I'm addicted to Freya Hoffmeister's blog and follow her day by day as she paddles along the South American coast on her way to Cape Horn and beyond.
Recently she's had a couple of incidents where her kayak has been damaged - she was dumped by the surf onto a beach and then on Monday she came ashore in a gale, and her kayak got flipped and rolled by the wind.
In both cases she's been helped by friendly locals who have driven her to nearby towns where she's had the kayak repaired.
But in both cases she's been unable to get back to the place where she exited the water - so she's "missed" a 10km stretch and a 70km stretch of coastline.
She made up the distance - in the first place by paddling 10km back along the missing stretch and back again (so although she skipped a 20km stretch, she paddled back 10km and then back again making up a total distance of 20km. But there's that 10km stretch that she missed out). Due to the accident and her having to start again from Rio Galagos, she'll be paddling an extra 70km or so that she would have otherwise avoided. So again she'll have made up the distance, but she will have missed out a section of coastline.
Not being a sea kayaker myself, I'm curious to know what others think of this. I have enormous admiration for Freya and cannot conceive of what she's doing - but I think it's a pity that she'll have paddled 24,000km around South America - except for some bits that she's left out.
Will she catch flak when she claims to be the first woman to paddle around South America? Will people say, "yes, but you left out such and such a distance so you didn't really complete the circumnavigation". Or is it accepted practise that you may have to miss a section of coast out if you suffer from equipment failure, etc?
Freya herself is vehement that she's happy with what she's doing - and after all it's her trip so she can do what she likes. But I'm interested to know what other people think of this issue.
In the meantime I'm glued to her blog - she writes it up religiously every day and recently there's been some heart stopping moments. She's in an area where the weather can be savage, the water is extremely cold and there are almost no people. As she heads towards Cape Horn there will be fewer and fewer places she can even come ashore - I've been reading some hair raising accounts of other kayakers (and there aren't many of them) who have paddled down there.