Day 263, Wednesday, 07.10.2009

(Note from Chris Cunningham: I’ll be paddling Spain’s Menorca for the next 10 days, so I won’t be able to update the blog. Freya will update when she can, and I’ll resume upon my return.)


It was another day of being weather bound. Too much still of bloody headwinds. We took the chance to finish the work on the boat, and then I couldn’t avoid getting drawn for a ride on Rex daughter’s favorite toy – a 4-wheel motorbike!


“My” landing beach on the weather day off – not too inviting to go out there again! 



I let the girls sit on the back seat, and had quite some fun driving up and down the beach, close to the water’s edge with some verve, which made the girls a bit screaming!



They actually enjoy most towing each other on a boogie board over the sandy ground, the bike driven either by the 8-year old Talia or the 11-year old Kayla – important skills for Aussie girls! Well, besides fishing…


Rex’s beach tin shacks


We knew there would be mobile phone reception up the hill, and got the van ready after lunch to take us out off Willyun Beach on the rough 4-wheel drive track for an urgent office work session.


We didn’t have to go far uphill, and I had 3-bar reception on my computer modem – well, for a short while…just as Greg was about to download his e-mail, there was no reception any more…and as I tried again after some minutes on my own computer again there was reception again…and so on…a bit annoying, but better than nothing. At least I got the recent days updated and could work on some e-mails. And eventually Greg could fully download his e-mails, too.



I had to stop working before it got dark, as we liked to drive down to Willyun Beach again on the steep rough track still in some daylight.


Rex had dinner ready, yummy Spaghetti Bolognese, thanks for sharing with us!

47 comments on “Day 263, Wednesday, 07.10.2009


Thank you for the update. Whatever will the Freya “Junkies” as Chuck calls them do when Freya has completed her trip, aside from celebrating?

Chuck H.

Edda, Thanks for this latest report.
If you keep passing along such things (including dates), “withdrawal” symptoms will doubtless be greatly diminished, and you’ll thereby earn the undying gratitude of all us “Freya Junkies”!
Many thanks … gracias … vielen dank … mange takk! (this exhausts my hoard of gratitude expressions)


33.56 122 34 Wharton Beach 35km 5.5 to 14.5 headwind nasty since 8am and not worth the spent energy. Beautiful beaches

That’s the latest, 16/10/09. Every bit counts, Go Freya…


Oh My Gosh! You are all in Freya Withdrawal! (As am I !) But, we are all just armchair travelers on this amazing journey. I consider myself privileged to be allowed to be eavesdropping. Lighten up! Freya is just out of range, Chris is on Vacation, and Greg is working hard to support Freya, irrespective of their relationship, which we are also being privileged to witness. As I sit in my my boat and paddle, I reflect on the gift I have been given to be a fly on the wall of this amazing woman and this amazing journey. As Freya comes back into range of her blog, she will read as well as post on her considerable insight. Your positivity, not your negativity is what is helpful here. Thank you again Freya, and Paddle on!



Thanks for that, a poor choice of words using “attempt or attempted” Paul Caffyn completed his circumnavigation and I think we all believe that Freyas complete circumnavigation is now within reach.

I am aware of others who have attempted it including Eric Stiller and Tony Brown of the book “Keep Australia on Your Left” something that is well worth reading as it gives an insight into the enormity of a paddle of this magnitude.

With reference to that small exclusive club I should have used the term “completed” I may be wrong but I think she will only be the second person to have done it.


Adrian, for your info, Freya & Paul are not the only people to “ATTEMPT” the circum nav of Oz mainland, by kayak. So far Paul is the only one to complete it, & Freya is looking liKe she will do it, mostly with fully loaded boat & faster, because of the long hours she has been on the water for.
There are not many people out there with the drive and focus on the task at hand as Paul & Freya.
Go Freya and stay safe.


I’m supporting Edda on this about the lack of information we all need to consider Freya’s position.

As Edda correctly points out there is no internet or mobile phone coverage now that she is past Esperance. She is totally reliant on her satphone for communications and the priority for those communications at this time has to be her well being and personal safety.

She has some fairly remote and lonely paddling to do on a fairly inhospitable shore not to mention the cliffs later in this endeavour of hers.

I have worked the length of the coast and it is remote along the Nullabor the nearest civilization is on the Eyre Highway and that is quite a distance from where she is paddling.

She is focussed on what she is doing and doing it well. When she reaches Melbourne after nearly 15000 km’s she will become a life member of a very exclusive club there is only one other member of that club anf that is Paul Caffyn no one else has attempted what she is doing for 27years.

I asked her when she stayed with us in Albany if ” She had thrown down a challenge to other sea kayakers/expeditioners” Freya’s response ” I think it will be another 27 years again ”

That says it all about this remarkable lady.


wow! if we’re all this tense now, what’s gonna happen when she hits the Bight and has to paddle for days without landing.

Keep on plugging along Freya! We’re all pulling for you and send good wishes and fair winds!


Hey Guys, give her a break and check where she is!

Apart from the Esperance area there is no internet coverage and all communication is on a sat phone. Freya is making notes all the time and as we all know from the past, there’ll suddenly be a lot of “arrears” on the website.
Our update withdrawls symptoms are minor when it comes to the denials she’s had to endure so many weeks on end on this trip.
This is one of the more challenging coast lines without civilisation for 100rds of miles and she has to make up all the weather delays.
But to any one griping: Let’s see you do better!

Chuck H.

JanitaK and several others have hit the point exactly. Freya finished the Kimberly part of the trip with a healthy reserve of time, presuming that one of her goals is bettering Paul Caffyn’s pace in his pioneer (and, to date, only) kayak circumnavigation of Australia.
Despite important help from Terry Bolland (among others), horrible weather, equipment troubles, illness and other problems she encountered from Broome onward ate up that time reserve, and more, leaving an urgent need to maximize her rate of progress along the south coast.
Without knowing for certain, I’m willing to bet that Greg volunteered to take time off to provide a reliable, mobile support base, giving Freya the chance to paddle the greatest possible distance in the least amount of time. This is, I’m sure, a considerable sacrifice on Greg’s part (he does, after all, have a business of his own to run). We all owe him a healthy vote of thanks, not the criticism seen in a couple of posts above.
Besides, the only relevant judge of Freya’s achievements is Freya. She’s the one with the vision. She’s the one putting out the enormous physical effort. She’s the one who has to carry on day after day after day. And she’s the one who really understands what has to be done. The rest of us are spectators, and ought to be damned glad that she’s “taking” us along on this ride!
If anyone wants to replicate the analysis behind the above conclusions, see the spreadsheet (linked from Freya’s Australia main page) that compares her progress with Paul Caffyn’s on a daily basis.


She must paddle around Tasmainia as well. This is part of Aust and must be done in order to say have circumnavigated Aust


Thank you Pam S. and Janita K.. It just may be that Freya knows what she is doing!!
Go Freya, with the skills and experience that you have.
And, may the rest of us strive to be worthy of benefitting from what Freya offers us.


I’m with Janita K on this

Having met Freya in Albany and been fortunate to have had her limited and privileged company for those few days while she paddled daily and prepared for the next stretch I can say this. Freya is a very determined very focussed lady she was champing at the bit the whole time and begrudged a rest day of sorts on the Sunday as the weather was good for paddling.

She had that set in her eye and needed to be off, back to the task at hand. She has spent the best part of 10months in a kayak and is deserving of a few creature comforts and support on the home run.

Graham Gath

Hi Freya, Greg,
Very pleased to meet Greg and assist by swapping trip notes.
The next days of fine weather will show you why Ian,I and others who discover Esperance and surrounds never leave for long. Unless of course you have a challenge to meet such as you have set yourself.
I look forward to meeting you one day. (it’s a small world)
Best regards always.

Janita K

I really think all of the above proves….
1. When the blog goes quiet, our imaginations and frustrations with lack of knowledge run wild…i.e. we go into withdrawals!!!
2. We all know Freya is on the home straight, and anxiety levels rise
3. Our comments are reflecting the need for reassurance and shared excitement with/from each other…so this experience is now an individual one for Freya mainly, and more and more a collective one for those reading the blog….
4. As a host who had Freya live with us for 5 days back in March when Cyclone Hamish moved through SE Qld, I can assure all those who have never met Freya that 2 things stick in my memory
A. Within 1 minute of meeting Freya late one night in the dark at the Hervey Bay marina, she has a certain look on her face that straight away says…I mean business and ‘might, possibly and maybe’ is not in my vocabulary’
B. When the weather window opened, her body language and facial expression changed noticeably. She became fidgety and a certain steely expression and set of the jaw meant…its time to go and its NOW!!
I will never forget it!
So chill a little, keep comments positive and be assured that whatever it takes to complete the journey, Freya has it in bucket loads…and I am sure we all know (including Freya) that the rest is out of everybodies hands.
Can I give everyone a hug or a friendly squeeze of the hand???
Here it is………


Thats great news Ian,she is going great guns and needs to make every minute count on this the toughest leg,,looks like she is putting in the long hard yards good on her, plenty of time for chatting and writing later,,thank god she has Greg travelling with her at the moment and good on him,,looking forward to an update from her sometime but she is is hostile isolated country now,it would be selfish to ask more of her after long hard hours on the water,,keep going great guns and BTW well done to Graham Gath,,local info like that is priceless ,,good on you,,,cheers,,

Ian Watkins. (Watkins crew Esperance)

Hi all,
Just got off the phone to Greg. He is in Esperance and has met with Graham Gath. (I am in Kalgoorlie till tomorrow). Graham has given Greg a huge amount of information and maps etc…

Greg pointed out that Freya has had such rough conditions over the last couple of months that now the weather has cleared she is trying to make up lost time. He pointed out that she is paddling long days and coming in as late as she can.

Freya has bypassed Esperance and is on the way to Cape L’Grand….another words…good-by Esperance. Oh well I am happy that she is passing our beaches in great weather.
Freya, good luck and hope the weather holds.
I will be writing a report for the Esperance Express and using one of your photos for it. Thanks Greg.


I agree with Judy – just chill out guys. Freya is generously sharing her trip with us all – that doesn’t mean we own her personal life.

If you look at the top of the page you’ll see the reason for “no time for updates” is that Freya doesn’t currently have Greg Cunningham doing the major updates as he has been.

Just chill out about the distraction.Having Greg there is certainly a wonderful help in this difficult section.Freya is totally focussed on her objective and is doing beautifully one step at a time.
Of course we are worried for her safety but lets have faith in her amazing ability and her ability to choose a partner.


I agree with John. I had commented earlier on the distraction factor that Greg seems to have introduced into the mix (and was summarily slammed down for my comment by readers apparently more interested in Freya’s love life than her courageous & dangerous goal to circumnavigate Oz). I’m less concerned with the lack of updates, rather I’m more concerned with Freya’s safety, knowing that such a distraction during such an extreme undertaking which requires FULL concentration can actually be dangerous. I know this from personal experience. I am a paraplegic now due to a very similar type of distraction a few years ago. In my case, the love/lust relationship didn’t last very long anyway, especially once I was injured. Maybe Freya will be luckier, but again, how well does she actually know this guy? Is she willing to sacrifice her very public “commitment” to herself, her fans and the world for some good looking guy she fell in love with within a week? Does HE really have her best interests at heart? I suppose time will tell.

Is it only me that thinks that since she met up with pal Greg there is no time for updates? What comes first: creature comforts or progress reporting? Now we know!

Ian Watkins. (Watkins crew Esperance)

Hi all,

Recieved this E mail from Freya last night 14th.

“Hi, Ian,

I appreciate all your efforts about publicity, but I do have very limited time off the water AND within mobile phone/ e-mail range to answer all your frequent contacting. I don’t even have time to update my website by now or to answer all my e-mails. I’m on the water all day.

I just read this one tonight as I paddled within mobile phone/ e-mail range. I don’t have time to speak to any media, sorry. The weather is too good to have a full day off.

Greg will contact you tomorrow. He’s got some new pictures.”

Chuck H.

Thanks, Edda. Presume that is her landing place for Oct. 14th? Weather permittng, it looks like Freya might well arrive in Esperance tomorrow, bringing Stage 12 to an end.

Thanks also to Pam for a really terrific comment!

Pam S.

Freya – I’ve been following your adventure for some time and just want to say Thank you. You may ask, for what? – Here are just a few reasons I’ve come up with: For having the vision to circumnavigate OZ; for being courageous enough to make it a reality; for letting everyone experience your journey through your blog and photos; for showing the world just how nice strangers can be to a kayaker paddling in unfamiliar waters; for letting us share your frustrations and rejoice in the affairs of your heart; for motivating all of us to never stop exploring; and most of all for restoring some sanity to our universe by creating good energy from your followers – hopefully that energy will continue to vibrate and bring you to the end of your odyssey safely. I wish you a continued safe journey with beautiful and tranquil seas. (Well maybe for you not too tranquil). Regards, Pam.


No problem Chuck, Here’s today’s snippett:

33.49 121.17 Quagi Beach 80km 6to18 long but easy day with moderate seas and following wind

Chuck H.

Edda — Really appreciate the update. Mason’s Bay appears to be about half-way between Pallinup Beach (last Thursday’s position) and Esperance, so it sounds like Freya is making decent progress, regardless of the weather.


Hello Edda.

I am assuming that you posted the comment about Freya being past Masons Bay. We were wondering where she is given that the last official update was 6 days ago.

The weather conditions haven’t been that great along the south coast between Albany and Esperance of late so it may be a bit of a hard paddle.


Hi Natalie/Graham,
thank you for your kind offers. I have passed a message to Freya to her Sat Phone, so she should get them even if not in an on-line area.

Hi All
Freya has passed Mason Bay, is making good progress and all is well. She’ll update when she gets a chance.

Graham Gath

Hi Freya, Greg
Greg, if you wish I can brief you on beach and track conditions from Hopetoun to the SA border.
I am fairly familiar with the area through recreational fishing, exploring and work with the State Emergency Service and Marine Sea Search and Rescue over a period of 30+ years.
I have a fairly comprehensive set of maps and aerial photographs of the coast and Islands.
I am a surveyor based in Esperance. Phone 08 90717272.
In the meantime good paddling and looking forward to meeting both of you if it works out that way.
I have assisted others walking the coast / kayaking / riding horseback etc in the past.
Please contact me if you think I am able to assist your endeavours.


Enjoy your hol’s Chris!

Freya is making good progress despite a weather day off with 40knot winds.

Hi Freya,

Hope the journey is going well. The ABC Radio station would love to call you about your travels – when is a good time? Does Tuesday 13th Oct at about 10.15am suit you? It would only take 5 minutes or so, otherwise anytime Monday afternoon we could pre-record an interview.
My number is 9093 7042 if you want to call me. Hopefully talk to you soon. Regards, Natalie Jones, ABC Goldfields Esperance

Ken and Cheryl

Missed you in Albany and Cordinup beach
Jim and Gyn still in Port Lincoln
Good luck with the Bight
kind regards Ken and Cheryl (Broome cv Park)


Keep going Freya, I tell everyone I know about you, including the kids I teach. You keep us all going

Geoff Bell

Hi, we met you briefly at Shelly beach and Greg left a message on our answering machine but your number wasn’t recorded. We would love to hear were you are so we can catch up or give you a meal. Maybe Point Anne? or we can come to Bremer. If your a stuck for a while your welcome to visit our farm so try the phone again and otherwise goodluck and hello to Greg. Cheers Geoff

Chuck H.

For Chris Cunningham: Thanks for all your good work in keeping us posted about Freya’s progress, not to mention the great things you do with “Sea Kayaker”. Enjoy your Spanish paddling.


Freya, are you paddling an empty boat now that you have ground support (go Greg!) ?
Paddle on,

Looks like its Bremer Bay for the weekend. The pub there puts on a good feed.

It’s an awesome section of coastline you’ll be paddling along for the next few days. Fitzgerald River NP is quite beautiful. Fitzgerald Beach is one on which Greg can look forward to being bogged. The landing is better at the Western end and the camping better at the East end.

All the best Freya. It’s truly a magnificent undertaking you have embarked upon.

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