Day 294, Saturday, 07.11.2009

Greg spent the day in “town” again, chatting to Dave at the Eucla weather station. He tried to decide with a mixture of local knowledge, our internet 7-days longterm forecast on buoyweather combined with Karel Vissel’s regular sat-phone weather meassages which may be the best two days and the night to tackle the last set of cliffs, a 185km overnight paddle. We would need two days of calm weather or best following winds, plus a calm(ish) night.

There was nothing really clear to be seen, all forecasts were different. Dave confirmed that a reliable forecast especially in this area is extremely difficult. Too many factors here influence the local weather!

I kept on paddling along the easy reefy beach, closing the gap to the start of the cliffs. I was passing the Eucla “harbour”, a gap in the dunes where the local fishermen put their boats in the water.

Later on the nice warm beach I could see the remainders of the old jetty at Eucla. I was tempted to go for a swim this day! It was getting HOT! I was not used to the sun any more, paddling for weak, almost month covered with a cag and a hood, and got a nice sunburn on my forearms and neck. But oh well – welcome, southern summer!

Greg meanwhile could visit the ruins of the Eucla old telegraph station which were about to disappear in the sand dunes.

The Delisser Sandhills in the foreground, background the scarp which eventually becomes the Wilson Bluff.

3 km long Wilson Bluff, which had some nice sea caves.

After the Wilson Bluff, the Merdayerrah Sandpatch provided for a while a bit of dunes and beach, but the night’s meeting point was a narrow gap in the shallow reef platform down on a small sandy beach below of some cliffs which were the starter of the “real” ones, the 185 km long Bunda Cliffs.

Greg was checking out that spot early in the day. It had kind of an easy 1 km foot path access from a truck pull out off the highway, and to our knowledge it was the only gap in the shallow reef platform fringing the stretch of lower cliffs and which ended up on a sandy beach before the BIG ones start further east.

The swell was relative low that late afternoon, and I estimated I would be able to land in that 1,5 meter narrow gap! Greg was lining up two platic boxes he found on the beach to show me the right line to get in.

There were still some nasty breakers going on the platform to the right and left, and I had to wait for the right time to paddle in! But with good timing and speeding up after a BIG set came, I safely paddled into that narrow gap and grounded my bow on a patch of sand where Greg grabbed my bow and pulled me up the beach.


Text message from Freya via satellite phone:

31.39 129.15, start of the cliffs.  75 km, 4:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. I landed through a narrow gap in the reef, my last chance before the cliff.

7 comments on “Day 294, Saturday, 07.11.2009

dutch clouds

Good luck on your next hard pitch Freya. Hope you don’t need it off course.

Please be very aware of hypothermia or undercooling! By my book the most dangerous opponent for someone with your skill and experience on this next pitch. You wrote you were freezing in the last cliff section, remember. It is something one tends to forget so very very easily if you are snug and warm!


Hi Freya and Greg,

Just a quick note to wish you both well, particularly Freya as she prepares to tackle the last set of cliffs on the “Bight” . We are off to Europe (Switzerland, Austria, Czech and Germany) on the 9th for a month so will follow your progress when we have access to the net. (I’m leaving laptops, phones etc behind). Sightseeing, Food, Christmas markets,outdoor and kayaking gear will take up all my time.

Good luck with the next leg and stay safe.

Adrian and Alison

don cuttlefisher

Hi Freya & Greg
Great to see your progress through the reefs to Middini. I got stuck in the weed waiting for low tide. Got some good photos of you at Scorpion Bight. Good luck in the adventure across the Nullabor Cliffs as I know your courage and strength will always triumph over any adversity.
Don the Cuttlefisherman

Hi Freya,

Hope you are enjoying the paddling. Make the most of it as the traffic in Melbourne is very bad. 15 days in front of Paul, hope you can hold onto those days. Keep up the good work and I will see you out on the water when you hit the Vic coast. I have a few questions to ask you. Until then, stay safe and enjoy…..


Best of luck and fair winds for the cliffs Freya , we are still keeping an eye on your progress from up here ,and well done PHIL

hi freya,so this is yer last set of cliffs i hear.well good, there tough to camp on i hear,yea yer doing good.and heres shot of jameson to ya .and maybe a few more before the sun goes down here in the puget sound-cheers be safe sea ya steve


Hi All

Just in case you didn’t notice, Freya has updated new stuff from Day 275, that’s 2 clicks back to previous pages.

Hope the weather gods are with her on the last set of cliffs!! Remember to take your clothes pegs with rubber band tension adjusters.

Good luck on this next mega section!!!

Oh by the way German is a poor language for swearing, it just doesn’t flow, so it’s easy to get carried away.
When i was in Germany I used to swear in English on the grounds that not many people would understand the actual words, and when I got knocked off my bike by a careless driver I really let rip at the plonker. And out of 100,000 drivers in Kiel, this one had to be from Yorkshire. Whhoooops! But he took it like a man as he should have been more careful. Mind you all I could stammer was that he wasn’t supposed to have understood me….
So I thought I’d better stop this and and get ulcers instead. 🙂

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