Jason Lewis: Circumnavigating the world
Jason Lewis was 26, broke and cleaning windows when he and a college friend decided to embark on an adventure around the world using only human power, one of the last great firsts to conquer.
No-one had ever circumnavigated the earth under their own steam - no motors, no sails. But Jason and his friend Stevie Smith had little experience. They thought the trip would take two or three years and be the adventure of a lifetime. Instead it took more than 13 years.
They set off from the Greenwich Meridian Line in London in 1994 and cycled through Europe before heading out over the Atlantic on a unique pedal-powered boat. Named Moksha (meaning liberation in Sanskrit) the custom 26ft (8m) pedal boat had a top speed of three knots, was self-righting and held supplies for months at sea.
Taking shifts at the pedals and the single sleeping compartment the pair made it to Miami in 111 days. Jason then continued his journey on roller-blades until he was hit by a drunk driver, breaking both his legs and landing him in intensive care. Nine months later he continued to San Francisco and onto the Pacific, to Hawaii.
When Stevie dropped out in Hawaii, Jason carried on spending 73 days alone at sea to reach the tiny coral atoll of Tarawa. A group of students and expedition supporters joined him in Australia, across the outback on bikes and island hopping on kayaks up to Singapore. Bouts of malaria and altitude sickness slowed the journey as he travelled illegally through east Tibet and over the Himalayas to India. Then it was just a short hop to Africa on the boat and through the Sahara, where he was mistaken for a spy and arrested on the Sudan Egypt border.
On 6 October 2007, he finally crossed the prime meridian again to become the first person to circumnavigate the earth using only human power.
Jason has now written a book Dark Waters.
Video courtesy of the feature documentary 'The Expedition' www.theexpeditionfilm.com
Produced by Kenny Brown
Music by Mark Schulz
10 Feb 2013
- From the section Magazine