Walking Wounded, paddles the Bass Straight Unsupported.

Canoe Marathon / General / Ocean Racing / Recreational Paddling / Aug 17, 2015

Brian Freeman has walked from the northernmost point of the Australian continent to Wilsons Promontory in Victoria, where he was joined by John Jacoby to paddle the Bass Straight, to enable Brian to continue the journey from Musselroe Bay Tasmania to the southern point of Tasmania.

41 poppies in Cape York

41 poppies in Cape York

“We laid 41 poppies in Cape York, and we’ll lay another 41 at the South East Cape of Tasmania. Forty-one poppies will be laid at South East Cape on 22 August, which is the anniversary of Private Matthew Lambert (his mother and father will both be joining Brian in Tasmania for the day),” Brian Freeman.

Adventurer and army veteran, Brian has been tracking south over the past 65days, completing 65km’s per day, before being joined by John, four times World Marathon Kayaking Champion and six times Australian Kayaking Champion (10k to 42k), to complete the epic unsupported paddle of 270kms.

On the first day, Brian and John covered 95.3kms; 78.18kms on the second day; and 93.27kms on the third day. All in all 60 hours at approximately 4.5kms an hour.

The pair set off on Friday 7 August, 2015 at around 8:30 am are pleased to have made it to the mainland of Tasmania, in what they believe to be the second fastest attempt on record completed unsupported in exactly 60 hours with the guys arriving late in the evening on 10 August, 2015.

The epic adventure has never been completed before using only human power. Brian said the time of year to cross wasn’t ideal, but they had a very small weather window to perform the crossing which made it very hard.

John at camp

 

“August is not the month you should be kayaking Bass Strait – March is most ideal. But we had to do this off the back of the Everest trip and the Traverse schedule. It was hard. We did it unsupported without any safety boats; on our own. There were certainly some hairy moments. We saw one shark about 5km out from Tasmania, a few seals but not a single fishing boat so there were definitely times the isolation was very paramount,” Brian said.

 

 “The scariest part was when the kayaks were submerged when we were hit by two to three meter swells, which came right over us up to our necks. Keeping the kayaks up right after being hammered with freezing cold water was pretty scary and challenging,” Brian said.

Arriving into Musselroe Bay, Tasmania

Arriving into Musselroe Bay, Tasmania

 

Brian and John, kayaked Bass Strait together previously, and also kayaked from Australia to New Guinea before running Kokoda in under six days.

John said, “this crossing was the hardest and coldest he’s done, with massive swells. We feel good despite pins and needles in our fingertips; blisters on hands, sore lower back and shoulders,” Brian added.

But there was no rest planned for Brian, as before daybreak of the morning he set off on foot again aiming to complete 65kms of walking as he commenced the walk across Tasmania.

Brian reaches NSW - Support team

Brian reaches NSW – Support team

 

 

 

The kayak is part of the Great Australian Traverse of WalkingWounded, supported by Virgin Australia, which aims to raise awareness and funds to help wounded ex-soldiers and Families of the Fallen.

The Traverse has seen Brian and his support team of wounded soldiers and parents of fallen soldiers pass through 89 of Australia’s towns and cities, mostly in regional areas, and now will take them across Tasmania. They expect to finish 22 August in Dover, with the aim of raising over $2 million on the journey.

Speaking at St Helens, Tasmania

Speaking at St Helens, Tasmania

 

 

“We understand it will be the first ever north to south traverse of Australia using only human power.

Brian will be joined by family members of fallen soldiers from 14 August, 2015.

To find out more or donate please click here; http://trackthetribute.org.au/

 

Article courtesy of Sara Barker, Basis group.