Fearless: One Woman, One Kayak, One Continent

By Joe Glickman

Like the moment vintage The final American guy, Fearless is the tale of a striking person who accepts no own limits—including worry. Freya Hoffmeister, a forty-six-year-old former sky diver, gymnast, marksman, and pass over Germany contestant, left her twelve-year-old son at the back of to paddle by myself and unsupported round Australia—a year-long experience that almost each professional assured may get her killed. She deliberate not just to outlive the 9,420-mile journey via large, shark-infested seas, yet to do it speedier than the one different paddler who did it.
As journalist and specialist kayaker Joe Glickman info the voyage of this Teutonic strength of nature, he captures interminable days at the water and nights camped out on abandoned islands; hair-raising encounters with crocs and nice white sharks; and the bold 300-mile open-ocean crossing that shaved 3 weeks off her journey. For 332 days Glickman Freya’s trip on her blog—along with a far-flung viewers of awestruck, even lovesick, groupies—as she took on one terrifying ordeal after the subsequent. after all, he says, “her vainness and pigheadedness paled subsequent to her approximately superhuman skill to grasp worry and persevere.”

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You’ve by no means been in such violent conditions,” he stated. “I have, in New Zealand. ” “That is bullshit! ” Oscar barked. “These have been 50-foot faces! ” “Impossible, Oscar,” she spoke back. “You’re exaggerating. otherwise you don’t know the way to degree. That’s a typical challenge with males, in particular after they discuss their very own apparatus! ” It used to be really sturdy theater, specifically in the event you have been keen on The Sopranos. Freya and Oscar have been reduce from an identical fabric. either are tall, big-boned, strong figures of their mid-forties—alpha varieties, with polarizing personalities, who could some distance fairly exhibit an opinion than ask for one. And neither gave a shit approximately offending the opposite. One key distinction, despite the fact that, is that Oscar decorated each aspect of his lifestyles, while Freya similar her adventures with out ever utilizing an adjective (other than sexy). not anything was once ever wild, frightening, or excessive; not anything of outcome ever became out except how it used to be intended to be. in brief, not anything fazed her. whereas she can have been much less colourful than Oscar, she was once ninety eight percentage extra trustworthy. On her past expeditions, Freya used a vintage British-style boat preferred via so much day trip sea kayakers. Oscar all started development boats prior to he hit puberty. To him, the vintage upturned bow and stern designed via the Inuit was once “absolutely dead” for long-distance touring—like riding a version T around the kingdom. “Use that boat to your Australia trip,” he instructed her in the course of their first assembly, “and it's going to take you two times as lengthy. ” The Epic model used to be firmly entrenched with the racing crowd, yet had struggled to make inroads with the ocean kayaking crowd. Freya beloved Epic, beloved Greg Barton, and even perhaps well-known a kindred can-do spirit in Oscar. Her greatest difficulty was once whether or not they may adjust their construction kayak to the necessities she deemed crucial for any such punishing trip. Their fundamental trouble was once simpler: could she dwell lengthy adequate to assist promote their boats? Her day-by-day pow-wows with Oscar have been half sparring fit, half audition. This lunch used to be no diversified. whereas Freya had record-setting expeditions on her resume to Oscar’s none, that didn’t cease him from telling her what apparatus she should still take and what she may have the funds for to depart behind—advice she stated she meant to disregard. (“Of direction i need to take a computer. this isn't a caveman excursion. ”) but if she grew to become the dialog to transformations to the boat, he was once simply as dismissive. She acknowledged she wanted a retractable skeg. Oscar used to be outraged. “Why may you agree the integrity of the boat with a dead function like that? ” he stated. “For while I release off the seashore backwards,” she stated. He recoiled as though he’d gulped curdled cream. “That’s the stupidest factor I’ve heard in my life,” he stated, and graphically defined what may ensue if she attempted this kind of maneuver in tremendous, dumping surf: The boat will be lowered to rubble, she might holiday her neck, or either. (You might nearly imagine he had attempted it as soon as himself. ) while he took a choice on his mobile phone, she became to me and, slightly reducing her voice, referred to as him a “big pampered boy in a bit gentle boat who wouldn’t final every week in a self-supported excursion.

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