The Expedition Film chosen for Documentary Film Festival

The Expedition film has been chosen for Arclight’s Documentary Festival competition. Please vote for the film with a LIKE on YouTube and we’ll get this thing on the big screen. Many thanks!

Greenwich Meridian Departure – The #Expedition #adventure #travel book excerpt 12

July 12, 1994. The Royal Observatory.Greenwich

White expedition tee shirts fluttering in the breeze, Steve and I stood straddling our bicycles, front tyres resting on a two-inch strip of brass embedded in the ancient cobblestones. Above us, fixed atop a spike like a giant cocktail cherry, a large crimson ball would drop at precisely 13:00 hours, as it first had in 1883 for ships on the River Thames to set their chronometers by. Our great journey was about to begin.

My heart drummed faster and faster as the seconds counted down. It was a tremendous moment, made even more so by the history surrounding us.

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Eve of Departure – The #Expedition #adventure #travel book excerpt 11

A departure date of July 12 was set in stone. Kenny still didn’t have his own camera, though. Repeated requests to the BBC and other UK broadcasters for even a loaner had drawn a blank, and we certainly couldn’t afford one. What was the use in having a cinematographer along if he didn’t have a camera? Out of options, Fingers from the squat staged an insurance job: renting a camera from a hire centre in Milton Keynes, having one of his cronies slip off the train with it en route back to Euston, then reporting it stolen.

The Guildford Street Gang threw a squat party to raise money for the cost of transporting Moksha to Portugal. Martin had volunteered to drive a van loaned by the international courier company DHL, towing a trailer borrowed from the metropolitan police Heavy Boats Section – the upshot of a serendipitous referral from the now friendly booking sergeant at Plaistow Police Station.

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Dark Waters ebook launched in North America

Marking time in the event of electrical failure

Dark Waters, chronicling the first human-powered circumnavigation of the Earth, now available for download in US & Canada on the following devices and platforms:

Amazon Kindle

Barnes & Noble Nook

Apple iTunes

Google Play

Kobo

Includes 26 color photographs, high resolution maps and blowup plans of Moksha, the pedal-powered boat that crossed the Atlantic and Pacific.

Last Sight of Land – Atlantic Departure

Fundraising Casualties – the expedition #adventure #travel book excerpt 10

The London Boat Show, January 1994

Our planned departure date of May 1 came and went. Every day we postponed for lack of sponsorship was one less day to bike to Vladivostok in easternmost Russia, and launch Moksha before the Northern Hemisphere winter set in. Not thrilled about the prospect of freezing to death in Siberia, we decided to fix a cut-off date. If a title sponsor hadn’t stepped up to the plate by June 1, we would either postpone until the following spring, or abandon the effort entirely. While the latter seemed almost unthinkable after the thousands of man-hours already invested, the former posed an equally dismal prospect: another soul-destroying year surviving on social security handouts and living in derelict housing.

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The Expedition book, Dark Waters, Launched in US and Canada!

Very proud to announce North American print publication of Dark Waters, first in The Expedition trilogy chronicling the first human-powered circumnavigation of the Earth.

Dark Waters (The Expedition trilogy, book one)

Discounted to $11.50 in the US on Amazon. Also available on BN.com or signed copies direct from the publisher.

Indigo is carrying it in Canada for $12.96 CAN.

Ebook version out very soon.

DESCRIPTION: He survived a terrifying crocodile attack off Australia’s Queensland coast, blood poisoning in the middle of the Pacific, malaria in Indonesia and China, and acute mountain sickness in the Himalayas. He was hit by a car and left for dead with two broken legs in Colorado, and incarcerated for espionage on the Sudan-Egypt border.

The first in a thrilling adventure trilogy, Dark Waters charts one of the longest, most gruelling, yet uplifting and at times irreverently funny journeys in history, circling the world using just the power of the human body, hailed by the London Sunday Times as “The last great first for circumnavigation.”

But it was more than just a physical challenge. Prompted by what scientists have dubbed the “perfect storm” as the global population soars to 8.3 billion by 2030, adventurer Jason Lewis used The Expedition to reach out to thousands of schoolchildren, calling attention to our interconnectedness and shared responsibility of an inhabitable Earth for future generations.

THANKS: Including the circumnavigation itself, the expedition project is now 20 years in the making. Thousands of people have contributed in myriad ways to make it happen.  Special thanks for bringing this story to the written page go to Kenny Brown (photos), Tammie Stevens (editor), Rob Antonishen (maps), and Anthony DiMatteo (editing). Thanks also to all who read and gave feedback to early drafts.

Sea Trials Farce – the expedition #adventure #travel book excerpt 9

Leaving Salcombe marina for three days of “sea trials”

The following afternoon we re-launched Moksha into Salcombe harbour, loaded her with three days of provisions, and headed for the open sea – centreboard firmly in place this time.

For Steve, this was to be his first night at sea, ever. He had more experience of overland travel having ridden a bicycle more than a mile since leaving school. I had more experience of boats having actually been in one.

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Pedal Sub Sunk! – the expedition #adventure #travel book excerpt 8

Moksha capsize drill in Exeter canal basin

By mid-April, Moksha was ready for a proper sea-trial. First, however, we needed to make sure she would automatically self-right in the event she capsized. Before taking her down to Salcombe, we took advantage of the hand-operated crane at the museum to flip her over in the River Exe. After an initial unmanned test roll, Kenny­ and I clambered inside the cabin and buckled up using seat belts reclaimed from the Ballistic Cleaning van. Kenny had borrowed a camera to film. Steve and Chris operated the crane.

As she tilted to ninety degrees, water began spewing in around the sliding hatch. My head was resting on the plywood roof, hair swimming in a rising pool of water. Continue reading

Enter the Guildford Street Gang – the expedition #adventure #travel book excerpt 7

The expedition’s UK patron, HRH The Duke of Gloucester, christens Moksha prior to the River Thames launch. 1994.

As well as fallings-out, another feature of being continually broke planning an expedition was the need to learn a staggering array of new skills we couldn’t afford to pay anyone else to do. This meant learning how to use a computer, no mean feat back in the days of MS DOS, writing proposals, press releases, public speaking, public relations, drawing up budgets (ever-hopefully), pitching to potential sponsors, applying for visas, researching route options, first aid training…
One thing beyond us, however, was how to film it. After two early camera operators fell by the wayside, a magical solution transpired from north of the border in the form of Kenny Brown, a native Glaswegian and budding documentary filmmaker. We met for a show-and-tell one March evening at the Chandos pub, north of Trafalgar Square. Steve and I couldn’t understand a word Kenny said. The thick Scottish brogue firing off at a thousand words a minute proved utterly unfathomable:
Soonds loch an amazin’ adventure yetois haegot gonnae thur.” [1]
“Uh, I’m sorry?”
So when daeyetois think yoo’ll beheadin’ aff ‘en?[2]
“Eh? What was that again?” Continue reading