On January 11th, 2007, Andrew McCauley set off from Tasmania in a sea kayak, aiming to be the first person to paddle the 1600 kilometres to New Zealand. It was to be the culmination of a lifetime of expeditions that had seen him awarded the coveted Australian Geographic Adventurer of the Year and establish himself as one of the world's most respected and admired adventurers. A month later, New Zealand authorities received a garbled distress call from him. His kayak was spotted drifting and waterlogged just 80 kilometres from the New Zealand coast. His body was never found.
Vicki McAuley, Andrew's wife and the mother of his young child, has written an extraordinary book about her husband and his final voyage. Using Andrew's journals, his video log and Vicki's personal experience, the journey is brought vividly to life.
Solo is a love story, an adventure story and a heartfelt examination of what it is to feel most alive, even when brazenly tempting death. Not since Into Thin Air have we come closer to understanding the adrenaline surge of high adventure, and its tragic consequences.
Vicki McAuley is the widow of renowned Australian adventurer Andrew McAuley. Until the birth of their son in 2003, Vicki accompanied Andrew on many climbing and kayaking adventures in far-flung places. She now spends most of her time running around after her overly energetic young boy.
Vicki has a first class honours degree in Visual Communication and works (very occasionally, when not chasing said son) as a designer and illustrator. She and her son Finlay and dog Aslan live in the lower Blue Mountains, New South Wales.