In a span of seven years, he paddled a series of 15-foot kayaks more than 30,000 miles from the Danube River in Europe to the tropical shores of far northern Australia. Even better, when he first set out, he was “merely” planning to paddle to Cyprus for work, with no intention of traveling by kayak to the other side of the world. But the paddling proved irresistible and Speck did not stop once he reached Cyprus.
Speck was 25 years old when he set out on his incredible journey. He was an unemployed electrician living in Hamburg. Work was scarce and prospects were dim after the 1929 stock market crash ripped through Germany, so Speck decided to seek work in the copper mines of Cyprus. With no other means to get there, and as a proud member of a kayaking club since his youth, Speck decided to paddle his way to, hopefully, a job.
In May, 1932, Speck shoved off from banks of the Danube in a collapsible and very much not seaworthy 15-foot kayak, and began paddling south. He arrived in the Balkans several weeks later and, lulled to boredom by the languid waters of the Danube, Speck made for the Vardar River, where soon fierce rapids dashed his boat nearly to splinters. While awaiting repairs, winter set in and the Vardar froze over, locking Speck in place for months.
Lia Ditton is a 39-year-old licensed sea captain, yachtswoman and solo ocean rower from London. She has racked up over 150,000 miles on the sea and has taken part in some of the most grueling races on earth, such as the OSTAR transatlantic race, the Le Route du Rhum, and the Woodvale challenge. And she’s about to embark on her greatest challenge yet, rowing solo and unsupported across the Pacific Ocean. This is her story.
Three months before the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, I will depart from Choshi, Japan, on a mission to row 5,500 miles alone and unsupported, across the Pacific Ocean to the west coast of the USA. Nineteen attempts have been made to row this distance. Two were successful. Both men, both towed to land the last 20 and 50 miles respectively. One person was lost at sea.
If I succeed, I will be the first woman ever to row the North Pacific unsupported and the first person to row land-to-land [ed note: Sarah Outen rowed the North Pacific solo from Japan to the Aleutian Islands in Alaska, but with a support team, back in 2013].
This video was shot in the Arctic Ocean in March 2018.
For 7 days the crew passed through the Barents Sea to Karsky around the Novaya Zemlya archipelago on the nuclear icebreaker Yamal. They witnessed the northern lights, polar bears, watched the ships stuck in the ice being towed, and were very cold.
In the video you can see two Russian icebreakers – “50 Years of Victory” and “Yamal” with a capacity of 75,000 horsepower.
Voyageurs is the French translation for voyager – a person who goes on a long and sometimes dangerous journey. However, in Canadian history, the term has an added significance.
This 1964 National Film Board film tells the story of the men who drove big freighter canoes into the wilderness in the days when the fur trade was Canada’s biggest business. The film recreates scenes of the early 19th century.
Russian adventurer and orthodox priest Fedor Konyukhov thanked his patron saint after completing the 7,000-mile first leg of his solo journey around the southern hemisphere in a rowing boat. On this, the first leg of his circumnavigation, he survived snow storms, 25ft waves, and was capsizing four times. Continue reading
It is important to recognize how vulnerable our technology is and how over-dependent we have become to fragile systems, some of which was built during a more trusting era.
Many things we do today, and much of our economy, relies on global navigation satellite navigation and time keeping. Much of the western economy relies on the Global Positioning System (GPS), an aging, fragile, and vulnerable US military project. Turns out that it can be easily be jammed, hacked, and turned off. And has been. Sometimes unintentionally.
Filmmaker Taylor Graham and his team embark on a mission to document what remains of Arizona’s submerged Glen Canyon by kayak. Watch their 350-mile through-paddle unfold as part of a National Geographic Society-supported project focused on water management challenges in the Colorado River Basin. Activists, archeologists, scientists, government officials and members of the Navajo Nation all weigh in on the far-reaching effects of the dam that flooded Glen Canyon to create Lake Powell in 1963.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety. With that said, the vast majority of people are good. Recognize the fear mongers. Be properly informed. Be aware of your surroundings. Be respectful — you are a guest in their country. Don’t attract unnecessary attention — you probably already stand out enough.
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