Thirteen years ago, pedal boat Moksha and I arrived back at Greenwich after completing the first human-powered circumnavigation of the planet – without using fossil fuels. A week ago, following an extensive refit, Moksha and I set off on a new journey, this time with actress, animal rescuer, and first-time adventurer Tammie Stevens, who also happens to be my wife.
As a proof of concept for #GB360 (postponed until next year), the aim over the next seven weeks is to complete a 750 mile, zero carbon trip around Wales via river, canal, and ocean, documenting examples of sustainable living along the way. In partnership with Squire Studio and director producer Astrid Edwards, we’ll be exploring how coastal communities on the frontline of climate change are transitioning to the UK’s net zero carbon targets for 2050.
There is, however, one slight problem. Tammie can barely swim and is terrified of water.
It’s 10 pages lighter without the coarse language and bad behaviour, but the trade-off is we now have a version of the Expedition 360 story suitable for Young Adults, published June 1 by BillyFish Books. Supplemented with an educator discussion guide, the first volume in The Expedition trilogy is aimed at 13 through 18-year-olds (although there’s no reason why anyone of any age can’t enjoy it, including grandparents).
Inevitably, this meant the Plumb Line story from day 92 of the Atlantic crossing (think pus thirsty maggots and sensitive body parts) had to be axed, along with several other anecdotes likely to raise the eyebrows on a concerned parent or teacher. But there’s still enough raw adventure in there to (hopefully) hold the attention of the average fifteen-year-old.
Dark Waters (adapted for Young Adults) is available worldwide through local bookstores and online retail outlets. Here’s a list, or search under ISBN 9780984915576.
“Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of riding a bike.”―JOHN F KENNEDY
If current trends continue, private car ownership worldwide will triple to 2 billion vehicles by 2050, increasing road emissions by 80%.
As it is, transport is responsible for 22% of energy-related greenhouse gas emissions, pumping 8.07 billion tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere in 2015—cars being the worst offenders. To prevent the Earth’s climate warming beyond 2°C, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has stated that global CO2 emissions must be cut by at least 50% by 2050.
With a business-as-usual mind-set, there’s little hope of this happening. Continue reading →
To the Brink is now available for Kindle, iPad, Nook and Kobo. If you can’t find a link for your country or device listed below, cut and paste the book’s ISBN into your browser: 9780984915552. Happy e-reading!
May 1, 2016.To the Brink, the last instalment of the Expedition 360 circumnavigation trilogy, is finally available. You can follow this link to place an order wherever you are (including signed copies) or search online referencing ISBN 0984915524. For those of you in the US, Amazon.com is the cheapest option with an impressive 40% discount (which is actually good for us). Ebook formats will be out in a week.
Now to the future! Today we announce an exciting new expedition project…
7 expeditions to 7 communities to explore 7 principles for a sustainable future.
A year ago it was finished – or so I thought. I remember taking one last look at the manuscript before sending it off and realizing it needed another pass. Twelve months on, I have a physical copy in my hand.
To the Brink will be officially launched the end of next week.
Expedition base camps are usually unremarkable places dedicated to the utility of adventure. Not so the Dinah Beach Cruising Yacht Association in Darwin, Australia with it’s overabundance of rare and exotic characters. For those waiting patiently for book 3 to be published, this excerpt is for you.
“How long have you been in Australia, Andy?”
Trimmed white beard, jug handle ears, and a gammy leg, the old Glaswegian had his shirt off, sporting a barrel stomach covered in a thick fleece of chest hair.
“Thirrrty-six years,” he replied happily.
“You’ve kept your accent well.”
“Och aye. Too tight even tae give that away!”
Belly shaking with laughter, he turned to climb the ladder to his single hull sailing boat, one of forty or so dilapidated vessels propped up on stilts in the Dinah Beach car park. Having been recently laid off and given the heave-ho by his wife of twenty-six years, Andy had split from Freemantle and made the club his home. Like Alcoholic Rodney in the catamaran opposite, he had absolutely no intention of going anywhere. Rent was cheap. The bar was within teetering distance, and sold the cheapest and coldest beer in town. It was the ideal retirement set-up. When I’d asked how much longer he thought it would be before his boat was ready to launch, Andy had pressed his whiskery face to mine, and hissed “Yearrrs!” with hearty optimism. Continue reading →
Of course, I wasn’t out of the woods yet. Entering Egypt illegally was still a serious enough offence to get me slung out of the country, but at least the paperwork miraculously catching up to me staved off the grim possibility of rotting away in an Egyptian cell. And with the arrival of the fax, Major Hassan was a changed man—perhaps because his own neck was also off the block. Gone was the icy demeanour. He began laughing and joking, asking me about my family, and telling me about his:
“Eef you come Cairo, ees my mobile number. You meet my wife and cheeldren!”
Part four of a five-part excerpt taken from To the Brink, the concluding volume of my circumnavigation trilogy, published August of this year. Read part one,two, and three.
It was time to come clean about my intent to cross the border illegally. I explained about the expedition, and my plan to kayak Lake Nasser at night. At the end of the confession, I motioned to the map case on the major’s desk, and said, “Can I show you something?”
I pulled out a laminated letter and offered it to him. Glancing at the letterhead, Major Hassan grunted, “Ah, the UNESCO.” Written in 1994 by the then Director General, Frederico Mayor, the letter appealed for people, organizations, and governments to assist the expedition on its way around the world. This was my ace in the hole, the ultimate Get Out of Jail Free card. UNESCO had been instrumental in saving two temples built in thirteenth century BCE by Ramses II, relocating them stone by stone to Abu Simbel, before the Nile was flooded to form Lake Nasser.
“But dis name.” The major pointed to the first paragraph. “Pe-dal-for-the-Pla-net. Is not the name you say.”
This was true. I’d given name Expedition 360. “But I can explain,” I pleaded. “You see, we changed the name of the expedition in 1999—”
Part three of a five-part excerpt taken from To the Brink, the concluding volume of my circumnavigation trilogy, published August of this year. Read part one and two.
A flunky I hadn’t seen before appeared, carrying a sheaf of paperwork and a mug of tea in a saucer. He placed them in front of the major, who was now speaking rapidly into a telephone, one of several that lined his desk. This is bad, I said to myself. The inventorying of equipment continued. Lists were made. Then yet more lists. The orderly going through my gear handed the major a burgundy booklet he’d found in my waterproof money belt. This was a back up passport, one free of Israeli stamps that would better my chances of getting into Syria.
Still barking at the phone, the major took the passport and placed it with the other. How would I explain this? Continue reading →