Sunday, September 16, 2007

Freya to NZ

Well, here's a biggie. Freya Hoffmeister declared yesterday on her blog, that in October she'll be paddling solo around New Zealand's South Island. This will be one hell of an adventure, which could take four months or more, feeling more like paddling open ocean rather than just following a coast line. Following closely on the heels of her circumnavigation of Iceland just a few months ago, she's having a great year. No mention of whether she'll be supported or not, but even with, this is a hell of a trip, and one I'm sure she's up to.

I understand the circumnavigation of the South Island's only been done twice - by our own Kiwi, Paul Caffyn (in a Grahame Sisson, I would like to add;), and the American, Chris Duff. Both wrote books about their adventure, Obscured by Waves, and Southern Exposure, respectively. Both are great reads, and will give some idea of the enormity of the task.

She'll have some amazing scenery to both shoulders as she paddles. The east coast is usually the calmer of the two, sometimes protected from the oft-breezy fohns coming down from the Alps. There'll be slightly easier beach landings, with a mixture of rock and sand. She'll definitely have to stop in Kaikoura for cray, and I had the best burger there many years ago. Christchurch and Lyttelton will be excellent ports of call, as will Dunedin and Invercargill. After that, she's going to be pretty much on her own until she hits Westport and Greymouth on the west coast, and those harbours have notorious bars to cross. Probably the most scenic and restful part of the trip will be along the top through Abel Tasman National Park and the Malborough Sounds - she'll have the most magnificent scenery and wildlife to play along with her. And my brother and his family will wave as she passes Nelson. In fact, she'll just have to say kia ora to them in Nelson.

I look forward to following her progress!


Michael said...

Certainly an awesome challenge! I'll see Freya at Delmarva in October and wish her luck in person. Wouldn't it be fun if she does drop in on your brother?

Silbs said...

Her current blog does list her support team...including her son.

Kristen said...

I was thinking more like if anyone was following her around the country to meet her each evening, as Paul Caffyn had.

Michael said...

Hey, that would be a good role for me - expedition chauffeur!

Silbs said...

An even better role for Kristen, who knows the lay of the land.An excuse to visit the Mother Land (just read today's...the next piece you've written.