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“Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Swim Halmahera 2014

In August 2014 I set off swimming around the beautiful and wild island of Halmahera in Indonesia. Six months later, exhausted, I swam up onto the same beach completing the 1200km swim around the island. In between I’d had to learn to swim – I tackled strong currents, towering waves, hunger and lack of sleep, constant infected sores and wounds, and an encounter with a saltwater crocodile. In this same time I’d marvelled at perfect reefs, relaxed on deserted white sand beaches, slept in mangroves, explored virgin rainforest and hung out with a native hunter-gatherer tribe. I mixed with the locals and learned their language and culture thanks to their unfaltering patience and generosity. This blog is my story.

Halmahera

Halmahera

Cape Ngolopopo

I woke up to the vibrating alarm on my phone. Stars were still twinkling in the sky and only a faint glow on the horizon signaled the approaching day. The wind was low, the sea calm. I had reached the end of the second peninsula of the...

Face to Face

Not every day are you confronted with a huge hungry dinosaur. Some days though… When I reached Weda, the biggest town of the region, I took the opportunity to rest a couple of days. While there, I developed something I called the Magnum...

Past My Bed Time

It had taken me a while to find a new pair of goggles. The journey was two days each way (including a two hour motorbike ride down the beach at low tide - the only available road) and exploring the labyrinth of Chinese shops in Ternate had...

A Day In The Life

This August I flew to the little known Maluku islands in Eastern Indonesia. The mission: to swim 1200km all the way around the biggest island, Halmahera. You join me nearly 6 weeks in. Despite often having to take days off to tend...

Ode to Swimming

This blog post may well have been called: why is the world against me? Things started going wrong two weeks ago when my faithful GoPro camera floated out into the Pacific Ocean. Every day I would tie it to the Myfloat bags which would...

Blood, Pus… and Cannibals

As we all know, the best laid plans of Mice and Men oft go awry. But rarely this far awry! A little while ago I was informed by the immigration office that I would have to fly out of Indonesia to apply for a new visa, as my old one wasn’t extendable...

Pushing My Limits

Two weeks had passed since my last swim. It was time to make a decision and either quit or stop stalling and push on. The sores that I had developed in the first week on the island had refused to heal quickly. My initial hope of having a couple...

Swimming With Crocodiles

Just as I start getting into the swim I get hit by some bad news. There are crocodiles on the island. Do I carry on? | A week ago I received some unsettling news. One evening, as I was settling down to dinner in a little village after a day’s ...

New Beginnings

Apparently that's the normal thing here, which gives my laziness even less excuse. We had tea and biscuits and as they got productive I went back to bed. I woke up again 3 hours later and was getting ready to leave when another knock at my door...

Into the Deep End

The swim begins! My first few days in a new world, with a language I don’t speak and a mountain of challenges ahead. Day 1 And it begins. I landed in Ternate airport at 8 this morning with zero sleep. I got a lift into town by an...

The Plan

At the beginning of August I will fly to Ternate, the city that houses the main airport in the North Maluku islands in Indonesia, and the closest to my destination: the island of Halmahera. From here shall begin my ultraswim, beginning...