Great Society

Taken for Granite => Intensive Porpoises => Topic started by: nacho on February 02, 2007, 01:32:43 PM

Title: Adventurers
Post by: nacho on February 02, 2007, 01:32:43 PM
from elsewhere --

Quote
In an effort to prove that nothing is impossible if you're fucking crazy enough to try it-- and lucky enough not to get killed in any one of a thousand ways-- Martin Strel, a guiness record-holding marathon swimmer, has decided to throw on his wetsuit and swim up the goddamn Amazon River.

Yes, that Amazon River. Swimming. For more than 3,000 miles. (Or more than 5,000 kilos, if you prefer.)

In 2000, he swam the length of the Danube. In 2002, he swam the length of the Mississippi. In 2004, he swam about 2500 miles of the Yangtze. He holds the record for longest distance swum non-stop after swimming 313 miles in 84 hours and ten minutes in 2001. Jesus.

So, the guy is clearly a physical dynamo. I mean, really, if you can swim that far already, I don't see endurance being much of an issue.

On the other hand, the Amazon is studded with thousands of things that can fucking kill you. This looks like the equivalent of a world record-holding marathon runner saying, "And now, I'm going to run 26 miles through a track strewn about with randomly placed land mines!"

Granted, he's not alone. He's got both foreigners and natives with him in boats as support staff and guides and such, but that doesn't make it much less hardcore. It just makes it vaguely possible. We'll see.

It's amazing he can swim at all. I imagine his enormous balls would get in the way.

You can keep up with his progress at www.amazonswim.com. He's just started off his journey and has only been swimming for about 32 hours.

http://www.amazonswim.com/main.php
Title: Re: Swimming the Amazon
Post by: Nubbins on February 02, 2007, 01:47:51 PM
This guy is batshit.  The Amazon can be fucking terrifying and there is no way in hell I'd even think to attempt this.
Title: Re: Swimming the Amazon
Post by: fajwat on February 02, 2007, 01:49:08 PM
wow.
Title: Re: Swimming the Amazon
Post by: Reginald McGraw on February 02, 2007, 01:50:02 PM
The Amazon can be fucking terrifying...

As I know from my frequent trips there with super-models and motorcycles!!

 :D
Title: Re: Swimming the Amazon
Post by: Nubbins on February 02, 2007, 01:51:50 PM
I didn't bring it up you did!
Title: Re: Swimming the Amazon
Post by: RottingCorpse on February 02, 2007, 03:57:58 PM
My balls just shrivelled two sizes.
Title: Re: Swimming the Amazon
Post by: nacho on February 02, 2007, 04:06:53 PM
My balls just shrivelled two sizes.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Candir%C3%BA
Title: Re: Swimming the Amazon
Post by: Nubbins on February 02, 2007, 04:32:29 PM
There are also over 200 species of animals there that use electricity to hunt/stun/kill their prey.
Title: Re: Swimming the Amazon
Post by: RottingCorpse on February 02, 2007, 04:42:14 PM
The more you guys say, the faster this guy moves from the "ballsy" file to the "totally fucking nuts" one.
Title: Re: Swimming the Amazon
Post by: Nubbins on February 02, 2007, 05:55:59 PM
I know I'm going to get tons of "HAY GUYS LOOK AT ME LAYING SUPERMODELS ON A ROCKETSHIP BOUND FOR THE PLANET VAGINASCAPE MY LIFE IS SO GREAT" but I don't care.  I don't even know what planet vaginascape means.

Anyway, here are a bunch of photos from when I was in Brazil.  It was probably the most profound experience of my life, for real.  I have a bunch of stories of narrow jungle escapes, wild natural violence and utter culture shock.  When I got back, I definitely had the feeling that I had survived something rather than escaped reality on a vacation.  Also, it's the reason that I would never, not for all the money in the world, swim the fucking Amazon river.

Forgive the reflection and loose camera strap visible in some of the pics... I don't have a scanner so pictures of pictures was the best I could do.

(https://greatsociety.org/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fimg411.imageshack.us%2Fimg411%2F7215%2F9footeryu3.jpg&hash=a5bda2105d058dfb19c58bb96c168a11b1c35384)

(https://greatsociety.org/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fimg307.imageshack.us%2Fimg307%2F7967%2Famazonclipper1tk9.jpg&hash=ce098dfc37c32c251931e18f7fedcc2133c95a0c)

(https://greatsociety.org/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fimg264.imageshack.us%2Fimg264%2F9321%2Famazonclipperrm7.jpg&hash=1c09c3f0d24281b5a25a48852c31c08ba7bafe09)

(https://greatsociety.org/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fimg45.imageshack.us%2Fimg45%2F4006%2Fanglermc9.jpg&hash=ba2c680660f086d80e31d375c666f7bb47887981)

(https://greatsociety.org/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fimg131.imageshack.us%2Fimg131%2F3198%2Fbarie5.jpg&hash=2a43a3b37723ab0bc3f6e96802e03c3cba0c5be2)

(https://greatsociety.org/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fimg299.imageshack.us%2Fimg299%2F2411%2Fgatorbaithd2.jpg&hash=2e7f9c301f245f61dc1a082a384abfa264d8fa89)

deeeeeeeeeeeeerunk as SHIT
(https://greatsociety.org/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fimg166.imageshack.us%2Fimg166%2F3091%2Fcrikeypm7.jpg&hash=f0d99b60c5122d0389d7eea98dc3aa52d928c389)

(https://greatsociety.org/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fimg457.imageshack.us%2Fimg457%2F3658%2Famaroandmattsu9.jpg&hash=7b4e4142b1cb46f234aa4e8350cc6d15d7e554a2)

16 pounds... biggest bass I've ever caught.
(https://greatsociety.org/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fimg292.imageshack.us%2Fimg292%2F2149%2Fmattandarojooe6.jpg&hash=f5438b7425f21aa999d373736fe1fe54e8f2623a)

Title: Re: Swimming the Amazon
Post by: nacho on February 02, 2007, 05:57:37 PM
So let's have some of those stories.

e: seriously.  Not like, hey, write them for the front page.  Just tell them here.  I love travel stories.
Title: Re: Swimming the Amazon
Post by: Nubbins on February 02, 2007, 06:29:39 PM
See the bald guy in the first photo?  His name was Chip and he's the biggest dickhead I've ever met.  He came down with another guy, Mark.  Mark was a close friend of my Dad's and they'd worked together back in the early 80's.  Mark and my father had always bonded over their love of fishing and have gone places like Belize to catch exotic fish ever since I can remember.  This time Mark invited Dad to Brazil and Dad brought me.

Anyway, I meet Mark and Chip and together they were among the most sheltered, obnoxious and flat-out yuppie people I've ever met.  Our boat consisted of mostly hardcore anglers from Texas, so these burly Texans looked at these guys in their loafers and khaki safari pants with matching shirts kind of like they were aliens... gay aliens.

The way the trip worked was there were 7 days and 7 guides.  Each day you were paired with a different guide, that way if one guide was better putting people onto big fish, then he'd get spread around to everyone on the trip.  One of these guides was named Leno.  Leno was maybe 17 years old and our trip was literally his very first trip as a guide.  He spent most of the week just trying to keep his boat within sight of the other guides so that, I assume, he wouldn't get lost.  Leno was a shitty guide... he had no idea where to fish, the other guides gave him the shittiest boat with a motor that constantly stalled and you were pretty much guaranteed not to catch any fish with him.  I liked him though because he was very nice and a lot of the other guides weren't. 

So about day 3, Mark and Chip are slated to go out with Leno.  They go out in the morning and come back in around noon for lunch.  We got an hour for lunch and then we head back out to fish until dark, only Mark and Chip refused to get back on the boat with Leno.  They were very vocal about being pissed off that for such an expensive trip, they'd be expected to spend even half a day with a guide who didn't have the ability to put them onto big fish, let alone an ENTIRE day with the kid.  So they didn't go out and Leno didn't go out and Mark and Chip felt like hot shit I guess.

The following day, Mark and Chip were on the boat with Harold.  Harold takes them out that morning and in the only English any of them know says, "Big fish..." nods and points towards the shore.  He beaches the boat along shore, gestures at Mark and Chip to take off their shoes and then heads into the jungle.  They, being the sheltered white fucks they were, did exactly as he said.

So lunch rolls around again, we all meet back at the boat and dig in... only no Mark and Chip.  We wait to see if they're going to be a little bit late, but they still don't show up.  So we finish our lunch and people start to head back out again... still no Mark and Chip.  At this point, Gill who was the head honcho, is becoming worried and is working the radio trying to find them. 

When we get back that evening, Mark and Chip are still not back.  At this point they've been gone for 12 hours in 92 degree equatorial heat, they only had a single cooler with about 6-8 drinks in it, they've had no food and it is now dark on the Amazon.  When they finally did show up again, they could not walk for all the burrs, splinters and gigantic stingers in their legs.  They were both white as sheets and looked as if they'd seen ghosts.

They told us later that Harold took them into the jungle without water or shoes (seriously, it's fucking Brazil... what kind of idiot would do this just because a guide told you to?) and he'd put them on some huge fish at a big pond about half a mile into the jungle.  After an hour or so of being stung by wildlife, keeping an eye out for gators and snakes and having no water whatsoever, they told Harold they wanted to head back.  They started to head back, only Harold got "lost".

They spent the next 5-6 hours in the jungle, barefoot and trying to find their way out.  They'd get a free trip out of the deal and survive with a great story.

What's funny to me (and I think Mark and Chip never put this together) is that I think the guides knew exactly what they were doing.  The way you'd hear Mark and Chip tell the story, it would sound like an adventure gone crazy, but what I think it was was retaliation.  When you're out there you are hundreds of miles from any sort of civilization and the ONLY thing that's keeping you from being completely lost is this handful of guides... so don't fuck with them.
Title: Re: Swimming the Amazon
Post by: Tatertots on February 02, 2007, 08:38:03 PM
Nubbins brought up his glamorous life. Which forces me to mention... Triathlons! But seriously:

Compared to athletes who compete in triple-, deca-, and dodeca-Ironmans, this swimming guy's a pussy. (That's 3, 10, and 20 Ironmans. In a row.)

Here's a good story about a deca-Ironman (24 mile swim, 1,120 mile bike, 262 mile run):

http://www.bobbysrun.co.uk/ironman.html

Then again, the Amazon is a whole other story...
Title: Re: Swimming the Amazon
Post by: fajwat on February 02, 2007, 08:54:05 PM
that's fucking awesome.  I think you're right about the guides.  Too perfect.


more stories, unca Nubbins!  More!!!
Title: Re: Swimming the Amazon
Post by: nacho on February 03, 2007, 09:25:10 AM


Then again, the Amazon is a whole other story...

Right.  This guy's swimming through disease, parasites, predators, weird ass river tricks and, later, extraordinary pollution and real Big Daddy diseases.

Your ironman stuff is done in controlled environments, no?  Or near enough.  This guy may have a support boat, but the length of all those rivers?  2500 miles of the Yangtze?  Rivers are harsh mistresses, let me tell ye.  Yarrr! 

More stories, Nubbins!
Title: Re: Swimming the Amazon
Post by: Nubbins on February 05, 2007, 02:24:25 AM
When we first decided to go on that trip, one of the first things we did was go to a travel doctor who vaccinates you for all kinds of shit and gives you pills to ward off any number of things.  On our last visit to him, he asked me if I planned on getting in the water.  I said noooo way, buddy.  He told me it wasn't a big deal if I did, but that I should be careful not to urinate with my waist below the water because of those fish Nach posted the article about.  Just the story of that fish alone was enough to keep me out of the water the whole week.

The problem was that most trips on the Amazon are in January or February as it's fairly warm and it's a dry part of the year.  As a result, the river was down probably 7 to 8 feet when we got there, so all the good fishing spots were sometimes a mile off the main river through very shallow water.  I'd say that within the first half hour of getting onto our first boat, before we'd even had a chance to use our rods, our guide ran the fishing boat aground... and we had to get out and push.  Our first day there and I'd say I was in the water maybe a total of five times.

They tell you that if you're walking around in the river, you should always sort of shuffle your feet to move because there are freshwater stingrays all over the place... if you kick them rather than step on them, you're less likely to get stung, but really it doesn't fucking matter either way because stingrays in the water is unnerving.  Couple that with the fact that we've flown about 2 hours out of Manaus, Brazil into the jungle and for hundreds of miles in all directions there is absolutely nothing and the thought of being stung by a stingray is scary for a whole new slew of different reasons I hadn't thought of before.

I guess of all the things that stick with me about my week there, it's the intensity of nature there.  It's kind of like stepping into Jurassic Park or something becuase there is so much shit out there that can hurt you.  You see things move out of the corner of your eye and realize you're not just seeing things, it's a snake or an alligator or a monkey.  The fish most often caught on any given day is called a dogfish.  They have poisonous bites that can really mess up your skin.  You're not allowed to handle them at all and every one of the guides killed any that we caught.  Sometimes we'd throw them in the water and you could watch pirhanas eat them.  It's just everywhere and it's unforgiving and it's a rush just being out in it, not to mention that the fish you're catching are among the most stupidly violent I've ever witnessed.

Peacock bass are highly territorial which is part of the reason they're so much fun to catch.  They will hit a lure as many times as they have to to eat it... once I hooked one only to have it leap out of the water and toss my lure... it dove back into the water and then came up and hit my Dad's and Dad caught the fish.  :)  You use these lures called woodchoppers that are maybe 6 or 8 inches long and have huge propellers on either side.  They make a buzzing sound if you pull them through the water right and it drives peacocks nuts.  Typically, you'll be fishing and all you see is just a huge V rip out from under a log or near the shore... and it's just humming right at your bait.  So a lot of times, you've got a second to prepare yourself, and then when the fish finally hits there is just an explosion of water everywhere.  It looks like what you'd imagine would happen if someone dropped a 30 inch television into the water from a 2 story building.  The next minute or two is total chaos as you try to out wrestle a 15 pound fish that feels like it's about to pull you right off the boat.

The trip itself is physically daunting.  After an hour of hucking woodchoppers through the water, it feels more like boot camp.  You just want to rest or fish with a fucking bobber or anything... anything but fling this murderious chunk of wood out there again.  After the trip, my arms would be so swollen that I couldn't put on my watch for an entire week.  If I ever go on a trip like this again, then I'm working out for a good 6 months beforehand, because it was exhausting.

The day we went out with Leno was the worst as far as how much time we spent in the water.  The guide he was following was dead set on getting to this place at least a mile off the main river channel.  For 2 hours, both ways, we'd drive the boat forward 15 or 20 feet, run aground and then have to push it another 20... over and over again for most of the morning.  At one point, we were in a shallow little alcove and I could see thousands of these black minnows swimming around my feet.  I pointed down to them and Leno says, "Pee-rah-na!".  Sweet.

FINALLY we get back to this hole and start to fish.  In the distance, I can see the other guide and the two guy's he's with catch a pretty large peacock bass and as he does, the second guy tosses a lure at a log which then turns and swallows his bait... he's got an alligator on the line.  What was even more amazing was that they wrestled the thing into the boat and got the lure back.

After maybe an hour of fishing, it was time to turn around and start the 2 hour trek back towards the channel for lunch.  With the other guide in front of us, Leno starts to follow him back the way we'd come.  I may have mentioned that the other guides had clearly stuck Leno with the shittiest of the fishing boats.  The thing was abysmal.  It would stall and take him minutes to restart.  Multiple times, Leno had the cover off the top of it to work on it... he'd get it going again and then we'd run into a log or sandbar and it would stall again.  While all this is happening, the guide he's following is getting further and further away, so Leno is becoming more and more frantic each time the motor stalls.

Eventually we start getting back into some deeper water again and the boat's able to travel pretty well without running aground.  Leno's now 50 or 100 feet behind the second guide and we're zipping along a space of river that's maybe 20 feet wide.  As we approach a fork in our little channel, I see the lead boat turn left and disappear around a corner.  Leno follows him, only just as we're beginning to turn left, Leno and I see a little man paddling a canoe made from a hollowed out tree... and he is right in the middle of the path of water we're headed to.  My Dad is sitting in the front of the boat sitting so that he's looking out the back, so he doesn't even see this guy.  Leno panics and instead of throttling down and trying to avoid him, he just jerks the steering wheel right and heads off down the other portion of the fork.  This would have been fine, except for the massive tree down across the width of it.  The tree is only a few inches below water and we hit it full tilt... I just see my father roll over backwards, his feet up in the air and then I'm hit in the back of the head by the cover of the motor as it goes flying out the front of the boat.  There was a very brief moment there where I thought we were in big trouble.  Everyone was very quiet as we mentally checked that our arms and legs were still attached and that we weren't being ambushed by tigers or angry hornets that had been living in the downed tree.  The little dude in the canoe is now sitting 20 feet away just looking at us like we're going to start doing magic tricks or something.  The motor had tilted all the way forward as far as it could go and we could see clearly that Leno had destroyed the prop. Somehow he managed to get the damn thing started again and we were able to limp back to the main boat for food.

I survived with just a bump on the head and luckily Dad was able to stay in the boat.  After lunch that day, though, Leno had a new boat with a much better motor. :) 
Title: Re: Swimming the Amazon
Post by: nacho on April 09, 2007, 07:50:51 AM
http://www.amazonswim.com/main.php?S=1&Article=154&mpage=1

So he made it...after being attacked by pirates, contracting a larval infection, and arriving at the finish line in critical condition.

NPR's follow-up today has him still in ICU.
Title: Re: Swimming the Amazon
Post by: Nubbins on April 09, 2007, 12:28:41 PM
Unbelievable... I'm amazed he made it.
Title: Re: Swimming the Amazon
Post by: nacho on April 09, 2007, 12:34:29 PM
Yeah.  Barely. 

I wish their blog was a bit more in depth instead of stuff like: Martin swam alot today.  Piranhas like meat.  We slept well that night.  Watch out for bandits!  Martin started swimming early.  We saw the bandits. Martin completed a million strokes today.
Title: Re: Swimming the Amazon
Post by: Nubbins on April 09, 2007, 12:38:13 PM
I wonder if Martin accidentally peed in the water. 
Title: Re: Swimming the Amazon
Post by: nacho on April 09, 2007, 12:43:14 PM
Saw a lost tribe in the jungle today.  Martin peed in the water.  Steak for dinner.  Last of the potatoes.
Title: Re: Swimming the Amazon
Post by: Tatertots on April 09, 2007, 03:01:09 PM
The documentary film should be pretty good. That man is as ugly as sin, though.

All I could think of today while I was swimming was those "swim up your penis" things. Jesus.
Title: Crossing the Atlantic -- stone age style
Post by: nacho on July 12, 2007, 08:34:54 AM
Quote
Reed boat sets off on ocean trip
By Mark Pivac
BBC News

A team of explorers has set sail from the US for Spain in a 12-metre-long (40ft) reed boat, hoping to spend about two months sailing across the Atlantic.

They are trying to prove that Stone Age people crossed the ocean thousands of years before Christopher Columbus in the 15th Century.

Aymara Indians in Bolivia, who still use reed boats, built the new vessel.

It takes its inspiration from prehistoric European cave paintings dating back more than 10,000 years.

Surrounded by the modern New York skyline, the dozen-strong team put to sea in the seemingly flimsy boat made of reeds.

The German biologist leading the expedition, Dominique Gorlitz, argues that traces of cocaine and nicotine found a few years ago in the stomach of the ancient Egyptian pharaoh, Ramses II, were native to the Americas, so must have travelled to Africa by sea.

He says he is also hoping to overturn current thinking that says the prevailing Atlantic winds would have allowed ancient mariners to sail west to the Americas, but would have prevented them from returning home.
Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/americas/6294786.stm

More detail from June, with photos:

http://www.spiegel.de/international/zeitgeist/0,1518,druck-486804,00.html

Quote
SPIEGEL ONLINE - June 6, 2007, 03:11 PM
URL: http://www.spiegel.de/international/zeitgeist/0,1518,486804,00.html
SAILING BACK THROUGH TIME
German Plans Atlantic Crossing in Reed Boat

By Stephan Orth

An adventurer from the eastern German city of Chemnitz believes that sailors crossed the Atlantic as far back as 14,000 years ago. He plans to prove his theory by making the voyage on a homemade reed boat, built using prehistoric techniques.

Dominique Görlitz may not have a sailing license, but he does have a dream: The man from the eastern German city of Chemnitz wants to cross the Atlantic from west to east on a reed boat built using prehistoric techniques. He plans to sail his 12-ton, 12.5-meter "Abora III" from New York to Portugal and Spain, via the Azores. His goal is to prove that it was possible to sail across the Atlantic as early as 14,000 years ago.

"Traces of tobacco plants and cocaine were found in Egypt, in the tombs of Ramses II and Tutankhamun, for example, that clearly came from the New World," Görlitz told SPIEGEL ONLINE. There is a lot of scientific evidence that a trans-Atlantic exchange took place between prehistoric cultures, he says.

He conjectures that there were trade relations between North America and northwestern Spain thousands of years before Columbus, and that some North American goods could have even made it to Africa. According to Görlitz, 14,000-year-old cave drawings from Spain indicate that the inhabitants of the region were knowledgeable about ocean currents in the Atlantic.

Surpassing Heyerdahl

Görlitz's role model and idol since childhood is Thor Heyerdahl, the Norwegian ethnologist who died in 2002. Heyerdahl, with his famous voyages on the "Kon-Tiki" and the "Ra II," wanted to prove that prehistoric peoples sailed the high seas. But despite his successful voyages, Heyerdahl's efforts were met with skepticism within the scientific community, especially when genetic researchers disproved his theories of the intermingling of South American and Polynesian cultures.

Görlitz, a former physical education and biology teacher, has also met with criticism from scientists, and he is aware of the limited validity of his expedition. "We cannot prove that such voyages did in fact take place, but we can prove that it would have been technically possible," says the 40-year-old, whose project is part of his doctoral thesis at the University of Bonn.

Unlike Heyerdahl, who sailed from Morocco to North America on the "Ra II" 37 years ago, Görlitz would have to build a boat that, thanks to stable leeboards, could also sail into the wind. His design makes it possible to sail at a 70-degree angle to the direction of the wind. "Thor Heyerdahl only sailed from East to West, with the wind at his back," says Görlitz. "You could toss a refrigerator into the water in Morocco and it would eventually end up in America."

As long as the boat holds up, a westward Atlantic crossing is easier than many a Mediterranean voyage. "Phoenician seafarers already knew how to tack against the wind," says Görlitz. "The crossing from Spain to Egypt demanded more of sailors than a voyage from Africa to America."

Test Run on the Hudson

Just as Heyerdahl had his "Ra II" built by Bolivian Indians on Lake Titicaca, Görlitz is also entrusting the building of his vessel to the technical skills of the region's Aymara tribe, which still uses reed boats today. After studying petroglyphs and the scholarly literature for many years, Görlitz attempted to build as authentic a boat as possible. The result closely resembles Heyerdahl's "Ra."

The hull was brought to New York in May, where the superstructure is currently being completed and preparations are underway for the launch. The "Abora III" will complete a test run on the Hudson River in mid-June before heading out to sea in early July, "as soon as we have good weather."

With high swells, sudden changes in wind direction and powerful storms, the more than 6,000-kilometer (3,728-mile) stretch across the North Atlantic will be extremely challenging for Görlitz and his 11-member crew. Some are veterans of voyages with the boat's predecessors, the "Abora I" and "Abora II," while the others were recruited through ads in magazines, on the Internet and on television.

Görlitz describes his crew as ordinary people from five different countries, people he believes have the strength of character to endure two months living in cramped quarters in the boat's two extremely small cabins. Five people will sleep next to each other in a space only 3 meters (about 10 feet) wide. The crew will do without the luxury of an onboard toilet, and there will be no boat accompanying the vessel for emergencies. But in one respect Görlitz has opted to dispense with prehistoric authenticity: He will use state-of-the-art GPS equipment to navigate the boat in the open ocean.

The adventure almost ended before it began, when US customs agents found a beetle in the hull as the boat was being brought into the United States. It was only when a zoologist was able to prove that it had come from the United States and not Bolivia that the unusual cargo was allowed to enter the country.

Translated from the German by Christopher Sultan

Title: Re: Crossing the Atlantic -- stone age style
Post by: Nubbins on July 12, 2007, 11:32:58 AM
That is friggin awesome.  They should combine this with the Discovery Channel's "Deadliest Catch" and have a prehistoric crabbing expedition.
Title: Re: Crossing the Atlantic -- stone age style
Post by: nacho on July 12, 2007, 11:38:01 AM
I just wish we could follow along with a blog or something.
Title: Re: Crossing the Atlantic -- stone age style
Post by: Reginald McGraw on July 12, 2007, 12:21:53 PM
The boat is 12 tons!  How can something that heavy float!
Title: Re: Crossing the Atlantic -- stone age style
Post by: Nubbins on July 12, 2007, 12:27:24 PM
Because they offered 4 fatted calfs to Poseidon before they began their journey.
Title: Re: Crossing the Atlantic -- stone age style
Post by: nacho on July 12, 2007, 12:32:56 PM
Ah...tradition.
Title: Re: Crossing the Atlantic -- stone age style
Post by: nacho on April 10, 2008, 11:28:13 AM
http://www.gadling.com/2008/04/10/hollywood-stuntman-to-sail-atlantic-in-a-popsicle-stick-ship/

Quote
31 world record breaker and former Hollywood stuntman Robert McDonald's new adventure is to cross the Atlantic in a 15-meter ship made of 15 million ice-cream sticks, that looks like a replica of a Viking ship.

A lot of the sticks were used, steam-cleaned ones and about 13-million of them were donated by Unilever. He made the ship, stick by stick, with the help of his son and 5000 children from Holland; the sticks have been stuck together by salt-water proof glue. This ship is probably the world's largest handmade recycled object.

McDonald's creative and risk-filled life stems from the fact that he was injured in a gas explosion that killed his parents and six-siblings, and confined him to 5-years of hospital bed rest. All his feats are motivated by a strong and simple belief that he wants to share with kids: "you can do anything". Part of McDonald's fearless stunt portfolio includes climbing the Twin Towers in 1995, and free-climbing the Grand Canyon.

A dangerous expedition but possible; the ship is undergoing various sea-trials at the moment. Apparently, McDonald said that when a boat inspector analyzed one of his planks made of 5000 popsicle sticks, he pronounced it 5-times stronger than steel.(!)

According to a Reuters report, he currently is looking for a crew to sail the ship across Atlantic from Holland to America as well as of course, funding.
Title: Re: Crossing the Atlantic -- stone age style
Post by: Matt on April 10, 2008, 11:29:42 AM
What a fucking moronic boat inspector.
Title: Re: Crossing the Atlantic -- stone age style
Post by: fajwat on April 10, 2008, 01:46:21 PM
so... unilever donated 13 million *USED* popsicle sticks?  Really?  Wait, really?

Oh, so you mean it's a large object which is only *partially* recycled.  That sounds more likely.
Title: Re: Crossing the Atlantic -- stone age style
Post by: monkey! on April 10, 2008, 01:57:42 PM
This guy is a legend.

I hope he does it. I'd love to cross the Atlantic in a popsicle ship. Although the article tries to make him sound a little crazy - ALMOST KILLED IN A GAS EXPLOSION HAS RUINED THIS MANS MIND AND NOW HE MAKES DUTCH KIDS BUILD BOATS FOR HIS INSANE ENDEAVOURS!

P.S. Vikings weren't Stone Age.
Title: Re: Crossing the Atlantic -- stone age style
Post by: fajwat on April 10, 2008, 01:58:12 PM
heh.  what monkey! said.
Title: Re: Crossing the Atlantic -- stone age style
Post by: nacho on April 10, 2008, 01:58:53 PM
Stone age refers to the original post.  I'm sort of grouping crazy Atlantic crossings here.

Here's the original post, from just 10 posts above:

http://www.greatsociety.org/forums/index.php/topic,2881.msg55986.html#msg55986
Title: Re: Crossing the Atlantic -- stone age style
Post by: monkey! on April 10, 2008, 02:03:46 PM
Stone age refers to the original post.  I'm sort of grouping crazy Atlantic crossings here.

Here's the original post, from just 10 posts above:

http://www.greatsociety.org/forums/index.php/topic,2881.msg55986.html#msg55986

The original post is stupid - the Vikings and others crossed the Atlantic several hundred years before Columbus anyway - nor was Columbus the first Renaissance dickweed to cross the waters. Bloody Italians.

The "Stone Age" crossings to North America came from the Bering Straight, most likely when it was frozen over; you go, you Clovis bastards, you!

Neolithic peoples could barely cross the English Channel [bear in mind that in Neolithic times there was still a seasonal/occasional land-bridge between northern France and southern England] nevermind the Atlantic Ocean.

Christ, I hate people.
Title: Re: Crossing the Atlantic -- stone age style
Post by: Matt on April 10, 2008, 07:17:56 PM
Columbus was Portuguese.... no he wasn't, but he still was a rapist
Title: Re: Crossing the Atlantic -- stone age style
Post by: monkey! on April 15, 2008, 09:52:30 AM
Columbus was Portuguese.... no he wasn't, but he still was a rapist

He was from Italy, you American retard - born in Genoa or some crappy WOP-hole like that. Sure, he lived with those spics for a while, but he weren't no spiccy-spic.

And, yes, he wanked pigs.
Title: Re: Crossing the Atlantic -- stone age style
Post by: nacho on January 20, 2010, 02:51:04 PM
Here, I'll revive this thread and make it more "crazy endurance shit."

Here's this:

Quote
Back on April 21st, 2007, American sailor Reid Stowe set sail from New York City on a unique, and challenging voyage. Dubbed the Mars Ocean Odyssey, the plan was for Stowe, along with his companion Soanya Ahmad, to head out onto the open ocean, and spend 1000 straight days there, without stopping for resupply or ever setting foot on land. The voyage was meant to demonstrate the feasibility of a prolonged spaceflight, such as a journey to Mars, and today marks Stowe's 1000th day at sea.

The voyage has not been without its hardships. Just a few days after setting out, Stowe's ship, a schooner named Anne, strayed into a U.S. Navy missile test range off the New Jersey Coast and a few weeks after that, the vessel collided with a cargo ship, and suffered damage to its bowsprit. But perhaps the biggest setback was when Ahmad was forced to leave the expedition off the coast of Australia 305 days in. At the time, it was reported that she had "debilitating sea sickness", but It was later revealed that she was pregnant. She has since given birth to the couple's first child, a boy named Darshen, who was conceived at sea.

Stowe continued the voyage alone, blogging his experiences at sea, and chasing his dream of proving that prolonged space travel is possible. In the process, he also set a record for the longest solo sea expedition ever, and as of today, he has achieved his other goal of spending 1000 days at sea, without resupply. An impressive feat to say the least.

You would think that after a thousand days at sea, the sailor would be eager to get home and meet his son. But Stowe has elected to stay out on the ocean for a few more months. High winds and poor weather conditions make a return to New Your City a challenging prospect at the moment, so instead, he'll wait until June, when calmer weather will allow him to return much more safely.

And his blog:
http://1000days.net/home/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogsection&id=11&Itemid=70
Title: Re: Swimming the Amazon
Post by: nacho on March 09, 2010, 10:48:16 AM
Okay, I merged two topics here -- the guy who swam the Amazon and the guy who did the Stone Age Atlantic crossing.  This is now a general "adventure" thread, and I'll see if there are others that can be merged...and also update the above two adventures, if I can find any news.

And, meanwhile, the reason for making a general adventure thread:

Quote
Polar explorer sets out for second pole

by Kraig Becker (RSS feed) on Mar 8th 2010 at 9:00AM
We've mentioned Eric Larsen a couple of times in the past few months. First, when he set off on his Save the Poles expedition, and again when he reached the South Pole, the first of three extreme destinations he has planned for this year. During the course of 2010, Larsen expects to reach all three "poles", which includes both the North and South Geographic Poles, as well as the summit of Mt. Everest, as he works to raise awareness for alternative clean energy sources and ways to reduce carbon emissions.

With the start of the 2010 season for arctic expeditions hitting last week, Larsen has now begun the second stage of his endeavor. Eric and his companions, Antony Jinman and Darcy St Laurent, set out from Cape Discovery in Northern Canada last week. Ahead of them is a 450 mile unsupported journey to the top of the world, which means that they are dragging all of their gear and supplies behind them in sleds, while they cover the distance on skis, battling the most extreme weather and terrain on the planet.

In his first updates from the ice, Eric says that so far, the journey north has been colder than the weather he experienced in Antarctica. The miles have been harder so far as well, with large areas of open water and giant ice fields impeding their progress. As a result, the team has not covered a lot of mileage so far, and negative drift has worked to deprive them of some of the miles they have achieved.

If successful in reaching the North Pole, Eric will be two-thirds of the way to his goal. He plans to head to Everest in the fall, and a successful summit there would make him the first person to ever reach the "three poles" in a single calendar year.

http://savethepoles.com/updates/
Title: Re: Adventurers
Post by: Cassander on March 11, 2010, 12:22:01 AM
Eric Larson also wrote and drew the comic book "Savage Dragon," but his real breakout success was the non-fiction turn-of-the-century mystery "Devil in the White City."

Title: Re: Adventurers
Post by: nacho on March 11, 2010, 01:44:56 PM
Quote
Reed boat sets off on ocean trip
By Mark Pivac
BBC News

A team of explorers has set sail from the US for Spain in a 12-metre-long (40ft) reed boat, hoping to spend about two months sailing across the Atlantic.

They are trying to prove that Stone Age people crossed the ocean thousands of years before Christopher Columbus in the 15th Century.

Aymara Indians in Bolivia, who still use reed boats, built the new vessel.

It takes its inspiration from prehistoric European cave paintings dating back more than 10,000 years.

Surrounded by the modern New York skyline, the dozen-strong team put to sea in the seemingly flimsy boat made of reeds.

The German biologist leading the expedition, Dominique Gorlitz, argues that traces of cocaine and nicotine found a few years ago in the stomach of the ancient Egyptian pharaoh, Ramses II, were native to the Americas, so must have travelled to Africa by sea.

He says he is also hoping to overturn current thinking that says the prevailing Atlantic winds would have allowed ancient mariners to sail west to the Americas, but would have prevented them from returning home.
Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/americas/6294786.stm

More detail from June, with photos:

http://www.spiegel.de/international/zeitgeist/0,1518,druck-486804,00.html

Quote
SPIEGEL ONLINE - June 6, 2007, 03:11 PM
URL: http://www.spiegel.de/international/zeitgeist/0,1518,486804,00.html
SAILING BACK THROUGH TIME
German Plans Atlantic Crossing in Reed Boat

By Stephan Orth

An adventurer from the eastern German city of Chemnitz believes that sailors crossed the Atlantic as far back as 14,000 years ago. He plans to prove his theory by making the voyage on a homemade reed boat, built using prehistoric techniques.

Dominique Görlitz may not have a sailing license, but he does have a dream: The man from the eastern German city of Chemnitz wants to cross the Atlantic from west to east on a reed boat built using prehistoric techniques. He plans to sail his 12-ton, 12.5-meter "Abora III" from New York to Portugal and Spain, via the Azores. His goal is to prove that it was possible to sail across the Atlantic as early as 14,000 years ago.

"Traces of tobacco plants and cocaine were found in Egypt, in the tombs of Ramses II and Tutankhamun, for example, that clearly came from the New World," Görlitz told SPIEGEL ONLINE. There is a lot of scientific evidence that a trans-Atlantic exchange took place between prehistoric cultures, he says.

He conjectures that there were trade relations between North America and northwestern Spain thousands of years before Columbus, and that some North American goods could have even made it to Africa. According to Görlitz, 14,000-year-old cave drawings from Spain indicate that the inhabitants of the region were knowledgeable about ocean currents in the Atlantic.

Surpassing Heyerdahl

Görlitz's role model and idol since childhood is Thor Heyerdahl, the Norwegian ethnologist who died in 2002. Heyerdahl, with his famous voyages on the "Kon-Tiki" and the "Ra II," wanted to prove that prehistoric peoples sailed the high seas. But despite his successful voyages, Heyerdahl's efforts were met with skepticism within the scientific community, especially when genetic researchers disproved his theories of the intermingling of South American and Polynesian cultures.

Görlitz, a former physical education and biology teacher, has also met with criticism from scientists, and he is aware of the limited validity of his expedition. "We cannot prove that such voyages did in fact take place, but we can prove that it would have been technically possible," says the 40-year-old, whose project is part of his doctoral thesis at the University of Bonn.

Unlike Heyerdahl, who sailed from Morocco to North America on the "Ra II" 37 years ago, Görlitz would have to build a boat that, thanks to stable leeboards, could also sail into the wind. His design makes it possible to sail at a 70-degree angle to the direction of the wind. "Thor Heyerdahl only sailed from East to West, with the wind at his back," says Görlitz. "You could toss a refrigerator into the water in Morocco and it would eventually end up in America."

As long as the boat holds up, a westward Atlantic crossing is easier than many a Mediterranean voyage. "Phoenician seafarers already knew how to tack against the wind," says Görlitz. "The crossing from Spain to Egypt demanded more of sailors than a voyage from Africa to America."

Test Run on the Hudson

Just as Heyerdahl had his "Ra II" built by Bolivian Indians on Lake Titicaca, Görlitz is also entrusting the building of his vessel to the technical skills of the region's Aymara tribe, which still uses reed boats today. After studying petroglyphs and the scholarly literature for many years, Görlitz attempted to build as authentic a boat as possible. The result closely resembles Heyerdahl's "Ra."

The hull was brought to New York in May, where the superstructure is currently being completed and preparations are underway for the launch. The "Abora III" will complete a test run on the Hudson River in mid-June before heading out to sea in early July, "as soon as we have good weather."

With high swells, sudden changes in wind direction and powerful storms, the more than 6,000-kilometer (3,728-mile) stretch across the North Atlantic will be extremely challenging for Görlitz and his 11-member crew. Some are veterans of voyages with the boat's predecessors, the "Abora I" and "Abora II," while the others were recruited through ads in magazines, on the Internet and on television.

Görlitz describes his crew as ordinary people from five different countries, people he believes have the strength of character to endure two months living in cramped quarters in the boat's two extremely small cabins. Five people will sleep next to each other in a space only 3 meters (about 10 feet) wide. The crew will do without the luxury of an onboard toilet, and there will be no boat accompanying the vessel for emergencies. But in one respect Görlitz has opted to dispense with prehistoric authenticity: He will use state-of-the-art GPS equipment to navigate the boat in the open ocean.

The adventure almost ended before it began, when US customs agents found a beetle in the hull as the boat was being brought into the United States. It was only when a zoologist was able to prove that it had come from the United States and not Bolivia that the unusual cargo was allowed to enter the country.

Translated from the German by Christopher Sultan




So this guy failed...but didn't die:


Quote
The ABORA III concludes its journey.

After sailing more than 2000 nautical miles across the Atlantic aboard the reed boat ABORA III, Dominique Görlitz has called an end to his archaeological experiment. He and his crew of 10 set out from New York City harbour on July 11, and spent 56 days at sea. A series of storms and gale-force winds broke the boat apart a week ago, providing a challenging learning opportunity for the scientist and his crew. Although they did not reach the Azores, Görlitz sees the project as a success.

"We have collected a large bank of empirical data and hands-on experiences that further help us to understand pre-historic seafaring and trade. Our trip has not been easy, and in the end a gale broke the make-shift rudder that we were forced to craft after an earlier storm stole my stern and damaged the original twin rudders. The incident gave us an understanding of how ancient sailors could have coped with such dramatic challenges, but now, unable to craft a new rudder due to lack of spare parts we have chosen to accept assistance from another ship." stated Görlitz.

Working on his Ph.D. in botany, Görlitz towed bags of seeds behind his vessel. He intends to examine them with a team of scientists at the University of Bonn and the Institute for Plant Research and Genetics at Gatersleben. Traces of two new world plants, tobacco and coca, have been found in the mummy of Ramses II. If seeds from these plants cannot germinate after floating across the Atalntic, then it would suggest that they were brought back by trans-Atlantic seafarers.

On Wednesday the crew dismantled the boat, taking off all equipment as well as pieces of the boat for exhibition purposes. They boarded the sailboat, which originally was chartered to bring a ZDF camera crew to film the ABORA III.

The ABORA III was also a social experiment of sorts, bringing together 11 people from four nations ranging in age from 21 to 63. The team exhibited strong teamwork during times of treacherous seas as well as during times of calm.

"Observing the individuals grow together as a crew was a pleasant experience, and I am also proud to have been able to provide them with a lifelong experience." said Görlitz.

Title: Re: Adventurers
Post by: nacho on March 11, 2010, 01:51:57 PM
http://www.gadling.com/2008/04/10/hollywood-stuntman-to-sail-atlantic-in-a-popsicle-stick-ship/

Quote
31 world record breaker and former Hollywood stuntman Robert McDonald's new adventure is to cross the Atlantic in a 15-meter ship made of 15 million ice-cream sticks, that looks like a replica of a Viking ship.

A lot of the sticks were used, steam-cleaned ones and about 13-million of them were donated by Unilever. He made the ship, stick by stick, with the help of his son and 5000 children from Holland; the sticks have been stuck together by salt-water proof glue. This ship is probably the world's largest handmade recycled object.

McDonald's creative and risk-filled life stems from the fact that he was injured in a gas explosion that killed his parents and six-siblings, and confined him to 5-years of hospital bed rest. All his feats are motivated by a strong and simple belief that he wants to share with kids: "you can do anything". Part of McDonald's fearless stunt portfolio includes climbing the Twin Towers in 1995, and free-climbing the Grand Canyon.

A dangerous expedition but possible; the ship is undergoing various sea-trials at the moment. Apparently, McDonald said that when a boat inspector analyzed one of his planks made of 5000 popsicle sticks, he pronounced it 5-times stronger than steel.(!)

According to a Reuters report, he currently is looking for a crew to sail the ship across Atlantic from Holland to America as well as of course, funding.



http://www.obvikingship.com/
Title: Re: Adventurers
Post by: nacho on March 15, 2010, 10:56:05 AM
Quote
Long distance hiking legend Andrew Skurka is off on another adventure, this time taking on a trek through the Alaskan wilderness that will take seven months to complete, and will cover more than 4700 miles. Dubbed the Alaska-Yukon Expedition, the journey will take Skurka through eight national parks, six in the U.S. and two in Canada, while crossing four mountain ranges, and some of the most remote wilderness found anywhere in North America.

Skurka set out from Kotzebue, Alaska a few days back, and will now travel south to the Iditarod Trail, then east to the Alaskan Range and the Lost Coast. From there, it's on to the Inside Passage, up the Yukon River to the Ogilive and Richardson Mountains, before eventually turning west, and running the length of the Brooks Range, one of the last great wildernesses on Earth. Finally, he'll return to Kotzebue, completing the circuit and ending the adventure back where he began.

For now, Skurka will be traveling on skis, but much of the journey will be completed on foot and with the use of a packraft, a small, inflatable boat that he can carry with him. For most people, the thought of covering more than 4700 miles through remote backcountry, under your own power, would seem like an insurmountable challenge, but for Skurka, it is just another long hike to add to his resume. In the past, he has hiked both the Appalachian and Pacific Crest Trails, as well as a route from the Atlantic to the Pacific that covered more than 7700 miles. His 6875 mile Great Western Trails Route a few years back also earned him the title of National Geographic Adventurer of the Year.

You'll be able to follow Skurka's adventures with weekly updates on the National Geographic Adventure Blog and through his Twitter feed @andrewskurka. If all goes according to plan, he should be finishing up the journey in the early part of October.

http://ngadventure.typepad.com/blog/
Title: Re: Adventurers
Post by: nacho on March 24, 2010, 10:19:03 AM
Quote
Last Saturday, the 105-foot long, tri-hulled sailing vessel Groupama 3, captained by French skipper Franck Cammas, completed an around the world cruise that resulted in a new speed record for circumnavigating the globe. The journey took 48 days, 7 hours, 44 minutes and 52 seconds to complete, beating the old record, set in 2005, by more than two days.

http://www.gadling.com/2010/03/24/new-round-the-world-sailing-record-set
Title: Re: Adventurers
Post by: nacho on March 29, 2010, 10:24:36 AM
http://www.treehugger.com/files/2010/03/teen-to-ski-last-degree-of-the-north-pole.php

Quote
When I was 15 years old I thought the most important thing in the world was making the JV field hockey team and not getting any bad grades on my report card. But apparently 15 year old Parker Liautaud has better things to do, like being one of the youngest kids ever to ski the Last Degree of the North Pole. Parker will attempt the mega-expedition all in an effort to engage young adults to take a stand for the planet.

On March 31, 15 year old Parker Liautaud will attempt to be one of the youngest kids ever to ski the Last Degree of the North Pole. While a 12 year old and 14 year old did ski the last 51 km leg of the journey with their parents in 2007, Parker will go the full 110 km accompanied by only a guide. The expedition takes between 13 and 14 days depending on the shifting of the ice. The ice is constantly shifting and adjusting. In fact, at times they may set up camp and then wake up in the morning on the same piece of ice, but miles from where they set up camp due to the shift. Additionally, Parker and his seasoned guide and trainer, Doug Stoup, will at times, have to get into immersion suits and actually swim across freezing waters. The ice plates can often collide and create large walls of ice, hindering their initial route and forcing the two to find an alternate route. Parker decided to attempt the expedition in an effort to inform the next generation of change makers about global climate change and the issues associated with the arctic.

He's been training vigorously in preparation for the trip, working extra hard to add weight to his teenage frame. His strength training has consisted of wearing a 25 pound weighted vest while dragging a weighted sled around a track in his native country of England. And that's a good thing because come March 31, Parker will have only his training and the aid of Doug Stoup to help him on his journey. Parker has very limited experience in this arena, having only been to the North Pole on one other occasion for an eco-tour.

And (unrelated) http://www.gadling.com/2010/03/29/ship-made-of-plastic-bottles-sets-sail-for-australia

Quote
It has been more than a year since we mentioned David de Rothschild and his Plastiki Expedition. At the time, he was putting the finishing touches on his ship, the Plastiki,  which is made out of more than 12,000 recycled bottles, and preparing to set sale from San Francisco to Australia. Unfortunately, due to a series of setbacks, that journey didn't get underway as scheduled, but with those obstacles out of the way, de Rothschild and his crew set out last week on their voyage at last.

The journey is expected to take roughly 100 days to complete, finishing up in Sydney, with a stop over at the Great Pacific Garbage Patch while en route. This patch is a huge area of accumulated garbage, much of it made out of plastic, that is believed to be at least the size of Texas. One of the goals of the project is to raise awareness of the amount of plastic trash we are accumulating and what it is doing to the environment, and to that end, de Rothschild and his crew are hoping that by visiting the Garbage Patch, they'll help to maker others aware of its existence.

The environmentally friendly expedition doesn't end with the design and con remarkable ship. On board the Pastiki, the crew uses wind and trailing propeller turbines, bicycle generators and solar panels to create electricity to power an array of technological devices, including computers, GPS navigation systems, and satellite communications devices.

You can follow along with the journey on the Plastiki website and track the progress of the catamaran itself. As of this writing, they have traveled approximately 750 nautical miles, but with more than 10,000 more to go, there is plenty of adventure ahead. You can also follow the voyage on Twitter at @Plastiki.
Title: Re: Adventurers
Post by: nacho on April 05, 2010, 04:04:48 PM
Balloon to the North Pole.  Making 60's Disney adventure movies come true!

http://www.gadling.com/2010/04/05/explorer-attempts-balloon-flight-over-north-pole
Title: Re: Adventurers
Post by: nacho on July 06, 2010, 02:17:04 PM
http://mongolia2010.com/index.html

Quote
British adventurer Ripley Davenport is in the middle of a spectacular solo journey. One that if he finishes, will put him the record books for the longest solo and unsupported trek in history. But before he's done, he'll face harsh weather conditions, inhospitable terrain, and one of the most demanding routes ever undertaken by man.

Ripley's adventure is dubbed the Mongolia 2010 Expedition. His plan is to travel alone for 1700 miles across the vast, open wilderness of Mongolia, a country that boasts one of the lowest population densities on Earth. Along the way, he'll travel on foot across the Eastern Mongolian Steppe, through the Gobi Desert, and over the Altai Mountains, while pulling all of his gear and supplies behind him in a specially designed cart that is the lifeline for his trek.

The expedition initially began back in April, but just three days in, the cart broke down on the harsh terrain. Undaunted however, Ripley returned home, made some important modifications to the design, and returned to the trail once again in late May. Since that time, he has completed the trek over the Mongolian Steppe, and is now nearing the end of the Gobi. According to his latest blog posts, Ripley has entered the foothills of the Altai Mountains, which will present an entirely new set of impediments to his progress.

At the moment, the former British Army officer is roughly halfway through his expedition, with plenty of challenges yet to overcome. But his spirits are high, he is focused and determined, and after more than 40 days on the trail, he is confident in his skills and equipment. The redesigned cart is working well, and is vital to Ripley achieving his goal of going solo and unsupported. Traveling by himself, he has the solo part well covered, but in order to achieve "unsupported" status he needs to finish the expedition without resupply or outside aid of any kind. His cart not only carries his gear, but also his food and water too, and without it, the journey wouldn't be possible at all.

Check in on Ripley's blog for regular updates from the field as he shares his adventure with the rest of us.
Title: Re: Adventurers
Post by: nacho on August 24, 2010, 10:42:48 AM
Quote
84-year old British adventurer Anthony Smith has big plans for 2011. In January of next year, he and three other men, will attempt to cross the Atlantic Ocean aboard a raft made out of plastic gas pipes. Setting out from the Canary islands, they'll cover more than 2800 miles, in 60 days, finishing up in the Bahamas sometime in March. If successful, it'll be the culmination of a dream that Smith has waited nearly 60 years to see realized.

The former RAF pilot has led quite a life of adventure. Back in 1963 he became the first Briton to cross the Alps in a hot air balloon and he has explored east Africa by balloon as well. He is also an accomplished filmmaker and the author of more than 30 books. The ocean crossing has been his goal for most of his life however, and five years ago he took a big step towards making it a reality when he took out an advertisement in the Telegraph, a popular paper in the U.K. That ad simply read: "Fancy rafting across the Atlantic? Famous traveller requires 3 crew. Must be OAP. Serious adventurers only."

From that advertisement, Smith found his crew, and he'll now be joined on the voyage by 57-year old yachtsman David Hildred, 61-year old hot air balloonist Robin Batchelor, and Andy Bainbridge, who at 56, is the young man of the group. Bainbridge is an experienced sailor and long time friend of Smith.

The raft is being built out of 13-yard sections of pipe that will have both ends sealed, trapping the air inside and making the craft buoyant. There will also be two small shelters, built from pig huts, that will provide the crew a respite from the elements, and a small fence will line the outside of the boat to prevent them from falling overboard. The simple boat has been dubbed the An-Tiki, a nod to Thor Heyerdahl's Kon-Tiki, and will have an "elderly crossing" sign on the sail.

Smith and his team hope to take advantage of the strong trade winds that arrive in January so that they can avoid the Atlantic storm season and finish the voyage on schedule.
Title: Re: Adventurers
Post by: nacho on November 16, 2010, 12:25:51 PM
http://www.gadling.com/2010/11/15/b/
http://www.chrisfootsouthpole.com/

Quote
British adventurer Chris Foot is currently in Punta Arenas, Chile, preparing to set out on a long and difficult journey that will see him traveling on skis to the South Pole. That, in and of itself, is an impressive feat, but one that has done plenty of times in the past. But upon arrival at the Pole Chris intends to separate himself from the explorers who have gone before him, by turning around and skiing back to where he started, something that has never been done before.

The entire journey will cover more than 1392 miles through one of the most desolate and remote regions on the planet. To add to the challenge, Foot intends to make the trip solo and unsupported, which means he will be completely alone and won't receive any supply drops or outside assistance for the length of the expedition. Instead, he'll pull a sled behind him that will carry all of his food, equipment, and other supplies for the length of the journey, which could last for upwards of three months.

The expedition will begin and end at the new Union Glacier Antarctic base that we told you about last week, and could get underway as soon as today. Weather has delayed the start of Chris' journey, as high winds and heavy snow have prevented planes from landing at the new base, but according to the latest dispatches from the former British commando, his gear has all been packed and weighed, and he is awaiting a clear weather window to allow him to get start the long, slow march to 90ºS.

Chris will be one of the first adventurers to hit the ice this year, but his arrival will mark the beginning of the Antarctic expedition season that will see other expeditions heading to the South Pole as well. Additionally, mountaineers will challenge themselves on several cold and remote peaks in the region and adventure travelers will get the opportunity to visit a place that few ever experience.
Title: Re: Adventurers
Post by: Cassander on November 16, 2010, 12:46:56 PM
Christ.  I'm impressed, but at a certain point it ceases to be adventure and becomes an attempt to turn your mind into an endurance machine. 
Title: Re: Adventurers
Post by: nacho on December 04, 2010, 01:04:32 PM
http://www.gadling.com/2010/12/01/2012-antarctic-expedition-to-visit-scotts-final-resting-place

Quote
British polar explorer Robert Falcon Scott is amongst the most tragic of all 20th century historical figures. In an era where exploration was a matter of national pride, he spent a significant portion of his life attempting to become the first person to reach the South Pole. And when he did finally make it to that place, he found that he had been beaten, by just a few weeks, by his Norwegian rival Roald Amundsen. With that bitter defeat in his mouth, he and his men turned for home, crossing the desolate and frigid antarctic expanse. Eventually, they all met their end on that long, cold, march, with Scott, along with his two remaining companions, freezing to death in a tent while a storm raged outside for ten days. They were just 11 miles from a life saving cache of supplies.

Despite his failure in Antarctica however, Scott remains a popular hero in the U.K. and next year, an expedition is being planned to memorialize his adventurous spirit. Dubbed the International Scott Centenary Expedition, the plan is for a team of adventurers to travel on skis to the final resting spot of the famous explorer and his crew, a place that hasn't been visited in 100 years.

There will actually be two teams that will arrive at location of where Scott met his end. In addition to the team that will travel overland another group will be flown in to attend a memorial service in honor of the explorer and his comrades. Both groups will converge on the site where Scott's tent was discovered on November 12, 2012, precisely 100 years to the day that his remains were found. The second team will be made up of descendants of Scott and the men who made the journey with him.

While the expedition is already well into the planning stages, with experienced explorers handling the logistics and preparation, there is actually room for one more person to join this adventure. With that in mind, the British newspaper the Telegraph is searching for a young man or woman with an adventurous spirit who would like to tag along on this 290 mile journey across the open expanse of Antarctica. The person selected must be a resident of the U.K. and be between the ages of 18-30. You can read all the details here, including other stipulations for selection and how to submit your application.

This is going to be a truly challenging adventure following in the footsteps of a legendary explorer. I would personally love to be selected to join this team, but since I don't live in the U.K., not to mention being well above 30, I'm not eligible. Still, this is a great opportunity for someone to experience a true adventure of a lifetime.
Title: Re: Adventurers
Post by: monkey! on December 06, 2010, 03:47:06 PM
I'd apply for that if I hadn't defected to the French.
Title: Re: Adventurers
Post by: nacho on February 21, 2011, 12:35:04 PM
The Green Way Up:

Quote
Four Aussie men are preparing to make an epic road trip that will see them drive from their home in Australia all the way to Norway. That, in and of itself, should make for quite an adventure, but they'll also make the journey without stopping at a single gas station along the way. Instead, they'll use biodiesel to power their vehicle and they'll gas up by collecting cooking oil and animal fat from restaurants and pubs, which they'll convert into fuel instead.

http://www.gadling.com/2011/02/21/driving-from-australia-to-norway-without-stopping-for-gas

http://www.thegreenwayup.com/
Title: Re: Adventurers
Post by: nacho on February 24, 2011, 02:30:34 PM
Always a sucker for stuff like this:

http://www.gobackpacking.com/Blog/2011/02/24/photo-essay-crossing-the-heart-of-africa

From South Africa to Sudan -- 4500 miles. I can't imagine doing it now, but this guy followed in the footsteps of a guy who did it in 1900!
Title: Re: Adventurers
Post by: nacho on July 19, 2011, 11:11:06 AM
I was going to create an "Age of Exploration" thread, but then I figured the contents already exist spread through the History's Mysteries thread, and the Footnotes thread, and bleeding into the What You're Reading thread...

So I figured I'd hijack this sleepy thread with adventurers past.

I'm currently reading: Crossing the Heart of Africa: An Odyssey of Love and Adventure (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0061873470/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=santafewriterspr&linkCode=as2&camp=217145&creative=399369&creativeASIN=0061873470)

Where the author retraces the steps of this guy:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ewart_Grogan

And this follows a read a few months ago about Percy Fawcett:

http://www.greatsociety.org/forums/index.php/topic,340.msg131778.html#msg131778

So now I'm lost in a Wikipedia hole reading about crazy late 19th century and early 20th century explorers...

There's this guy, who mapped the Libyan desert:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahmed_Hassanein

Really, all paths lead to a larger study of the absolutely insane and inhumane "scramble for Africa": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scramble_for_Africa

The fallout of which we're still very much dealing with today (a lesson not lost in Crossing the Heart of Africa).

And, of course, no study of colonialism is complete without getting deep into the life of diamond merchant and de facto emperor of Africa, Cecil Rhodes: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cecil_Rhodes

A brutal, genocidal fuckhead, Rhodes was obsessed with connecting Cape Town with Cairo via telegraph and train: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cecil_Rhodes#.22Cape_to_Cairo_Red_Line.22

For some reason, Wikipedia (and history, generally) dodges most of the facts. Rhodes is pretty much single-handedly responsible for wiping out half a dozen tribes and activities of that ilk.

Of course, during the conception phase of the railroad, Rhodes was also the bankroll behind countless explorers and adventurers who wandered off into festering swamps and into headhunter country to map potential rail routes.

 
Title: Re: Adventurers
Post by: nacho on July 21, 2011, 11:01:13 AM
There's always been a debate about the whole Stanley and Livingston meeting, and the famous greeting. They both destroyed the relevant portions of their journals and subscribed to Stanley's version of events in the book.

So I read deeper today... Stanley made a staggering 50,000 pounds off of the initial book deal. That's equivalent to a 4-5 million pound deal today. And, of course, he continued to make tons of money on the lecture circuit, and exploring other parts of Africa, and, ultimately, in 1885, securing an area larger than France, England, and Germany combined (what would become the country of Congo) for King Leopold of Belgium. Leopold turned the country into a privately owned corporatocracy, where his personal rubber company ruled over 30 million inhabitants, all of whom were forced to work the rubber trees and vines. His was the only colony in Africa that was not tied to a country -- he established the Congo as a "private colony" and as a citizen, not a reigning monarch, to dodge the laws back home.

Leopold's company had a special police force given carte blanche to enforce the company's rules. For every bullet they fired, they were obligated to take a human hand to "pay" for the bullet.

It's estimated that 50% of the population had been wiped out by the time Leopold was forced to surrender his control of the colony over to the state in 1908.

And, of course, Stanley was hip deep in the atrocities.  Burton (of Burton and Speke, contemporary explorers) had been laughed down by the media and the government when he condemned Stanley of being a genocidal maniac shortly after the meeting with Livingston. And Stanley still managed to scrape by the whole Congo venture with little trouble.
Title: Re: Adventurers
Post by: nacho on June 02, 2015, 03:11:19 PM
Yay! Lists!

http://io9.com/7-archaeologists-who-were-real-life-indiana-joneses-1708379511
Title: Re: Adventurers
Post by: monkey! on June 03, 2015, 05:31:37 PM
That's me!
Title: Re: Adventurers
Post by: nacho on December 01, 2017, 09:19:25 AM
This site's full of fun stuff.

https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/august-engelhardt-coconut-cult

Not an adventurer, per se, but still interesting.