Sea Kayaker
Sandy Robson

Oskar Speck

The year is 1932 and aged 25, German kayaker Oskar Speck took the bus to the Danube River (they call it the Donau) in Ulm, Germany.  He set up his folding kayak named Sonnenschein (Sunshine) and paddled down the Donau with the intention to travel to Cyprus and look for work there.  When Oskar did eventually reach Cyprus he set his sights on Australia as an ambitious destination.  Seven years, three kayaks and 50 000km later, Oskar landed in Australian waters (just in time to be interned because war with Germany had broken out).  This has to be one of the most amazing kayak journeys of all time and was probably the first folding kayak to arrive in Australia.

Here are some links to articles about Oskar Speck and his expedition:
Australasian Post Article - Part 1:
Australasian Post Article - Part 2:
Australasian Post Article - Part 3:
Australian National Maritime Museum Website:

The Australian National Maritime Museum is the best source of information about the journey and life of Oskar Speck.  In November 2010 I was priveleged to spend two days perusing items from the Speck collection at the ANMM.  I was lucky enough to read the Speck diary.  Most interesting though, was a number of newspaper articles from the 1930s detailing the ups and downs of the Speck adventure.

Photo Courtesy of the Australian Maritime Museum, Nancy Jean Steele Bequest

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