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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 on my own and unsupported round Australia—a year-long event that just about 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 swifter than the one different paddler who did it.
As journalist and professional 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 following. in any case, he says, “her vainness and pigheadedness paled subsequent to her approximately superhuman skill to grasp worry and persevere.”

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Perth is a urban of one. 6 million—Bill Bryson calls Australia’s capital “far and away the main distant colossal urban on earth”—and to a person who were slumbering on abandoned shores and consuming salt spray for the earlier weeks, this reception felt useful of a Hollywood celebrity. Freya loved a three-day holiday in Perth at Terry Bolland’s condo. however the day she left a “bloody head wind” once more lowered growth to a move slowly. She averaged a “stupid” 2. 1 mph and landed after a “ridiculous” 10 miles in 5 hours. “A guy at the seashore strolling his puppy was once swifter than i used to be [going] that day,” she acknowledged, “really embarrassing and tense. ” On paper, the 130-mile stretch from Perth to Cape Leeuwin and the beginning of the Southern Ocean must have been tender crusing. in reality, it used to be extra like hand-to-hand strive against. The day after she handed element Peron, a yacht was once smashed to items there and the skipper rescued via helicopter in 40-knot winds. As she headed towards Hamelin Bay, a infamous graveyard for ships 18 miles north of Cape Leeuwin, the Indian Ocean gave her a final glimpse of its strength. round noon, the sky darkened, a northwest wind whipped the ocean white, and buckets of rain water made it most unlikely to work out the impending swells over her correct shoulder. “I couldn’t see the breakers,” she stated, “so I needed to think and listen to them. ” The wind used to be so robust she tucked ahead in order to not be blown over. She wasn’t tippy, nor used to be she seasick, yet she used to be keenly conscious that if she received into difficulty there wouldn’t be any aid every time quickly. “Hang in there, Freya,” she repeated, because the sky grew to become black as ink, “hang in there . . . it can’t final perpetually. ” whilst the worst of the rain subsided, she may well not less than see the swells overtaking her, emerging and falling like an incredible caterpillar at the stream and passing with a thunderous whoosh. “Hang in there Freya, cling in there, it’s nearly over,” she repeated. yet because the day wore on, the swells in basic terms appeared greater, quicker, extra strong. Or, she questioned, used to be she simply turning into weaker? She responded her personal query: “No manner, now not me! i used to be filled with power and feeling now not too undesirable. ” She switched to a brand new mantra—“Full focus and gear. complete focus and tool. . . . ” without warning, the 40-foot faces that Oscar had defined in Hawaii seemed for actual. “Just enormous partitions of water piling up on my aspect, with an occasional freak wave which almost made my jaw drop. ” retaining her breath because it approached, she wasn’t certain what might occur subsequent. “Was it breaking? now not breaking? Breaking prior to me? in the back of me? along with me? ” occasionally she waited and watched; occasionally “I needed to spring to get prior to the roaring foamy water. ” occasionally she bought smashed at the broadside “but I constantly leaned solidly into them and stayed upright. ” Ten hours and forty miles later, she reached the security of Hamelin Bay. “I nearly capsized with regards to the beach—how ridiculous! —but finally i used to be status excessive and dry at the seashore, thanking the water and climate gods that they acquired me effectively via that fascinating day.

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