When Sarah left London in April, Spring was advanced and although the weather has not always been perfect, it has been mainly summertime. Not so now…
She HAS to get across the Soya Strait (or Strait of La Pérouse) from Sakhalin Island, Russia’s largest island at 948 kms long, to Japan before the sea freezes over. It is now a battle to beat the oncoming march of Winter.
Despite the odds she completed a marathon 21-hour, 266km cycle to the town of Yuzhno on Friday morning where she had a sublime 48-hour rest before taking the trusty Hercules back on the road. Although battle weary she is always determined, optimistic and irrepressibly buoyant. “The funny thing is that I know that as soon as I get back on the bike I will be happy to be there, the adrenaline and excitement for the next leg building. The last couple of weeks has been a bit stressful with all the changes in my routines, exhaustion and various pressures, but I am ready now and feel much more in control of it all.”
Today she is introducing her kayak to the snow for the first time. She is still kayaking down the coast of Sakhalin enjoying the sights:
“Japan itself is not very far far away now and at the same time very far away. We are being stamped out of Russia in a few hours and will be dropped off at sea in the early hours of tomorrow morning, first intersecting the path which we paddled yesterday, so as to complete my planetary loop,” she blogged today.
If you look at a map, the distance between the Russian Island and the Japanese one looks small. It is, at its narrowest part, 27 miles or 43 kms wide, but it is noted for its extremely strong currents and is closed by ice in the winter. It takes a passenger ferry 5.5 hours to make the crossing. For Sarah it is going to be a long paddle in a 5-metre kayak.
“Super happy2 be back on the water. Pretty coast.Waterfalls, few fishing huts. Pacific wide open stage left…” she twittered.
She leaves at first light on Friday morning and expects the paddle to take at least ten hours. She is “excited, nervous and in the zone. Next shout, Japan…” The latest twitter, about an hour ago, tells us more about what the crossing is going to be like: “Weather looking gd for 2mw. N winds, not 2 strong, seas < 1m. Soya current will be most testing aspect, pulling us away from Japanese coast.”
The next time we hear from her on this site she will be on dry land in Japan. Way to go Sarah… we salute you.