Archive for February, 2008

4th team in history from source to sea

GPS tells the Expedition Amazonas storyOn the 21st February 2008 at pretty much the stroke of midnight we realised our goal of navigating the entire length of the longest & biggest river on the planet, under our own power – Rio Amazonas. The final 2km was in pouring rain, howling wind & knee deep stinking mud as the river gods threw one last angry fireball at us. We dragged our Ark raft Skop Gat to a light beacon on a muddy outcropping called Ponte Taipu, marking the point where the mighty River finally meets the Atlantic Ocean. Ponte Taipu: S 00 39.708´ W 48 02.633´
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Mission Complete!

P1050055 Just after 12 midnight on the 21 February 2008 we became the fourth ever successful team in the history of mankind to successfully navigate the entire length of the mighty Amazon River from it’s ultimate source at Mt Mismi to where it meets the Atlantic ocean some 6800 odd Kilometres away!

We have reached the ultimate prize and at this very moment sit stranded in sticky mud just at the bottom of the Ponte Taipu Lighthouse.  The tide has gone out, we’re being slaughtered by sandflies, it’s pouring rain and we might be stuck here for a while…but we don’t mind – aahhh the sweet taste of victory!  Yeeeehaaaa

Some random thoughts

Cutie Well, well, well…here we are, Belem. A spot on the map that a couple of months ago we did not dare even gaze upon because of the sheer distance we had yet to cover. But hopefully, leaving tomorrow we have around 150km to cover to reach our goal, our ultimate prize – a source to sea journey of the mighty Rio Amazonas.

My thoughts? I will tell you the honest truth…I am knackered! Physically my body is feeling pretty bloody good. I have put on weight in the last couple of months from plenty of food and some hard out rowing. Over the entire journey I have had minimal illness or ailments. So pretty stoked about that.

Mentally, my brain is pretty scattered. We have worked our backsides off every single day of this journey. If we weren´t rowing we were doing exactly what I am doing now, typing away in random internet cafes, posting photos, editing videos, talking with sponsors, trying to convince media that our expedition may capture readers attention slightly more than that cat stuck up a tree story they eventually decided to run with. Just non-stop. Even now, thinking about post-expedition work makes the mind spin.

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The 11th Hour

P1050377 We finally arrived in Belem yesterday, the 12th February 2008, some 17 days after leaving Santarem. This final leg has been extremely challenging & we arrived totally exhausted & very happy to check in to our final waypoint before the Atlantic. We want to keep moving to the ultimate goal of Ponte Taipu on the Northern Brazilian coastline where it meets the Atlantic Ocean but first it is time for some housekeeping & organising logistics etc. for this final 150km.

With any big worthwhile goal, as you near its realisation & the ultimate prize, you will be tested one last time to ensure that you really want it. It has been my experience over the years that this is a very natural part of the process when you pursue your dreams & it is what I term ”the 11th hour phenomena”. As the dream ebbs oh so close to reality, you will be tested like never before – tested to ensure you really want this thing – tested to see what you’re made of. (more…)