“The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.” Jacques Cousteau
In the South China sea with friends, by pure chance, an utterly spectacular encounter with a whale shark.
An acrimonious meeting of man and serpent, resulting in a >6hr evacuation covering 286km by stretcher, boat, and Helicopter.
Patient treated with pressure immobilisation utilising Sam Splints and Vetrap within 6 minutes of the bite.
Released from hospital after observation with no clinical signs of envenomation.
A little video Homage to my favourite pack, the Hill people gear ‘Ute’; set to Come With Me Now, by the Kongos.
“Any one who hunts big game ought to be prepared to take some chances; and after all, if the element of danger were entirely eliminated, where would the fun come in?” -Frederick Courteney Selous, Travel and adventure in South-East Africa, 1893
The moment a Rhino we are tracking unexpectedly crests the ridge right in front of us.
Close quarters, on foot, down hill and up wind of a surprised black rhino; not ideal.
Weighing 3000 pounds with a reputation for ill temper and capable of charging at 35mph (horses gallop at 25-30mph) I was relieved when, after a tense stand off lasting about 5-10 minutes, it bolted.
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it.“ -Henry David Thoreau, Walden, 1854.
Lazy mornings in the jungle, sublime.
“I had learnt the satisfaction which comes from hardship and the pleasure which derives from abstinence; the contentment of a full belly; the richness of meat; the taste of clean water; the ecstasy of surrender when the craving of sleep becomes a torment; the warmth of a fire in the chill of dawn.” -Wilfred Thesiger, Arabian Sands, 1959.
The beginning of a solo 4 day walk through the skeleton coast.
I carried 12lt of water to replace what was lost to the heat of the day, a down bag to keep out the bitter cold of night and two guinea-fowl which I had the unexpected good fortune to cross paths with on the trail in. I collected as much firewood as I could carry whenever I found it, it was a rare and valuable commodity.
Location: The Skeleton coast
“I pondered on this desert hospitality and, compared it with our own… Gaunt men in rags and hungry-looking children had greeted me, and bade me welcome with the sonorous phrases of the desert. Later they had set a great dish before me, rice heaped round a sheep which they had slaughtered, over which my host poured liquid golden butter until it flowed down on to the sand; and when I protested, saying ‘Enough! Enough!’, had answered that I was a hundred times welcome. Their lavish hospitality had always made me uncomfortable, for I had known that as a result of it they would go hungry for days. Yet when I left them they had almost convinced me that I had done them a kindness by staying with them” -Wilfred Thesiger, Arabian Sands, 1959.
Photographer: Jaime Sharp
“Go as a pilgrim and seek out danger far from the comfort and the well lit avenues of life. Pit your every soul against the unknown and seek stimulation in the comfort of the brave. Experience cold, hunger, heat and thirst and survive to see another challenge and another dawn. Only then will you be at peace with yourself and be able to know and to say; I look down the farthest side of the mountain fulfilled and understanding all, and truly content that I lived a full life and one that was my own choice” – James Elroy Flecker, Hassan…The Golden Journey to Samarkand, 1922
A transformation in less than 5 minutes, from a serene knee deep stream to a raging torrent that rang with the sound of shifting boulders and carried away trees.
“Do what thy manhood bids thee do, from none but self expect applause; He noblest lives and noblest dies who makes and keeps his self-made laws.” – Sir Richard F. Burton, The Kasîdah of Hâjî Abdû El-Yezdî, 1870.
The wild nightlife of Harar, Following in the footsteps of Sir Richard F. Burton
Location: Harar, Ethiopia