While Kayaking Around North America, Freya Hoffmeister Stops By Kodiak

Freya Hoffmeister

Mitch Borden/KMXT

A German kayaker stopped in Kodiak after paddling her way up from Seattle. This is just one stop of many on her way around North America.


Freya Hoffmeister seems like she enjoys a good challenge. She’s 53 and has been kayaking for 21 years. Her accomplishments include circumnavigating two continents and she’s currently working on her third. North America, because:

“I couldn’t find a smaller continent after South America and Australia”

According to Canoe and Kayak magazine, She’s was the first person to ever kayak around South America and the 2nd to finish the Australian loop. When she completes this voyage, Hoffmeister says she’ll be the first person to conquer North America, but that won’t happen for a while. She believes it’ll take her 8 to 10 years to finish. Even though Hoffmeister’s kayaked all around the world, this trip has already presented her with some things she’s never faced before.

Hoffmeister: “What was new for me was obviously dealing with bears. I’ve never paddled with bears. Quite happy with the situations of the brown and black ones. And they’re nice to me, I’m nice to them. I’ve met a bunch, but no close encounters.”

Borden: “How many bears have you seen?”

Hoffmeister: “Oh, I couldn’t count them actually. 15, 16, or 20 even. On land it was four or five and the rest were from the water.”

But only one of those bears were in the Kodiak archipelago.

Instead of continuing North from Kodiak, Hoffmeister is going to fly down to Seattle and begin the Southern leg of her journey. She’s splitting her trip into two parts. One will take her through the Northwest Passage and the other, through the Panama Canal.

Hoffmeister is making sure to take plenty of breaks on her way around North America. She says, she’ll try to spend half the year on the water and half the year at home in Germany. There she owns two ice cream shops and a Christmas decoration store.

Hoffmeister is drawn to kayaking because she has what it takes to do it, and it lets her bring amenities other extreme sports wouldn’t.

“I’m not really a low weight, ultra light person. I like to have my comfortable tent and also like to carry a bottle of nail polish. Some convenient things. And I like it because not everyone can do it. Hiking can be done by mostly everybody and biking also mostly. Kayaking is a bit more skills.”

Hoffmeister plans on returning to Kodiak next year to continue the Northern part of her trip. She’s looking forward to being able to spend a little more time here in the future, since she only got to stay in Kodiak for a few days this time around.

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