In September 2015, I departed the UK headed to Peru, and the main stem source of the Amazon.(The river Maranon) From there, i embarked on a 8 week paddle along 1800km of the Amazon to Iquitos, taking on rapids and endurance distances. The journey was filmed as part of a documentary for Mission Amazon, Red Bull TV
I was the first, and likely the last person to stand up paddleboard this immense stretch of water in its natural state, which is soon to be dammed at great cost to the environment and communities.
Only a handful of expeditions have descended the Blue Nile before us. This wild, remote source to the great Nile river was now about to be blocked by the Grand Renaissance Dam. This was the last chance to document this historic river in its natural state. Ben Peters and I joined forces to produce a documentary dedicated to an education program that would inspire schools across the country to be apart of our journey and learn environmental education through a live expedition. We re-united with Rocky Contos and joined a convoy of raft guides from America & Canada to film the last Descent documentary through the Grand canyon of Africa. This was the first time for a paddle board to make a decent, and in fact the first time anyone had descended the river in the hottest and shallowest time of year. It left us to navigate unknown rapids and intense heat. Being so remote we even became the first outsiders to ever visit a village home to the Gomez tribe.
On June 27 2016, I set out to paddle the entire coastline of England and Wales. This was a very person journey, centred around Mental health.
The 5 months social experiment forced me to interact with people to learn about mine and other peoples mental state. With no cash, I relied on the generosity of supporters and the kindness of strangers to get me around. I vlogged my lessons, some on social and some for myself that has given me an unexpected insight into my mind. Translating and connecting with people around me in a slightly different way and ever inching towards the source of my feeling. This short film is due to be complete after the last leg of the journey around Scotland.
This was a sure way to fall in love with the English coast, no matter what you compare it to. Although most of my journey was spent crossing big bodies of water, when i was along the coast i had to sleep in caves cliff and beaches that were so idyllic I forgot were I was.
A decade ago I started on the campaign to Paddle board across an Ocean unsupported. Then through lack of funds and detracted by other fruits, I was rightfully beaten to the water. My craft was designed by Thomas shmit and inspired by the famous Ocean rowing boat ' Soma' by Charlie Pitcher. This ended up being the very craft Chris Bertish used to cross the Atlantic. It was shaved to size and tweaked to fit and good to go. My vessel had the concept of a forward cabin but with different functions to aid journey's following on from the crossing and required a ground up production of a dream costing just beyond me. I chose the Atlantic as I have sailed across and she feels familiar but much like all our oceans, following the trades is a down winder home with the forward cabin catching the wind and aiding the heavy load.
Nicknamed the 'Adventure Pod' It adapts to many different environments. Its slightly smaller and very acutely engineered to my person. Its basically a floating Iron man suite with storage and scratching capabilities this was it. I am still trying to bring this project to reality. I want it to aid science and education. The Adventure pod I saw as a exciting problem. Adapting an environmentally friendly build with exciting innovation in engineering and technology to achieve new progression in our human endeavour but ultimately a vessel that could raise awareness of the human impact and be apart of an education platform that builds the next generation of environmental ambassadors.
Design - Thomas Schmidt Build - IIOW
History OverviewOver 22 years ago I had a dream to circumnavigate the earth in my own way! I took inspiration from Ranulph Fiennes’s Transglobal journey. David Attenborough has also had a huge impact on my connection with the planet. I wanted to combine the mission statement of these great Characters in an attempt to produce my own vision from their lessons.
In the last 10 years I have pursued adventure and expeditions paddling through the hardest conditions in the world that would teach me the boundaries of my ability. This consequently led me to the reality that, not only could I do this journey solo, but I could achieve it by using just a single vessel for the entire journey. I eventually pledged to do the first ocean crossing in this new hybrid vessel ‘Adventure pod’ as my last training exercise and public campaign to attract the support and sponsorship needed for my transglogal journey.
This is a trans global journey circumnavigating the earth via the North and South Pole. Its a solo expedition using just one craft. It will be a 5 year project and documentary supporting research and education around Climate change.
This ‘Adventure Pod’ can sustain my life for months at a time through most conditions. Much like ocean rowing boats this craft can support me across oceans and seas but uniquely can be dragged across ice and snow. It generates its own energy and hosts everything to complete each leg of the journey self sufficiently.
Pick-me-up trip around the renowned party island of Ibiza with 3 good friends. Exploring corners that many holiday-makers don't get to see, the trip around the island was something of a change of pace but still presenting plenty of kilometres a day of paddling in variable conditions. Made possible Thanks to Kiko Mathews Will Rogers from SUPBoarder Magazine and photographer and filmmaker Benjamin Sadd
In August 2013 a group of ten of us headded to the Arctic waters for the first time in an attempt to be the first people to Stand Up Paddleboard to one of the largest glaciers in the world..... Inspired by Justin Miles and Paul Hyman who is a true Ambassador for our environment and education. Paul is responsible for such a huge impact of cleaning up London waterways - Paddle & Pick and inspiring so many people through his passion. All of team had a really special experience together. Write up - SUP the MAG Thanks to Phil Sayers, Paul Hyman, Justin Miles, Jaime Silva, Stuart Howells, Mohammad Nilforooshan, Juliette Ball, Brad Symington
Visit the website for more information about the project and expedition. polarbearsandpaddleboards.com/
Travelling 60 mile (96km) distance, travelling in a clockwise direction on 11ft long (3.3m) boards. 0600 BST set off time from Bembridge. The non-stop journey took 14 hours and raised about £500 for the Bembridge RNLI lifeboat station.