Bacon and egg pie to greet kayaker

BLANTON SMITH
Last updated 05:00 04/07/2014

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When trans-Tasman kayaker Scott Donaldson arrives in Taranaki his wife will be waiting with open arms - and a slice of bacon and egg pie.

"There will be big hugs, a lot of love and looking after him," Donaldson's wife Sarah said yesterday.

Sarah said she would make her husband a fresh bacon and egg pie for his first meal.

"He's been eating dehydrated food for months so it will be something savoury and fresh, a bacon and egg pie or something like that," she said.

Donaldson, who has now been at sea since April, is due to hit Taranaki shores anytime from tomorrow through to Tuesday.

"We're still tracking him to see when and where he will make landfall," she said. "I'm hoping for Sunday, but he's hoping for as soon as possible."

Donaldson still plans to land at Ngamotu Beach, Port Taranaki, and Sarah said she had been organising the welcome-home festivities with the New Plymouth District Council.

Mayor Andrew Judd said music and a marquee had been arranged and he hoped thousands of people would be on the beach when Donaldson landed.

"We're definitely looking to give him a good Taranaki welcome," Judd said.

"We're asking everyone to come down and support him, to celebrate what he has done and to celebrate the human spirit."

When the Australian pair of Justin Jones and James Castrission paddled the Tasman in 2009, more than 10,000 onlookers turned out to watch their arrival. They were also welcomed to shore by a kapa haka group.

Sarah said she would not be chartering a boat and heading to sea but rather waiting on the sand for her husband

"I've got first dibs when he hits the land," she said.

When the crowds had stopped cheering and media frenzy subsided, Scott would be ushered off to their accommodation for a dip in the hot tub "or at least a hot bath", Sarah joked.

She said she had spoken with Donaldson on Wednesday when he was "hunkering down in a wet sleeping bag".

Donaldson, who was waiting out the storm, expected to start paddling again yesterday morning.

"A lot of people had been on the site and left encouraging messages so I passed them on," she said.

Although super excited about seeing her husband in just a few days, Sarah said it was also the most agonising time. "It's the hardest few days because it's like the end of a long race."

Donaldson is kayaking the Tasman to raise awareness of the importance of physical activity for the New Zealand Asthma Foundation. Both he and his 4-year-old son Zac suffer from the condition.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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