There had been too many other things to worry about, sea, weather and just staying alive.
But their vulnerability to germs and disease was brought home to them as they huddled on Hogan island - the first hop on the Bass Strait crossing.
A howling gale, which lasted three days, did not worry Colin Rose as much as watching his mate fall ill, miles from any medical help.
"I must have picked up a germ in Port Albert and my eyes and cheeks puffed up and I had a temperature," Wright said.
"Whatever it was, the situation was pretty uncomfortable."
"But the weather was so bad we couldn't leave the island anyway.
On the morning of the fourth day of 'imprisonment' on Hogan island, the wind blew itself out, and the seas calmed.
Wright was feeling better after getting over his illness, so the duo decided to head for the next island destination of Deal Island.
"Normally you can see Deal Island from Hogan, but because of fog and mist, visibility was poor the morning we decided to leave," Wright said.
"We just headed off in the general direction and soon picked up the very high lighthouse.
"It's supposed to be the highest in Australia, so spotting it was fairly easily.
"The weather was extremely good compared with our first hop to Hogan Island, and we made very good time."
The canoeists stayed overnight and the following day with the lighthouse keeper and his family.
It was early morning when the two men left Deal Island to head for Killiecrankie on Flinders Island, a long leg of 35 sea miles.
The day was to prove one of the hardest paddling stints for Wright and Rose.
"It was very hard, the tides and currents were bloody awful," said Rose.
"We had to paddle for more than 11 hours, sometimes not moving an inch for an hour.
"The last few miles into Killiecrankie made me think that the old Bass Strait, she's given us a taste of what it can be like on the first hop.
"I felt she wasn't going to give up on us that easily after two relatively easy days.
"We had to fight it to the finish," he said.
Flinders Island was the third and final hop across Bass Strait - they had made it, but only just.
They stayed overnight at Killiecrankie, and next morning headed for Emita, on the West Coast of Flinders Island.
After stopping again overnight, the two canoeists headed for Whitemark, on the southern tip of the island.
Vicious rips and currents dogged them all the way down the west coast of Flinders Island, making paddling very hard and exhausting work.
Still island hopping, Wright and Rose paddled into Thunder and Lightning Bay, on Cape Barren Island.
The next morning they faced the notorious Banks Strait crossing.
"This is where we paddled for three hours without making any headway," Rose said.
"We were swept in a great arc, probably 40 degrees off our planned course. "We were both very glad to make Swan Island, believe me.
The next day they landed at Eddystone Point - the first time they had been on the Tasmanian mainland, since the start of the trip.
"I felt pretty terrific to be there," Wright recalled.
"Being a true-blue Tasmanian, it was good to be back on familiar soil again.
"What made it better was the Bass Strait crossing was behind us," Rose said.
Revelling in a light nor'easter and smooth seas, the paddlers headed south for the still far away Hobart.
"We saw a few people on the beach at Scamander, but we wanted to take advantage of the good weather, so we headed for Falmouth.
"We landed at Falmouth to take on supplies and the people there to greet us were the same ones who had waited at Scamander.
"They were very enthusiastic and helpful.
"When I went into the store to buy the food, the woman wouldn't take any money ... my God, it was embarrassing, Rose said.
From Falmouth, Wright and Rose paddled to Bicheno to receive a warm welcome from the large crowd of locals.
"We made good progress from Bicheno, and by the end of the day we had almost made Wineglass Bay," Wright said.
"Across the Friendly Beaches we could see the wind gusting, but fortunately it was offshore.
"I thought, here we go again, because I expected the wind to swing southerly, but luck was with us.
“On the next morning the weather came in bad, and we made it to about two miles across the heads to Wineglass Bay.
"The wind came right into us and we started to push into it - I had a feeling about it.
“You get feelings about local weather, particularly the southerlies.
"I suggested to Col that we turn back to the Bay, and no sooner had we made it back to Lemon Rock at the Bay's headland, when in the weather came.
"The roll was really big, even for Tasmanian conditions.
"We had to beach the canoes on granite rocks, which proved to be a mistake.
"Trying to lift canoes with 200 pounds of gear in them on slippery rocks is no joke, "Wright said.
"I was worried about Cliff's knee because it was easy to slip in between two rocks," Rose said.
(Cliff Wright had cut plaster from a dislocated knee only a fortnight before they left Sydney).
"We couldn't get a proper leverage so we had to move the canoes inch by inch.
"Then to make things worse, it poured with rain and our tent was soaked, all our dry clothing got wet and we spent a miserable night camping.
"Next morning the weather improved slightly so we thought we would give it a bash," Rose said.
The canoeists had to run the gauntlet of the slippery rocks again, this time made more hazardous by a rolling surf pounding the rocks.
"I had to walk out in water up to my neck before getting into my kayak," Wright said.
"We took off but I was worried about the pounding the kayaks had taken on the rocks.
"I discovered the front hatch cover seal had lifted because I couldn't keep it dry.
"I thought the canoe would fill up with water, as we were bashing into the sea.
"We had just got round the Wineglass Bay headland for the second time, when we had to turn back."
It was a day lost, but with dawn next morning came clear skies and a moderate sea.
They headed for Schouten Passage, but trouble struck again, this time in the form of Rose's rudder cable.
"A few miles before we got to Schouten Island my rudder cable snapped, but the seas were not difficult.
"It meant that more energy was taken out of me, that's all.
"A chap in a runabout came out to meet us and he shadowed us the rest of the way to the island, even though we told him we were all right.
"He showed us a beautiful spot to camp overnight," Rose said.
Their idea the following morning was to head straight to Maria Island, some 20 miles away, instead of crossing to the coast and hugging it.
"In the early stages of the hop, the weather was absolutely beautiful, with a strong following breeze," Rose said.
"The weather blew up in the afternoon and the sea really tested out my repaired rudder cable.
"It held very nicely."
The canoeists stopped at Maria Island for only 20 minutes to stretch their legs before heading for the coastal town of Rheban.
Making good time, the paddlers arrived at Rheban at last light.
The next day they headed for Dunalley and the canal to Hobart.
"There was no real point in going around the Tasman Peninsula, because after all it was Sydney to Hobart," Wright said.
“It's an area I would like to keep for a future trip, anyway," he said.
They stopped at Dunalley for a rest, then Wright and Rose paddled to Park Beach surf club, where the two are members.
"It was quite a thrill coming around the corner and seeing it," Rose said.
They noticed that the crowds coming out to see them were getting bigger, the closer they got to Hobart, but imagined it was because of school holidays.
After an overnight stay at the Carlton surf club a little further on, and a gay night in a local tavern, the paddlers started to relax a little.
"When I got inside Blackmans Bay I knew from there on was protected water all the way home," Wright said.
The duo spent their last night away from home at Lauderdale, and the next morning were up early to start on their 900 miles goal of Hobart city.
They had read in local papers that they were expected in Hobart but the two had only an inkling of the welcome that was in store for them at Waterman Dock.
Wright said he received his first shock from the number of people that had arrived at Lauderdale to see them.
On Thursday, May 19, at about 1.05 pm - 72 days after they had left Sydney - Cliff Wright and Colin Rose got the shock of their lives.
"When we rounded a big ship in dock and came into view of Waterman Dock, I was stunned," Rose said.
"There were thousands of people and boat sirens going off everywhere.
"I was very embarrassed," he said.
"I just hung my head and thought, surely we don't deserve this," Wright said.
"After a few minutes, it did feel great to think that all those people were interested enough to be there to welcome us.
"I was so confused with excited children wanting autographs ..... unbelievable," he said.
After greeting their families waiting on the dock, and shaking hundreds of hands, the publicity-shy men and their canoes were paraded through the city's streets.
"It would not have been so embarrassing if we could have gone home and changed into suits, instead of just costumes," Wright said.
They were greeted on the steps of the Town Hall by the Lord Mayor (Ald. Soundy) amid a large crowd, eager to catch a glimpse of the two 'heroes'.
When the pomp and pageantry had died down, Wright and Rose reminisced about their 900 mile long trip from Sydney - the first ever in canoes.
They never realised that their journey would capture the imagination of so many people, nor generate the huge Press coverage they experienced.
Wherever they went on their journey, people and beautiful country captivated their interest.
Overcoming the odds of such a voyage has exhilarated both of them.
Their trusty kayaks suffered less damage than they had expected, but they agreed if they ever made a similar paddle, it would be in better and stronger craft.
"I thought we would be pretty lucky not to lose one, that's why I had an emergency canoe lined up," Wright said.
However, the biggest single feat of endurance was by Cliff Wright, who, according to medical opinion, should never have made the trip.
On New Year's Day, he went into hospital for four days, to have a badly dislocated knee put in plaster.
Wright was afraid he would not be able to make the Sydney-Hobart journey, so he cut the plaster off himself two weeks before they started from Sydney.
Fitness played a crucial role in the success of their journey.
They don't smoke, but enjoy a beer, and refuse to think of themselves as fitness fanatics.
People considered them mad and suicidal, but they knew their physical capabilities, and were confident.
Cliff and Colin admitted that they could have been pressured by publicity to take undue risks, but found that after the first few days of their voyage, settling down to think safety came easy.
"It has happened before that some people have taken risks to keep up with the publicity," Wright said.
"Our age and maturity tempered any temptation we may have had to take any undue risks," he said.
Rose said they talked to each other constantly to relieve mental tension.
The biggest concern for both men was the thought that people expected then to make a lot of money from publicity rights.
Their anti-commercialism borders on fanatical, and both of them deny vehemently that anyone has helped them financially.
"With all the publicity, many people joked that we could retire on our profits," Wright said.
"There were offers, but Colin and I knocked back everyone ... we are strictly amateurs who went on a holiday," he said.
They came down quickly from the dizzy environment of the limelight, and their thoughts have now turned to future trips.
Both love a challenge, and there is still the Great Australian Bight,
the Timor Sea, and the West Australian coastline to think about.
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