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Oscar Speck


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I came upon this story on a paddling forum in UK. I followed the links to find three pages written about a man who paddled from Germany all the way to Australia.

Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

The story then continues with this text I found at another site:

Oskar's amazing story doesn't end there. He was held prisoner at the Tatura Internment Camp for seven years during which time Oskar entertained his fellow-prisoners with talks about his kayaking exploits. On the 9th of January 1943, Oskar, together with another internee, dared to escape and tried to make their way to Sydney by bicycle. They were recaptured and returned to Tatura where Oskar was held for another three years. But Oskar spent his time of imprisonment developing a new machine for the cutting and polishing of opals and other precious stones which after the end of the war made him a very wealthy man. He was an opal miner at Lightning Ridge and followed a successful career as an opal cutter before retiring to a house he had built at Kilcare Heights near Gosford on the Central Coast of New South Wales in Australia.

After a long illness, Oskar died childless in 1995, aged 88, and on the death of his partner Nancy Steele, the notebooks and equipment from his expedition were bequeathed to the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney.

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