British Adventurer Oliver Hicks will set out this week to undertake one of the last big adventures in the water or on land for that matter. Hicks intends to circumnavigate the globe by rowing his way around the southern hemisphere along the 55th parallel, something that has never been done before.
Hicks’ intention is to row for nine hours a day, covering an average of 30 miles per day, over the course of 500 days. In all, he’ll cover more than 15,000 miles, setting off from New Zealand. From there, he’ll cross the Pacific Ocean, navigate the perilous Drake Passage into the Southern Ocean, and continuing along, if everything goes according to plan, back to New Zealand, a year and a half after he started. He’ll make one stop along his journey, wintering in South Georgia, a small island in the south Atlantic, where he’ll resupply before continuing his journey.
The 27-year old explorer is no stranger to adventure. At the age of 17 he began making long distance cycling trips, and four years later he ran the famed Marathon des Sables. He’s also paddled the Yukon River Quest, and back in 2005 he became the youngest person to ever paddle across the Atlantic Ocean, completing that long distance paddle in 124 days.
The plan is, whether permitting, to get underway this week in a specially designed boat made of carbon fiber. He’ll take with him 10 pairs of oars, a year’s supply of food, 50 liters of water, an emergency sail, and a life raft. Unfortunately, along his intended route, there really won’t be anyone to come rescue him should he get into trouble, so Hicks is going out on quite a limb. This article over at the Times Online, does a good job of explaining the dangers, but the line in their opening paragraph, which reads: “Below 40 degrees latitude there is no law; below 50 degrees there is no God” pretty much sums it up well.
Once he’s under way, you’ll be able to chart his progress on the expedition’s official website. For now, you can check out some videos of the preparation by clicking here. And thanks to Roz for bring this to my attention!