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In One Ear: Never start stopping

Paddler Freya Hoffmeister crosses the Columbia River bar
By Elleda Wilson

The Daily Astorian

Published on September 8, 2017 12:01AM

Open-ocean paddler and National Geographic “Adventurer of the Year,” Freya Hoffmeister (aka the Goddess of Love to the Seas), with little ado and no local fanfare, paddled her kayak across the Columbia River bar on Aug. 23. She is pictured in a photo by Chris Cunningham.

The bar passage was part of her 30,000-mile expedition around North America, “Never Start Stopping – Never Stop Starting,” which she is doing in three- to five-month blocks. This 151-day leg of the journey was from Seattle to Kodiak, Alaska, then Seattle to Pacific City, and ended Aug. 27.

“I was able to time the crossing of the mighty Columbia River mouth perfectly, and had no big issues,” she noted in a blog post ( “When I was nearing the South Jetty, I knew there was some submerged remainders of an older jetty at the end. A big piece was still visible, where a sea lion colony found a new home. Between that ‘island’ and the new head, here and there I saw a few rocks, but I still dared to cross right over in some lumpy water with strong current. I could avoid the rocks, but also couldn’t take a picture of the sea lions (while) steering carefully. … But I was quickly across, and safe! Yeah!”

“I’ll be continuing next March going south first for about three months,” she noted, “the north again for another three months. New inquiries for potential paddling partners are now very welcome!”


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