Well-known Japanese yachtsman Kenichi Horie, 83, arrived on June 4 off the Kii Peninsula in western Japan after crossing the Pacific, becoming the oldest person to sail solo and nonstop across the world’s largest body of water.
Horie set sail from San Francisco on March 26 on a voyage lasting 69 days. The trip, which covered about 8,700 km, went relatively smoothly. But he had to battle through bad weather at times, sailing into a storm and high seas immediately after leaving San Francisco. In his online diary, he wrote, “Can’t do anything but wait for it to pass.” In a later entry, he simply wrote: “I’m fed up.”
It was the latest achievement for the octogenarian adventurer, who in 1962 became the first person in the world to successfully complete a solo nonstop voyage across the Pacific from Japan to San Francisco.
Sixty years later, he traveled the opposite route.
In 1924, Alexandra David-Neel, the Paris-born, Buddhist scholar, travel writer, relentless explorer, and former opera singer, crossed the Himalaya in winter to reach the sacred city Lhasa. She became the first European woman to do so.
On the border of Tibet, at 4,000m, the two lived in a cave between 1914-1917. They braved freezing temperatures and scrounged for food. They spent most of their time meditating. Twice, they attempted to infiltrate the forbidden city of Lhasa in disguise.
Tibet was a common beacon for foreigners. But the country was strictly closed. David-Neel and Aphur entered illegally and were swiftly expelled.
With World War I at Europe’s doorstep, the pair set off in the opposite direction, first to Japan, then onward to Korea and China. For two years, they translated Tibetan books, living as monks in China’s Kumbum Monastery.
But again, David-Neel was restless. She struggled to stay in one place for long, and Tibet beckoned. She and Aphur set off again to attempt to enter Lhasa. This time, they succeeded.
63-year old Bert ter Hart is trekking and paddling his canoe across Canada, from west to east, using only a sextant and compass. He’s following routes that Canada’s Indigenous people travelled for thousands of years; they later helped guide the fur traders and explorers like David Thompson. He’s also carrying a petition that seeks to recognize these Indigenous guides.
Mr. Moore began in the Columbia River in Oregon, crossed several northern states and traveled down to the Gulf Coast by last winter. By early 2021, he was headed back up to the Great Lakes and to New York State, where he followed the Erie Canal to the Hudson River and ultimately to the Statue of Liberty.
“I wanted to see the country up close and personal at this interesting time, with the pandemic and all the political strife, to find out what it actually means to be American today,” Mr. Moore said.
“I felt like I followed that light shining all the way across the country,” he said later. “My journey was one of illumination. So to finally see that beacon up close, that flame of liberty, after seeing it in so many people I met across this land, it was overwhelming.”
Traveling by river became metaphoric: Just as rivers connect towns and cities, Mr. Moore said, he began exploring connections between people often separated by race, class and political stripe.
On his around-the-world voyage, he left Plymouth August 27, 1966, sailing the 14,100 miles to Sydney in 107 days. Embarking again on Jan. 29, 1967, he returned to Plymouth around Cape Horn in 119 days, the 15,517 miles being the longest passage made by a small sailing vessel without a port of call. He was knighted in May 1967 by Queen Elizabeth II. His last solo voyage in January–February 1971, from Portuguese Guinea to Nicaragua, covered 4,000 miles in 22 days. He died shortly after illness in 1972 prevented him from making the solo transatlantic race. His books include the autobiography The Lonely Sea and the Sky (1964) and The Gipsy Moth Circles the World (1967).
Millican Dalton, Jean Brown and Mabel Barker having a brew-up in 1935. Photo Mabel Barker Collection
Milican Dalton (Apr 20, 1867 – Feb 5, 1947) the British self-styled “Professor of Adventure”, was never motivated by adrenaline fuelled adventure, by speed, or by winning races. He lived in a cave in England’s Lake District and led camping and climbing trips up the local mountains.
He outfitted himself and his clients in lightweight gear he designed and sewed himself, specializing in tents made of tightly woven Egyptian cotton. In the rain the fibers would swell, tightening the weave and rendering the shelter water resistant, if not exactly dry. He sold handmade rucksacks, advertising them as “half the weight and one-third the cost” of the Norwegian packs in vogue at the time.
Millican did most of his sewing in the winter, when not climbing trees or, weather permitting, skimming across icy ponds on handmade wooden skates or sliding through the forest on skis—a skill he acquired in the Alps before the First World War. His handmade clothes were habitually left un-finished as frayed testimony that in Millican’s eyes, hemmed shorts should never stand in the way of a good ramble.
Millican didn’t see any reason why Barker or other women shouldn’t climb hard rock, or otherwise do as they pleased. That was only one of his unorthodox beliefs, all of which he espoused freely. He relished a good argument, and though he was sometimes called him the “Borrowdale Hermit” he was as sociable as he was opinionated. He welcomed visitors, occasionally leaving handwritten invitations to take tea with him at “Sinbad’s Cave.” Those who obliged would often be goaded into political discussions, which Millican pursued with gusto. He was a socialist and an outspoken pacifist who once wrote Winston Churchill during the height of the Blitz, demanding the Prime Minister make peace with the Germans. It seems the local air raid warden had climbed up to the cave to demand Millican douse his fire, infringing the Caveman’s liberty and provoking his ire.
Ursula Martin has recently returned to her home country of Wales after a three-year-long trek through Europe. Her walk was a personal mission and a quest to raise awareness for ovarian cancer, which she was diagnosed with ten years ago.
Ursula found out about her diagnosis on another backpacking trip. She was due to walk back to Wales after she had finished kayaking the length of the River Danube, which passes through Germany to Romania. She made it to Bulgaria and was about to begin her walk when she received the troubling news.
Forced to return home early, her plans just got bigger. Despite her diagnosis, Ursula persisted with her passion for hiking and completed a 3,500-mile walk around her very own stomping ground of Wales.
Please tread lightly, pack out your trash, and treat every person and location with respect.
Please do not bury waste or wipes – even those that are biodegradable. Always pack out bags, sanitary wipes, and feminine hygiene products to minimize impact on the environment and the spread of disease.
If you find any errors, have any tips, or see anything that might need improving, please let me know.