June 8, 2013. BillyFish Books wins best first book (nonfiction) for The Expedition, Dark Waters: True Story of the First Human-Powered Circumnavigation of the Earth, presented by Howard Fisher at the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) gala in New York last week.
May 6, 2013. BillyFish Books editor Tammie Stevens and I are delighted to announce that Dark Waters, first in The Expedition trilogy chronicling the first human-powered circumnavigation of the Earth, has won the First Horizon Award for the current Eric Hoffer Award season.
After some distribution hiccups, I’m thrilled to announce UK and worldwide publication of Dark Waters, first in The Expedition trilogy chronicling the first human-powered circumnavigation of the Earth.
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.
The second book in the series, The Seed Buried Deep, will be available soon. Apologies for the delay in publication.
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).
“Jason Lewis was 26, broke and cleaning windows when he and a college friend decided to embark on an adventure around the world using only human power…”
Click here for the BBC featurette.
If you’d like to see the feature length film (an epic feat of endurance itself over many, many years by director/producer Kenny Brown) finally come to fruition, please visit our Indiegogo campaign to help raise the finishing funds. Lots of goodies up for grabs, including private edition copies of the DVD, signed books and photographs, private movie screenings, Associate Producer credits and more!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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