Antarctic Day 4: Late Breaking News – Killer Whales

Tonight I gave the first part of my two-gig presentation. After all, that is why I am here. I was just showing the Part 4 of my Atlantic video, the triumphant arrival in Antigua, when a member of the professional staff came over and whispered in my ear, “There are killer whales outside. We might have to leave the Q&A till another time”. I spent … Continued

Antarctica Day 4: Mine’s A Large G&T, Lots Of Ice

63 31.09 degrees South, 58 52.65 degrees West Sunrise 0416, Sunset 2145 This morning I woke to the sight of icebergs outside my cabin window. We were entering the Weddell Sea, and seeing for the first time the great white continent of Antarctica. The quote on our day’s itinerary was apposite – Frank Worsley, captain of the Endurance, describing icebergs: “Swans of weird shape pecked at … Continued

Antarctica Day 3: Penguins Ahoy!

Who knows why we find penguins so endearing? Maybe it’s because they walk upright like we do. Or because their waddling walk is so klutzishly cute. Or because their faces seem so expressive. But whatever the reason, they are adorable, and I duly spent much of our first afternoon ashore laughing at their penguinny antics. The penguins here have no fear of these strange, red-clad … Continued

Antarctica Day 2: The Drake Passage

The Drake Passage has a scary reputation, and that’s not surprising (glad it wasn’t like this!). It’s the narrowest point between Antarctica and any other landmass, so all the formidable force of the Southern Ocean gets squished into a narrow passage between two continents. In fact, according to our lecture on plate tectonics today, it was only relatively recently (in geological terms) that South America … Continued

Antarctica Day 1: Global Luminary in Residence

Last year’s TED Mission Blue conference in the Galapagos Islands took place on board the National Geographic Endeavor, in association with Lindblad Expeditions. After the conference I wrote to Sven Lindblad, suggesting they might want an ocean rower to come and speak on some forthcoming trip. He wrote back saying “How about Antarctica?” Jackpot! So here I am, now on board the National Geographic Explorer, … Continued

Putting The World To Rights

Don’t you just love those conversations where you come away feeling like you’ve not just had a meeting of minds, but you’ve also, in some small way, made the world a better place? That you’ve connected with some kindred spirits, supported them in their journey, reinforced that they are on the right track, and hopefully figured out a few new ways that you’re going to … Continued

Perth, Purple, and Wonderful People

These two weeks in Perth are speeding by all too quickly, and soon I will be hitting the road again, not to return until just 3 weeks before my launch date. The goal of this first visit was to do as much as possible to get the boat and attendant technology ready. We’ve made good progress. Yesterday we unloaded everything off the boat and moved … Continued

Looping the Loop: Route Planning

There will be many decisions to be made over the coming months, but possibly the most important one is exactly when and from where I depart to row across the Indian Ocean. I am extremely grateful to Sarah Outen for most kindly checking out the territory in advance. In particular, Sarah discovered the hard way just how tough an adversary the Leeuwin Current can be. … Continued

From a Land Down Under

Yesterday afternoon I arrived in Perth, Western Australia, for the final three months of preparation for Eat Pray Row, my bid to row from Australia to India. June arrived from San Francisco a day before me – she will be working with me over few months to help with logistics and anything and everything else. She and one of our local helpers, Margot, picked me … Continued

Highlights of 2010

It has been quite a year. A quick round-up, in words and pictures…. Countries visited – 12: United Kingdom USA Ecuador Canada Kiribati Papua New Guinea Malaysia Cambodia Philippines Thailand Hong Kong Turkey Presentations given: 47 1 in Vail 3 in Seattle 1 in Ecuador (TED) 3 in Papua New Guinea 1 in Malaysia 4 in Philippines 30 on speaking tour 2 in Istanbul 2 … Continued