Day 80, Tuesday, 07.04.2009

15.05 145.22 Low Wooded Island. 75km, 6:30 am to 5:30 pm. It was squally weather all day, interesting to watch!


I paddled past Cooktown, the last real “town” of the Cape York Peninsula. My course goes directly from headland to headland, from island to island as usual, so no town feeling to say “farewell” to civilisation…Cairns was form me the last town.

Cape Bedford was easy to make out in the distance, and Low Wooded Island showed up late on about 11,2 km. It’s aptly named Low Wooded, as there is no rocky elevation, but at least the usual sand spit on the north western side.


I didn’t know there are island existing with a tall smoking chimney…but after a while, a huge freighter came out of the cover of the island!


I was paddling over the reef this time, it was water enough, and the beach on the reef side was looking good to land on. But it was still scary…


A small reef shark was patrolling around, and several turtles popped up and down again. Some mangroves were growing east to the reef side of the beach, and put all my senses on “warning”! But still no crocs…

But there was an airplane wreck in the shallow water of the reef, and a huge log was washed high up.


I found a nice dry campsite on the coral spit between some trees, a bit blocked from both sides to the water. A fat rope lay around in a square, maybe another camper had made a croc-barrier with it? I felt quite safe in that spot, and was quite tired after 75 km of paddling for that day.


But on texting the usual night’s ok message on my sat-phone to my weather man and trip monitoring contact Karel Vissel in Israel I had to read on the incoming messages that I was supposed to be “lost”, as the last sat-phone message from East Hope Island didn’t arrive and SPOT’s “I’m ok” messages failed three times in a row since East Hope Island…Peter Treby, my Melbourne trip monitoring contact was concerned and called the coast guard to send out messaged to all boats around to have a look for me.


I noticed a trawler passing slowly and close to me at about 3pm, a guy standing on deck all the time, and he sent out the message to the coastguard that I was sighted heading to Low Wooded Island that day, so the worries were already half gone. But we decided I’ll rather give Peter a brief call on the sat-phone with instant feedback on both sides rather than the one-way communication via text message only. How do I know I am supposed to be “lost” when I sent out all messages like usual assuming they arrive as planned? 


1 comment on “Day 80, Tuesday, 07.04.2009


Hi Freya!

As I read the other day you are planning to cross the Gulf of Carpentaria. If you do so don’t underestimate the risk of sleep deprivation. I read a book about some guy going to the North Pole in a balloon. He caught himself outside the balloon ready to jump down and kill himself due to lack of sleep. Dr. Hannes Lindemann who crossed the Atlantic Ocean in a canvas on wood canoe (or a folding boat) and in a dug out canoe reported that he threw items over board he desparetely needed just because they must had ostructed him while sleeping or trying to sleep. I wish you a safe trip and I hope you won’t be bothered by to much sleep deprivation.

Greetings from Germany

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