A FEW years ago, Andrew “Macca” McCaughtrie decided he wanted to one day Stand-up Paddle or SUP out to Montague Island.
And so, a dream was born.
He has also recently started his new Narooma-based business South Coast Stand-up Paddleboarding, another dream realised.
Last Wednesday, thanks to near perfect weather conditions, he ticked the Montague Island mission off his bucket list, not only to SUP the 9km out from Narooma on the Far South Coast NSW, but paddling back again as well, being the first person ever to do so.
The paddle took 1hr 20mins heading out and 1hr 40mins to return, fighting the south sweeping current.
Macca had a small support boat with skipper Austin Vaughn on board as well as his wife Leichelle, only coming aboard for 10 mins in Jetty Bay to rest and stretch before deciding he'd turn around and paddle the 9km back again as well.
His paddle started at Bar Beach shark net at 9.10am with a slight swell coming through bar entrance.
Once in the open water the ocean glassed off completely.
Little to no wind made for perfect paddling conditions heading generally for the northern tip of the island.
He encountered the predicted southern current about 1km out from the island bring him directly into Jetty Bay as planned.
Upon arrival to the island, Macca was welcomed by the resident seals who were lazily basking on the rocks while the odd one jumped in and swam around inquisitively.
Thankfully these were the only kind of large marine animals Macca encountered on his journey.
He dedicated this paddle to “Joey” an Aboriginal elder from Batemans' Bay area, who sadly passed away earlier this year.
Macca often worked with Joey at Murramarang Resort and they'd talk about his plans for the Montague Island Paddle.
"I was shocked and saddened by Joey's sudden death and knew I had to complete this paddle out of respect for him" Macca said.
"I've been watching the weather for a while now and Wednesday was looking like the day, so I walked in on Tuesday afternoon and told Leichelle ‘I'm paddling to the island tomorrow’ and that was that!”