Surviving loss after Andrew: Vicki McAuley's solo journey

What drives a person to attempt to cross the Tasman Sea in a kayak? What happens to the people left behind when the voyage goes wrong and ends in a tragic death?

In February 2007 Vicki McAuley received the devastating news that her husband Andrew had disappeared at sea. He had been attempting to become the first person to kayak solo from Australia to New Zealand across the notoriously dangerous southern section of the Tasman Sea. He died within sight of land, 30 kilometres from Milford Sound.

On Sunday November 29, in the final online conversation in the Stories of Courage Resilience and Survival series, Phil Voysey will be talking with Vicki about Andrew's ill-fated journey. She will take us inside Andrew's extraordinary ambition and drive: What motivated him to risk everything to undertake such a dangerous trip? Why do some people feel the need to push themselves to their physical and psychological limit?

She will be talking, too, about the paralysing grief she experienced after his death and her own solo journey through grief to rebuild her life.

"After Andrew died I wasn't angry at him. I was angry at life and other people. There were close friends who didn't make contact with me because they didn't know what to say. They didn't know how to process their anger towards Andrew."

"As the years have gone on the grief hasn't gone away. It just lessens and changes."

A percentage of the proceeds from these conversations supports girls' education projects in less privileged countries.

For more information and to book go to the Cultural Connexions website - - and click on the link on the homepage, or contact Phil Voysey: or phone 0457 999987.