New Acquisitions – trans-Tasman kayak, Lot 41

Special guests James Castrission and Justin Jones popped into the National Maritime Museum this morning in the driving rain to formally hand over the museum’s latest acquisition, kayak Lot 41

As you may remember, the young Aussie adventurers paddled the record-breaking vessel across the Tasman Sea in 2007-08 in an extraordinary 62-day voyage, attracting widespread publicity around the world. 

Along with the 9-metre foam and fibreglass kayak, we’ve also acquired more than 200 items James and Justin had with them onboard, including diaries, navigation equipment, and cameras. Peeking into the cabin, messages from well-wishers and photos of loved ones can still be seen lining the walls. 

Just like our latest visitor, the diminutive Jessica Watson, the duo’s journey was broadcast live to millions of people around the world through their website with daily updates of photos and GPS tracking. 

© Photos reproduced courtesy of J Castrission and J Jones
© Photos reproduced courtesy of J Castrission and J Jones

Interestingly, the kayak was named Lot 41 after the auction lot number of another Tasman-crossing hero – the great Phar Lap. (The mighty horse was sold from Wellington, NZ to a Sydney trainer in 1928 and become one of the most famous champions of the Australian track).

One of the more unusual items taken with them on the journey is a barbeque fork to poke in the eye of a shark should one come close. Luckily, there was no need to use it and we have it as part of our Lot 41 collection. 

The duo also packed some ‘Wet Ones’ to scrub off the salt and sunscreen at the end of a hard day’s row. These were washed overboard in the middle of the night during a storm and then found the following day floating in the water. Their dip in the sea did not hinder their effectiveness and they continued to be used for the rest of the voyage.

The pictured sponge has also been acquired by the museum, it was used daily by the adventurers to wash themselves, specifically ‘…groin, face, armpits and bum…’.

Items from the 'Crossing the Ditch' collection

Lot 41 will go on display for the first time at our Classic & Wooden Boat Festival, held in October 2010 here at the ANMM and will hold a longer-term spot within the museum by next year.

In the meantime, take a look at some of the other items from the voyage online.

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