Happy spring! It’s a gorgeous first day of spring out here on west coast. After a solid few weeks of rain, it feels well deserved.
This spring we’re launching a brand new show on our Amazon River expedition. In 1999/2000 two friends and I spent 5 months rafting the Amazon River, becoming the first to raft it and the third to voyage its full length by any means. It’s a compelling journey through mountains and jungle, packed with adrenaline-surging moments; including being shot at by rebels and coming close to dying in class 5+whitewater. It’s also an intriguing peak into off-the-beat travels in Peru, Brazil and Columbia.
The show is 90 minutes long and will include a multimedia presentation and a screening of the award-winning National Geographic film Amazon Extreme. We’ll be touring Vancouver Island and the lower mainland with it in April. Stops include Vancouver, Victoria, Nanaimo, Parksville and of course our home town, the Comox Valley.
A few years back, I did a few presentations on the Amazon expedition, but this will be different with never-before-seen photos along with the professionally edited film (the previous film was a home job on the PC). While Julie won’t be presenting, she will be attending along with Leif.
The tour is raising funds for our next expedition, which will begin this August. Olive Odyssey is a four-month, 3000-km, journey by small boat from Spain to the Middle East to explore the history of the olive tree. We’ll be retracing the route of the ancient Phoenicians as we investigate the role these mariners and traders had in dispersing the domesticated olive tree from its origin in the Middle East throughout the Mediterranean.
Besides getting the financing in place for the expedition, Julie and I are busy training. We will be using a boat that can be both and rowed and sailed (as the Phoenicians travelled), so it’s important to be prepared for both. While we both have thousands of hours experience rowing and I have spent five years off-shore sailing, we need to refresh our sailing skills and learn how best to travel with a small infant.
Thanks to the sponsorship of Atlantis Kayaks, based on Vancouver Island, we have the use of a 27 foot Catalina sailboat to brush up our sailing skills. And thanks to other sponsors, we already have some great equipment to use on the journey. Our eyes will be protected from the glare of long days on the water with Sundog Eyewear’s polarized sunglasses. And Waterloo-based Salus Marine has provided top-notch pfds which will keep us on top, even if our boat isn’t.
For those of you that live on the west coast, we hope to see you next month. You can get tickets to the Amazon River show on our website and at local shops. More information is at