Dark Waters finalist for ForeWord Reviews 2012 Book of the Year Awards

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March 11, 2013—ForeWord Reviews is pleased to announce the finalists for the 2012 Book of the Year Awards. The finalists were selected from 1300 entries covering 62 categories of books from independent and academic presses. These books represent some of the best books produced by small publishing houses in 2012. For a full list of the finalists, searchable by genre, visit:botya.forewordreviews.com/finalists/2012/. Continue reading

Outside Magazine Q&A

It’s not often the media allows you to scratch below the surface of an expedition. Normally they just want the facts, best and worst moments, quarrels between team members – the usual tabloid drama. This time I got to delve a little deeper, revealing, amongst other things, regret for not valuing time with my late father. He tried introducing me to the wilderness, but as an immature teenager with authority issues I didn’t care.

My loss. My Perfect Adventure >>

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BBC News – The Expedition feature goes live

“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!

The Expedition Book 2 – The Tao of Porridge

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August 5. Wind: SE 15-20 knots. Heading: 170M. Position: 13°09’44”S
 151°32’82”E

“What’ve you eaten in the last twenty-four hours, Ms A?”

Eyes sunken and glazed, besieged by dark rings, April nurses a handful of raw oats. She sorts with thumb and forefinger, picking out a few loose grains and placing them in her mouth. The bones in her face protrude as she chews.

“A Cliff Bar,” she replies softly. “A GU energy sachet, and a tangerine.”

I shake my head. “Abso-lutely-useless. That’s not enough to sustain a fly.”

“It sustained me during my last shift,” she says defiantly, snatching at a steering toggle to correct Moksha’s heading.

“Maybe, but you’re losing too much weight, April. Soon we’ll be measuring your pedal rotations in RPC, not RPM.”

My partner stares at me nonplussed.

“Revolutions per century?”

It’s an underhand comment, especially in light of her unremitting seasickness, but it’s one of the few ways I can get her to eat. Becoming a burden to the voyage is still her biggest fear. Continue reading

The Expedition Book 2 – A Dodgem Ride in the Twilight Zone

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August 2. Wind: SSE 30 knots. Heading: 210M. Position: 12°48’68”S
 152°35’42”E

The morning of the fifteenth day breaks cold and dreary with relentless rain, the ocean windswept. An eerie blue light penetrates the cabin, revealing a silhouetted form that sways in the half-light. Eyes closed, fist propping up her chin, April dozes as she pedals. A green lava-lava tied across the stern window is ready to catch her head when it falls.

The wind has veered to south-southeast in the night, and freshened to thirty knots with forty-knot gusts. The best we can now manage is 210 degrees magnetic, taking us diagonally over the backs of the sweeping rollers, some of which shape-shift into spitting balls of liquid rage and target the cockpit with laser-like precision. We’re back to being constantly wet and longing for the sun. This voyage is becoming a dodgem ride in the Twilight Zone, I scribble in my journal, with complimentary buckets of water dumped over our heads… Continue reading

The Expedition Book 2 – Reefs and Cabbages

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July 28. Wind: SSE 25 knots. Heading: 180M. Position: 11°30’13”S
 155°06’78”E

I stare in disbelief at the two-tone screen of the GPS. In the past 24 hours we’ve lost forty-two miles west, and gained only a handful south. Disaster looms once more. To avoid running aground on the reef east of Tagula, we need to make fifteen miles south over the next fifteen hours. The likelihood of this happening is slim given the recent trend.

All we can do different is try to increase our RPMs. April ups hers from forty to forty-five. I aim for fifty-two. We also shorten the daytime shifts from three to two hours, and the night-time ones from four to three to optimize performance. Continue reading

The Expedition Book 2 – Seasickness Takes Hold

July 25. Wind: ESE 10 knots. Heading: 180M. Position: 10°39’26”S
 156°51’46”E

Hoorah! A lull in the trades has allowed us to claw twenty-five miles south, enough to scrape past Pocklington Reef. If we can next avoid Rossel and Tagula Islands, we’ll have a straight shot to Australia.

I film April as I pedal. She’s sitting wedged across the inside of the cabin, writing her first email.

“Success?” I ask.

“Success.” She sighs heavily, closes the laptop lid, and removes her purple-rimmed glasses. “But now I’m going to have to lie down for just a quick minute.”

“Queasy?”

She nods as she pries off a sodden white sock. “Looking down seems to be my Achilles heel.” The soles of her feet are beginning to rot, the skin white and flaking like spoiled cheddar cheese. Painful lesions mark the straps of her ill-fitting sandals—the reason for the socks. Continue reading

The Expedition Book 2 – One Wild, Wild Night

July 20. Wind: SE 15-20 knots. Heading: 210M. Position: 09°21’66”S
 158°28’28”E

Torrential rain all morning. The inside of the central compartment resembles a Chinese laundry with sodden bras, knickers, and towels swinging from the emergency oars. In the last twenty-four hours we’ve managed eleven miles south to thirty-three west, a ratio of one to three. This isn’t good enough. Our course over ground marked on the chart now has us on a collision course with the easternmost reef of the Louisiades Archipelago, Pocklington Reef. Continue reading