Day 79, Monday, 06.04.2009

15.43 145.27 East Hope Island. 60km from 6:30am to 4:00pm.  A tiny island to walk around in 10 minutes


Right after launching, I paddled around the sandy spit of Snapper Island to find a happy party of fishermen from a small boat pulled up the shore sitting at picnic table having breakfast. Yesterday I was too tired to say the obvious neighbours hello, I am not sure if they even noticed me pulling into the first campsite before the spit. Another yacht was moored close offshore, but the owners were obviously on board, as the small tied to the side rubber dinghy indicated.


I was paddling past Cape Tribulation, which had some houses hidden in the rainforest and four moored boats in the bay. Some people were on the beach. Still some life on the shores!


Later, the GPS-bearing right into the open sea is mentally hard to keep, although I was betting for myself this low small island was not to be seen before being10 km close. On 12,4 km some little tree peaks eventually showed up. The wind was pushing nicely today, in the afternoon the wind against tide effect creating steep breaking waves wasn’t as bad as yesterday and gave me good speed.


Eventually I was in the wide reef area of the island. It was mid-tide, and the water only knee- to waist-deep. This was too low for me to paddle comfortably over the reef. I’m just scared of hitting something and damaging my lightweight layup-boat. So I gave it a wide berth and approached from the north-western side, which had no reef. And I feel it’s quite scary to paddle over a shallow reef as well, as you can see the bottom, but it’s not really 100% clear what all the colourful shapes are…I saw bright yellow and light blue things, probably corals or fish. No sharks or crocs…


The campsite was obvious to find, a sign on the island indicated the croc habitat…before landing I was not 100% sure about a big piece of wood on the beach…but eventually landing was easy through crystal clear water.


The beach is fully gone on high tide, and the four campsites are in the forest off the water’s edge. I was blocking mine with my boat which I had to pull up high anyway…you never know…

This island was the smallest one I have ever been on. The beach goes around fully on mid- to low tide, but only on the windy southern side there would be a bit of dry sand leftover to camp on on high tide. No sign of any croc…


I followed the path to the dry toilet, nice new building, actually, but a big spider cobweb was blocking the entrance…I didn’t feel like destroying this piece of artwork. Besides, that spider was not one I would like to touch, not even with a stick…so digging my own hole tomorrow morning on the beach…


Things from the trees are dropping on my tent, and strange birds are making quite a noise. I had a look up the tree above me about tree snakes…but only some parasite roots were wrapped around the branches.


But next morning I noticed I had 1000 small tiny ants in my tent, coming through my obviously again not 100% filled gap of the zippers…but they were only around my unwashed cooking pot and my garbage bag. No visitors in my sleeping bag…


2 comments on “Day 79, Monday, 06.04.2009


This is now about a quarter of the way around, and a bit more if crossing the gulf – pretty good going. Well on course to be the fastest round…

Given that Freya is paddling into a very sparsely populated region and there are nasty things about like crocs, etc, would it not be a good idea to switch the SPOT unit onto tracking mode?

The SPOT website says that the unit should operate for 14 days continuously in tracking mode. If she were to switch it off at night, that would give nearly a month of continuous cover while she is moving.

If something were to happen to her, continuous tracking would ensure that rescue services went straight to the correct location. The alternative is – if for whatever reason she can’t make comms, the rescue guys would have to mount a massive search mission to try to find her.

I would argue strongly that SPOT tracking wouldn’t compromise the “unsupported” status of her trip – but it would sure make me feel a whole lot better!

Having followed Freya’s trip day-by-day, I have enormous admiration her strength and determination – and I don’t want her to disappear!

Please Freya! Turn that thing on!

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