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May 30, 2000

Tarawa to Solomon Islands voyage, Update #1

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Date: Tue, 30 May 2000 06:15:00 GMT
Offshore Near Tarawa


We are underway, Solomons bound. All OK. We will have a full report posted shortly.

The first attempt to circumnavigate the world by human power continues this weekend from the island atoll of Tarawa in the mid Pacific.

Traveling in a unique pedal powered boat, Jason Lewis (32) and Chris Tipper (34) will set off for the Solomon Islands 1100 miles away. This marks the beginning of the 'return' journey to the Meridian Line in Greenwich, England from where the expedition started 6 years ago.

The British adventurers will set off in their pedal boat 'Moksha' from Betio harbour (pronounced beyseo) on Tuesday, 30th May heading southwest for Honiara. The voyage will be a tough physical challenge: aside from having to pedal 12 hours a day each, the pair face intense heat, 30+ ft waves and risk of shark attack when cooling off in the ocean, all before making landfall in a country at war. After a short stopover to visit schools, the expedition will continue to Cairns, Australia then westward by land.

It has taken Jason six years to get this far - 18,000 miles of pedaling the boat, cycling and roller-blading - half way around the world. Aside from completing a full circumnavigation, the expedition aims to promote understanding between cultures, encouraging people to learn from the planet and each other. Visiting over 500 communities along its route and communicating with children via the Internet, the expedition works with schools to document their surroundings and exchange the results with other school children worldwide.

"Traveling half way around the planet using just the power of my own muscles has proved tremendously challenging, but using the project as a tool to connect children with each other has been the most rewarding part." - Jason Lewis

Jason's original partner Steve Smith left the expedition in Hawaii to pursue other projects. Chris Tipper built the boat in England at the inception of the project and is joining Jason for the trip to the Solomons

"This is the first opportunity I will get to pedal the boat I spent a year building for the expedition. It will be a chance to really test my limits." - Chris Tipper

Moksha is equipped with satellite navigation and communications equipment, allowing the pedalers to send back daily updates of their adventure for the Internet - including photographs, audio and video. There is also a satellite phone on board. Jason and Chris will be available for live audio interviews throughout the voyage. Photographs also available.

The expedition is currently seeking sponsorship.

Jason & Chris

Posted on May 30, 2000 5:09 AM