Peter Freeman (1952 – ) grew up in the fishing village of Noosa Heads, south of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.
In 1976 he accompanied Max Dorfligger, a Swiss carpenter, shipwright, and mountaineer on a voyage across the Tasman Sea to New Zealand aboard Sunshine, the 32-foot sloop Dorfligger had built. The experience inspired Freeman to build his own 32-foot sloop, Laiviņa, In 1981 he sailed her from New Zealand to Australia, and then on to Victoria, British Columbia.
In 1984, Freeman set sail aboard Laiviņa from Victoria’s Inner Harbour on a solo, non-stop circumnavigation years before the introduction of GPS navigation.
En route Freeman was forced to rebuild Laiviņa’s self-steering rudder, repair torn sails, and repair various broken gear. While sailing as close to the Antarctic ice as possible, he weathered a severe lightning storm, and both snow and hailstorms. Later, during a violent storm near île Kerguélen in the South Indian Ocean, Laiviņa capsized. Freeman, tied to the pushpit rail, could do nothing but hold his breath as he waited his Laiviņa to right herself.
Along the New Zealand coastline, he joined in a race, taking line honours for the Overseas Entry Class prior to crossing the Pacific. Upon arriving back in Victoria, Freeman was informed he had set a new world record for his circumnavigation with a time of 236 days.
Freeman lives on Salt Spring Island where he writes nonfiction and fiction, screen and stage plays, short stories, magazine articles, and poetry.
Freeman’s account of his record-breaking journey, Cape Horn Birthday, is available at