of polite applause from his family and friends, a few bemused onlookers and a small fluffy white dog waving its tail ...
Hats off to Jason Beachcroft.
A very humble and determined man who has just completed a very big personal journey.