Explorers Connect

Global Adventure News 28 June 2012

CommunityJames Hipkiss

American paddlers complete 52 mile 24 hour marathon SUP challenge. Watermen Bill Whiddon and Thaddeus Foote, have completed the first ever attempt to stand-up paddle (SUP) across the Gulf Stream, from Bimini, Bahamas to Miami, to raise awareness of the impacts of plastics in the ocean.

The Bimini-Miami Blue Water Challenge was a gruelling 24 hour adventure taking the paddle boarders 48 miles across the deep blue waters of the powerful Gulfstream current armed with only a board, a paddle, and their wits.

The intrepid paddle boarders endured one the earths most powerful oceanic currents, exposure to shifting weather conditions, extreme isolation, and all the risks of open ocean navigation in order to successfully reach their destination. The paddlers arrived at South Beach Miami on the 15th of June to be welcomed at a party thrown in their honour by The Surfrider Foundation. By completing this journey, Whiddon and Foote hope to raise awareness of the impacts that discarded plastics are having on the worlds marine environments. The Surfrider Foundation Miami Chapter is an official partner of the crossing and is fighting the proliferation of marine plastics through its Rise Above Plastics (R.A.P.) campaign. R.A.P. is aimed at increasing the rate of plastic recycling and reducing the release of waste into the oceans. To take action, visit http://florida.surfrider.org/campaigns/flrapRiver.

Gambia 2012 Expedition 1000km. Experienced West Africa travellers, husband and wife team Jason Florio, and, photography producer, Helen Jones-Florio will attempt to make the first recorded source to sea expedition of the entire length of the River Gambia: one of the last remaining, large, free-flowing rivers in Africa, there has been talk for a number of years of damming the river, so they want to document the communities and environment before this happens. Travelling by canoe and foot through the homelands of over seven different tribes, their journey will begin at the source of the river, where it trickles out of the Fouta Djallon highlands of Guinea, on into hippo-abundant Niokolo Koba National Park, Senegal, and finally into The Republic of the Gambia following the same course as the early gold and slave traders had done centuries ago to the 10km wide mouth of the river, where it opens into the Atlantic Ocean after over a 1000km journey. Jason, Helen, and their team, will collect visual, written and audio stories documenting the lives and cultures of the indigenous people, who live and work along the course of the River Gambia. Using traditional protocol, relevant to each country, they will approach village chiefs to ask permission to stay in their villages. Staying with the local people will be an integral part of the journey, in order for them to understand and document the cultures and traditions of the numerous tribes they will encounter. They will travel with two local Gambian river men for the entire journey, along with hiring local guides in Guinea and Senegal thus making it a diverse and international team. http://rivergambiaexpedition2012.wordpress.com.

Louis Philippe Loncke completed his epic crossing of Poland. This human powered adventure on foot, packraft and kayak between the highest summit of Poland (Mount Rysy, 2499m) to the Baltic sea began in May 2012. The journey started with Louis climbing Mount Rysy, then hiking North-west across the Tatras mountains to Mt Barania Gra (1220m), find the source of the Vistula (the longest river of Poland) and follow it to the sea. During the 4-5 weeks of the expedition Louis also visited cultural places and famous cities along the way.The trip was completed successfully on the 3rd of June after 28 days and 1200 kilometers.By completing the trip Louis hopes to inspire preservation of the water bodies and wildlife of the country.http://www.polandtrek.com.

Ripley Davenport, FRGS, dedicated explorer adventurer writer for Explorers Connect is to attempt a 150 mile crossing of Death Valley.Death Valley is a desert valley located in Eastern California. Situated within the Mojave Desert, it features the lowest, driest, and hottest locations in North America. It has an area of about 3,000 square miles (7,800 sq km) and runs from the north to the south.The intention is to be completely self sufficient and entirely on foot throughout the arduous 150 mile route from North to South through the Valley itself by man-hauling a specially fabricated wheeled desert trailer, which will carry minimal water and provisions weighing approximately 200kg across sand dunes, jagged mountains, salt-pans, washes and canyons.The Valley itself is a narrow basin located 282 feet below sea level and bounded on all sides by mountains which generate the notorious blistering temperatures.It is intended to use, but not depend on, a recycling system that will purify urine.http://www.ripleydavenport.com/deathvalley.html

Legless man from Canada climbs Kilimanjaro on his hands - Spencer West, 31 from Toronto, Canada has succeeded in crawling on his hands to the 19,341ft high summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro. The amazing feat was completed on Tuesday the 19th of June. He trained for a year to scale the tallest peak in Africa without legs and set off on June 12 with best friends David Johnson and Alex Meers. The trek to the top took seven days, hiking through Tanzania's jungles, snowfields and deserts - and Mr West was forced to make 80 per cent of the journey on his hands, only hopping in a custom-made wheelchair when the terrain allowed. http://www.freethechildren.com/redefinepossible.

A team of five wounded American soldiers are attempting an ascent of Denali on June 10, 2012, a team of five wounded warriors began their challenge to summit Denali (Mt. McKinley) in Alaska, at 20,320 feet the highest mountain in North America and one of the coldest in the world. The team, calling themselves Warfighter Sports will test their limits, stamina and endurance while hoping to raise awareness of the abilities of Americas wounded servicemen and inspire others with disabilities.The Denali Challenge began on the 11th of June, they hope to complete their trip on Independence Day, July 4. Team Warfighter Sports includes two double leg amputees, two single above knee amputees and one with severe muscle damage in the legs. The team includes soldiers from two generations (the oldest is 64 and youngest is 29) and three wars, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.At present the team appear to be stranded at 14,000 feet due to severe weather however we are sure that their grit and determination will prevail and we will be following them at:http://www.crowdrise.com/wsdenalichallengeStories researched.