Australian kayaker Sandy Robson departed Singapore on Sunday to continue kayaking through Indonesia and Papua New Guinea as she continues her solo journey from Germany all the way to Australia.
47-year-old Ms Robson started her five-year journey in 2011 when she set off from Germany, retracing the seven-year voyage German canoeist Oskar Speck took in the 1930’s.
Over four stages and almost four years Ms Robson has paddled over 12,300 kilometres through Europe, Greece, India, Sri Lanka, Bengal and Singapore.
During her amazing trip Ms Robson has faced menacing storms, paddled for hundred of kilometres with no place to rest, and even braved an unexpected attack from Indian fishermen.
She is expected to reach the tip of Australia in late 2016 after spending around six or seven months paddling through the islands of Indonesia and finally circumnavigating Papua New Guinea.
While her hero Speck paddled 50,000 kilometres, Ms Robson thinks she would have travelled around 22,000 kilometers when she finally reaches Australian soil.
She said she only paddles around a kilometre from shore however at some stages she does need to travel further out into the open ocean.
Although Ms Robson wanted to follow the exact track Mr Speck did, she was forced to alter her route to avoid war zones in the Middle East and other countries that would not permit her to pass through.
Ms Robson said the hardest part of her journey is having to deal with the ‘beurocracy and paper work' required to cross international borders.
It is because of these difficulties she was unable to travel to Iran, Pakistan and some parts of India and Myanmar.
In what must seem like a previous life, Ms Robson worked as an outdoor education instructor which is where she was introduced to kayaking back in 1999. She slowly honed her advanced kayaking skills, becoming an instructor after working with her mentor, Les Allen.
After deciding she wanted to kayak around the Australian mainland in 2004, Ms Robson faced a devastating set back.
She injured her left hip and required a hip replacement which would see her complete hours of rehabilitation before she was fit to be back in the water.
In 2007, she overcame all expectations when she paddled over 6,000km of the Australian coastline.
It was after this achievement Ms Robson set her sights on bigger and better open-ocean expeditions. During her epic kayak journey, Ms Robson became a world record holder as the first person to circumnavigate Sri Lanka by kayak. She was also the first woman to kayak the coast of India and Bangladesh.
Ms Robson said she tried to cover at least 40 kilometers a day in her five-metre-long kayak. At any given time she is lugging around 100 kilograms gear with her which is made up of food, water, camping gear, first aid equipment and clothing.
After an eight hour day of paddling Ms Robson said she most often sleeps in a tent on the beach, however sometimes she is hosted by local families.
When she arrived in Singapore, Ms Robson spent 10 days preparing permits, making repairs and organising travel routes for her expedition around Indonesia.
The trip from Singapore to Indonesia surprisingly will only take her about six hours however she plans on spending at least six months there, padding from island to island.
On her website Ms Robson said she is completing the arduous journey now, as she may not have been physically fit enough if she waited until retirement.
‘If I have a dream I think I should do it now. I don’t see the point in working til I am 60 and then retiring. I potentially can't do this at 60 so I am taking some of my retirement now.’
Ms Robson said one day she hopes to write the book about her ambitious journey, the book she said Oskar Speck never got to write.
Ms Robson, who has been able to continue her voyage with the help of generous sponsors, has kept a detailed record of her journey which she publishes on her blog- Sea Kayaker Sandy.
Ms Robson is expected to reach the tip of Australia and complete her five year expedition by September 2016. (Bron: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/)
Sandy Robson heeft een eigen blog en een eigen website :