Kayak journey raises money for Mental Health Foundation

Lynn Paterson
Lynn Paterson

For the next six months, Lynn Paterson will spend all her waking hours in a kayak.

It's no mean feat, but it's a journey with a purpose for Ms Paterson, who is raising money for the Mental Health Foundation. Her son has depression and she wants to highlight the hard work support people like her face.

"I think this solo journey is about how much inner strength I have that has been channelled towards the people or the person I've cared for along the way and to give them an inner strength as well," says Ms Paterson.

The trip will consist of around 180 days of paddling – circling the entire coast of New Zealand – and is the result of two years of training.

"I was on the water for six or seven hours a day on my own - it's been a very solo training experience because I'm going to be solo when I'm out on the water."

The 50-year-old faces long days on the water, but will find some comfort with a supporter following her trip on the ground by campervan, giving her a place to sleep at night.

She says she will rely on a 20kg tub of coconut oil to get her through the rough patches on the trip and well as drawing on her favourite quote: "Are you made of sugar? – no, well, you're not going to melt."

Ms Paterson will spend Christmas on the kayak and hopes to be done by the end of daylight saving.

"April 20th, April 22, I'd really like to be coming back into this beach, seeing everybody here," she says.

Until then, she will seek daily horizons, hoping to find the strength so that others can also find the way home.

Anyone wishing to help to Ms Paterson's cause can text REDZNZ to 2446 to donate $3 to the Mental Health Foundation.

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