Day 286, Friday, 30.10.2009

Warming up in the van after 35 hrs of paddling. I’m texting the daily message to Karel n the sat phone


The moon set at about 2am, but the stars shone a bit brighter then to make still a bit of lit night. Actually, when the moon was still out, barely any star was to be seen, so bright was its light!


I still didn’t feel comfortable taking my floats off, and continued just to paddle as much to keep me off the cliffs with the wind drift, which felt more like a due southerly during the second half of the night. But it was not strong, around 10 kn. It was ok to make slow, but some progress.


At 3.30am, the first glance of light came up on the horizon in front of me, and at 4am it was light enough to “wake me up” out of my sleepy mode. I dared to take the floats off, felt all right, and not even much tired with my few powernaps. Time for some decent paddling progress!


I called Greg that I’m all right, and all I could do was wishing him a “Happy Birthday” on the phone and send him a virtual kiss. I sent out my position message to Karel at 5am and had 46,5 km left to go. My night’s progress was way less than anticipated, but as I made great progress the previous day I reckoned I’ll still arrive at least before lunch. There were some stronger headwinds forecasted after lunch, and I didn’t feel like I would love to get into them after that long short night.


After my Zytdorp Cliffs paddling night with the “survival mode” I felt way more mentally and physically exhausted than after this relatively easy night…despite the heavy seasickness. But the swell was low, wind moderate and onshore to following, and the moon and starlight made a decent night’s view with a visible horizon. But still I messed up the possible good night’s progress with me not able to prevent becoming seasick!


The “punishment” followed soon, the relatively low headwind all morning breezed up continuously and I had to push hard the last three hours into a 20 kn headwind. The towering cliffs to the left felt more and more like prison walls, but I had no other choice than to keep on plugging! Nobody would get me out here…and I didn’t want anybody to get me out here either.


Greg told me on the radio that landing at Twilight Cove was easy, and that he could drive the van on to the beach with no problem. The track via Eyre Bird observatory was all right. He just felt a bit lonely on his birthday, and I was sorry I was not able to speed up more. I got unavoidably into the strong forecasted headwinds which made me arrive eventually at 3.30 pm.


I landed all right through the moderate shore dumper, which came in quite diagonally. But Greg grabbed my bow toggle and pulled me up and out of the surge safely before I could even pop my spray deck! Time for the birthday kiss…


I felt quite good on jumping out, didn’t have any sore besides two spots on both knees where my constantly driving legs hit the cockpit rim occasionally in an unpadded spot. Plus a bit of sores on the skin above the spray deck tunnel. That was it. Not much dizziness, not like the “out of space” feeling of extremely overtiredness like after the Zytdorp Cliffs.


I stripped my clothes on the beach, washed them and me in the surf, showered with pre-heated water and jumped under the cover in the van with a hot water bottle to heat up again and dry out fully. Nice to have a loving support crew! But I rather would have spoilt Greg today a bit on his birthday than being spoilt…

Greg had cooked a nice dinner, but I didn’t feel like eating at all, being overworked and having eaten quite some snacks today after the vomiting night.


I fell asleep quite soon, happy to be warm, dry and safe again!


Text message from Freya via satellite phone:

32.16 126.01 Twilight Cove 4:30 am to 3:30 p.m. the next day. The  165 kilometers of  Baxter Cliffs is done. I didn’t need the 3 hours of 15 to 20 knot headwinds at the end!

 Text message from Freya via satellite phone:

5:00 a.m. and  46.5 km left. Very slow night with heavy seasickness,  throwing up 5 times, floats out, plenty of powernaps and freezing like hell.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY FOR GREG! And I’m on the water all l night and can’t wake him with a birthday kiss 🙁

15 comments on “Day 286, Friday, 30.10.2009


Pam: There iare another set of cliffs to go these start about 30 ks east of the settlement of Eucla in Western Australia and they run for around 215 kms they are known as the Bunda clifs. If you have access to Google Earth have a look there for Eucla on the Nullabor plain. There are a lot of good travellers photos there that will give you some idea .

Pam Mayhew

Anyone know how many more sets of cliffs are left in this Big Adventure? Amd once they’re done, are there any more such challenges (other than the day to day ones of course!)

joe brown and maggie taylor

We are thinking of you and praying for you all the time. Please consider above all things your safety, you are so precious to us all. May all the powers that be give you the strength to achieve your goal, and the wisdom to take sufficient care.


Congratulations, another set of cliffs finished!
Happy birthday, Greg!

It’s all so amazing, on Google earth is now the start and the current position on the same page. Almost there now… relatively speaking.


That looks like a nice beach for you to catch your breath after that long leg. I hope Greg was able to get the van down there so you can celebrate a belated birthday with him and relax with the comforts of your mobile camp. At this pace you’ll be seeing the city lights of Melbourne in no time. Maybe you will get to spend New Year’s Eve back home with Helge.


A splendid start for your cliff journey Freya, great work! Baxter Cliffs are a foretaste, and hopefully the seasickness will not last. Having endured so much already, I’m sure your body will adapt fairly quickly to the rebound from the cliffs. Keeping a positive outlook isn’t so easy when you feel nauseated, but you can do it, as you’ve done everything else.

We can’t read your Baxter Cliffs experiences in detail at present, the page is not available right now, but I hope you’ve found a lovely calm place to curl up tonight, out of the wind.

And Greg…happy birthday, just a little late!


No worrys Wattie, i look up Twilight beach and thought thats funny she should have gone past that a week ago,,i see she has made Baxter cliffs (done) but theres an error on the page at the moment ,,well done Freya

hi freya,i thought you were in for some cruzn,sorry to here about the hurrling and you count them.ive never done that.and with a head wind,no gotta be good.and happy BD TO GREG .sea ya steve

Chuck H.

Ffreya: Hope you are now (about midnight, your time) safely ashore, and have delivered that birthday kiss! Best wishes to both of you. Now, get some well-deserved rest!

Watkins Crew (Esperance WA)

Shorty it’s called Twilight Cove. Not to be mistaken with Twilight beach in Esperance. Sorry

Pam Mayhew

Heavy seasickness, freezing cold, and no place to land. My idea of a nightmare. But for Freya, just one more challenge to embrace. Amazining!

Freya, hold on.

Very nice in this situation to think about birthdaykisses. But it´s a good sign.

For the next camp, ich wish you plenty relaxation.

I press both thumb´s for you


Happy birthday Greg, keep plugging away Freya i have no idea where you are these days i might have to pull out a map, i might Google twilight beach first,,cheers,,

Watkins Crew (Esperance WA)


I think you landing on Twilight Beach will be a great present for him…

And us……..

I am hoping that you are there now!

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