Fearless: One Woman, One Kayak, One Continent

Fearless: One Woman, One Kayak, One Continent

Joe Glickman

Language: English

Pages: 224

ISBN: 0762772875

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Like the instant classic The Last American Man, Fearless is the story of a remarkable individual who accepts no personal limits—including fear. Freya Hoffmeister, a forty-six-year-old former sky diver, gymnast, marksman, and Miss Germany contestant, left her twelve-year-old son behind to paddle alone and unsupported around Australia—a year-long adventure that virtually every expert guaranteed would get her killed. She planned not only to survive the 9,420-mile trip through huge, shark-infested seas, but to do it faster than the only other paddler who did it.
As journalist and expert kayaker Joe Glickman details the voyage of this Teutonic force of nature, he captures interminable days on the water and nights camped out on deserted islands; hair-raising encounters with crocs and great white sharks; and the daring 300-mile open-ocean crossing that shaved three weeks off her trip. For 332 days Glickman followed Freya’s journey on her blog—along with a far-flung audience of awestruck, even lovesick, groupies—as she took on one terrifying ordeal after the next. In the end, he says, “her vanity and pigheadedness paled next to her nearly superhuman ability to master fear and persevere.”

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kayaker: “You should have seen Andrew McAuley’s back after his five-day Gulf crossing. He was on antibiotics for a week.” DAY 15: SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 1 Keeping Australia on her left, Freya crossed the border between Victoria and New South Wales, two of Australia’s six states, and headed north along Nadgee National Park. She saw her first sharks off of Green Cape. How did she feel about that? As long as they weren’t great whites—and these were not—it was OK by her. In fact, she welcomed all

championship of ocean racing,” I explained. “It’s the roughest surf ski race out there.” Maybe it was my choice of words, but Freya immediately asked, “What is the date?” and pulled out her smartphone. But it turned out that on the day of the race she was scheduled to be a guest instructor at a sea kayak symposium in Italy. Lucky you, I thought. Navigating the Molokai channel can take the world’s best paddlers four hours. As the South Pacific, after rolling uninterrupted for thousands of miles,

enough ripples as an explorer, naturalist, and writer that Jonathan Swift (Gulliver’s Travels), Daniel Defoe (Robinson Crusoe), and Samuel Taylor Coleridge (The Rime of the Ancient Mariner) used him as a literary muse. CHAPTER TEN The Man in the Grey Suit Falling coconuts kill 150 people worldwide each year, fifteen times the number of fatalities attributable to sharks. —GEORGE BURGESS, DIRECTOR OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA'S INTERNATIONAL SHARK ATTACK FILE LOCATED HALFWAY

three centuries was an aquatic superhighway for trade ships sailing from Europe to the East Indies and Australia. These days it’s used by yachtsmen on round-the-world voyages and in competitions. ********* When Freya read this section of the book, she was furious, calling it a “waste of space” and “embarrassing.” “It simply doesn’t belong in my book,” she insisted. To state the obvious, we disagreed. And still do. CHAPTER TWELVE Head Down, Teeth Clenched People who are unable to

the wind had picked up and the pass was closing out, so she resigned herself to a day ashore with no Internet connection. It wasn’t a pleasant spot. Sand as fine as flour caked the wet clothes she had hung to dry, penetrated her tent, and found its way inside her sleeping bag. With nothing to do, she took a walk down the beach to kill time, picking her way around garbage that had apparently spilled from the dilapidated trailers along the dunes. Then the sky darkened and rain fell in sheets. She

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