May 2011 - Nov 2016 - Retracing Oskar Speck I devoted five and a half years to this project retracing Speck's epic expedition from Germany to Australia by kayak. I paddled almost 23000kms through 20 countries. I have been humbled by the support of many amazing sponsors, hosts and generous people that were instrumental in the success of the journey. I am now sitting down to write my first adventure book - the book that Oskar Speck never got to write. Listen in on Radio National.
My Story: I purchased my first sea kayak in 1999 and got into expedition sea kayaking through my work as an Outdoor Education leader. My first expeditions were on the beautiful Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia. If you haven't been there, put it on the list! In 2002, I joined the Sea Kayak Club WA. This allowed me to learn from experienced paddlers, hone advanced skills and push myself outside my comfort zone. Through paddling in the club, I met Les Allen. He became a mentor for my paddling and helped me to develop the skills to become a sea kayak instructor. Inspired by Paul Caffyn's book Dreamtime Voyage, I was by now slowly working toward a skill level where I thought I could give paddling around Australia a crack. A slight set-back in my paddling dreams occurred in 2004 when I had to have my left hip replaced. A year later, and after a lot of rehabilitation, I was ready to get on the water again. In 2007, I paddled over 6000km of the Australian coastline. An attack on my kayak by a saltwater crocodile thwarted my efforts to make the full circumnavigation.
Nature puts on the show - you just need to paddle your kayak to the front row... If you’re out there enough and in the right places, you will get spy hopped by a whale, you will lose count of the turtles you see, and you might be surprised by a sunbaking sea snake, a snoozing penguin or a sea lion demanding your catch. Be inspired, conquer your fears and get out there in a sea kayak - and don’t think I haven’t noticed the lack of women out there on the water. If I can do it, you can do it too.
I am Sandy Robson a sea kayaker from Western Australia. I love the outdoors and wild places and I have been working in Outdoor Education as a teacher, leader and instructor for over 22 years.
My Sea Kayaking Highlights:
2017 World Paddle Awards 'Sportswoman of the Year' - made it into the top 3 female paddlers
2017 Australian Geographic Adventurer of the Year Award
2016/7 Australian Canoeing - Olegas Truchanus Award Recipient
2016 Completed Retracing the journey of Oskar Speck from Germany to Australia by Kayak
2016 First Woman to Kayak the coast of Papua New Guinea
2015/6 Paddled right across the Indonesian Archipelago from Batam to Jayapura in 12 and a half months
2015 Paddling the Straits of Malacca & the SE Sumatra coast
2015 Paddling in the Myeik Archipelago, Myanmar
2014 First Woman to Kayak the Coast of Bangladesh
2014 First Woman to Kayak the Coast of India (completed over 2012, 13, 14)
2014 Second Person and First Woman to cross Palk Strait (between Sri Lanka & India) by Kayak
2014 *** World Record - First Person to Circumnavigate Sri Lanka by Kayak ***
2013 Retracing Oskar Speck Expedition Stage 2 - First Woman to Paddle the West Coast of India
2012 Paddling in the Fijian Yasawa Islands - A Fantastic Experience with lovely local people to teach me
2011 Retracing Oskar Speck Expeditıon Stage 1 - Germany to Cyprus - over 4000kms in 5 months
2010 6 months as a Sea Kayak Guide with Capricorn SeaKayaking on Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia
2010 5-day Expedition at Ningaloo with my Dad
2009 The Whitsundays, Queensland - 16-days paddling with La Trobe Uni Bendigo students
2009 KASK Forum, Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand
2008 Coastbusters Sea Kayak Symposium, Auckland, New Zealand
2007 Sandy's Long Australian Paddle: A year to paddle as far as I can around the Australian Coast
2006 Cape-to-Cape, Cape Leeuwin to Cape Naturaliste, Western Australia
2002/2003 10 days 450km Perth to Geraldton, Western Australia - my first big trip in a sea kayak!
2002 Monkey Mia to Denham, Shark Bay, Western Australia
2000-2001 Ningaloo Reef Expeditions working with Greg Winter