I’ll stay in close contact with local fishermen for the weather, and will do frequent phone calls to locals like my lovely Nelson hosts Bevan Walker and Nora Flight, Paul Caffyn and Pete Notman. All of them will help with little bits and pieces of informations to get the best idea of what to expect.
My communication way will be like I’ll send a brief position and condition report via Satellite phone to Karel every night and every morning to get the updated message on the just switched on Sat-phone in easy and fast (if you send a message the "waiting in the orbit" message comes in instantly, otherwise you have to wait for maybe long time…).
To save money and typing time, Karel is so nice to forward this message via e-mail to "1st hand" interested people like my family, local contacts and Greg, who is putting it on my blog and updating the trip map.
I’ll update my own messages and add more informations next time I’ll have computer access then, to give you all a better idea about what’s it like here!
So it’s worth checking previous postings which might be updatedby me then!
My saftey gear for a solo trip includes all availabe gadgets in these days, like epirb, VHF, Sat-phone, GPS map, mobile phones (German and NZ-Sim-cards), flares, smoke, strobe-light, flashlight, spare Reed hatch covers and underwater repair tape handy in the cockpit, helmet, spare paddles, paddle leash…and I felt comfi starting the trip in my Kokatat drysuit, as waters and temperatures are still chilly and conditions change easy. I might change to shorts, Kokatat Tec Tour jacket or Reed short sleeve cag sooner or later, we’ll see.Kokatat Ronin PFD off to enjoy some (frequent…) "freedom paddling feeling", but to which my epirb, VHF and camera are attached (actually pretty heavy stuff…) – it sits on my spraydeck on paddling but it is clipped to it’s loop, so just in case, it’s still attached to my body…NDK-Explorer I used on my Iceland trip, as Nigel did his best to finish and ship me the brandnew Explorer he made for me, but it arrived just one day before I left, too late for me to outfit and wrap it the last day… 🙁
And – if I might take my new
I’m paddling my 3-pieces
So I can wear this one out completely, and a brandnew one is waiting for me at home…and, just in case I’ll break the old one on my trip here, I’m looking for someone willing to fly my new one over from Germany – any volunteers?? :-))
Received 10/24/2007 from Freya: (updated online by Freya 27.10.07)
I did my food shopping in the morning, packing everything in little ziplock bags, and was worried if thing will all fit in my kayak…ready to go when Bevan’s finished work. After a week’s waiting I was eager to start!
Bevan dropped me at Croisilles harbour at 19.30 hr. Packing in record time while Bevan enjoyed his deserved dinner, just two little bags didn’t fit where they should…I just stuffed them into the cockpit…
Just to get going again, I decided to do a 45 min strong headwind warmup-test-paddle, on which Bevan joined me in his (unloaded…) Nordkapp the first 30 min.
Then I was on my own!
I fighted a bit into the headwind to feel my shoulder and body working again, but I already turned back to cross the bay to a lovely landspit camp. Not much daylight left (different to Iceland!), and I felt the heavy weight of the kayak and my untrained body…I actually was only workinh the last weeks (months…) and didn’t paddle at all since Iceland besides some days on the Isle of Man symposium.
I put up my new Hilleberg Allak tent in darkness, still a bit confused about which corner belonged to which side, but I’m sure I’ll learn quick. 🙂
It got shaken already to the ground on the first night in strong catabatic winds coming down the mountains from just about everywhere! But this time no support from inside with split paddles was needed, it stood solid and strong. I think it was a good choice! Thanks Hilleberg!
I fell into my sleeping bag pretty tired from the day, not even having the desire to cook, write or to do a proper teethbrush…
My "official" start will be from that campsite tomorrow!
Recieved 10/24/2007 from Freya: (updated online by Freya 27.10.07)
S40.56 E173.50 On official campsite at French Pass. I had good, but strong gusty SW 5 all day.
Through French Pass the strong tidal race stream was still up at 1.5 hr before high tide, but I got through with no problems.
Just keep off the main stream and sneek close to the rocks on the right!
I watched a big motoryacht going upstream a bit first, then ferryglided across to the other side like we would have done it with our kayaks, too, but this fat boat got washed!! It seemed not to have much control…but eventually reached safely the othere side. This *IS* a treacherous place!
I paddled only 30km/ 4hrs today, now allowing myself a bit time to do some gear and body check 🙂
Received 10/25/2007 from Freya: (updated online 27.10.07 by Freya)
A very stormy night with strongest catabatic winds again! I left a pile of gear with Dale and Chris Jenkins, thanks for dropping it at Bevan’s in Nelson! Just good to travel a bit lighter… 🙂 My muscles were not too sore after the first day, feeling just good!
I sealed my dayhatch & bulkhead behind the seat, thanks Dale for getting me some sealant!
It looks like a sunny but windy day! Started paddling 7.40 am.
If you have questions or comments for Freya, please post them and she will respond as able on her trip. Knowing that people are following your trip and rooting for you does make a difference!