I heard it on the radio

April 3, 2012


Travel with Tom Doig, Henry Feltham and I on our travel show podcast, Radio One, Dunedin! We talk cargo travel, Cambodia, Mongolia, space, time and eating dick.

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March 20, 2012


There is something wrong with the ocean. It becomes rough. The sailors have binocular eyes pointed at a low bank of grey cloud on the hairline of horizon. Mountains. If I look to the north I can pretend we’re still far at sea. But land has a siren call. It pulls your focus and your […]

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The ocean in colour

March 18, 2012


A moment of media madness during our shore leave in stupidly stunning Napier, east coast, Aotearoa. Passportless, we hand over our crew id – a photocopy job – and  step off the port onto a black stone beach, waves beating it slowly into sand.  Tonight we hit the sailor’s club for the promise of tea and […]

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Pitch and roll

March 11, 2012


David Foster Wallace describes when the heavy waves come straight at a Megaship’s snout, the ship goes up and down along its long axis – this is called “pitching.” It produces the disorienting sensation that you’re walking on a very slight downhill grade and then level and then on a very slight uphill grade […] […]

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Collective nouns for ships

March 6, 2012


The collective noun for the group of ships that one is waiting for is ‘an uncertainty’. With three days to go before we ride the ocean from Melbourne to Auckland we are certain only that our ship will be leaving ‘about 9 March’. Here are a few other things we know: • We were originally […]

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How to catch a cargo ship

February 2, 2012


In March 2012, Tom and I are catching the cargo ship ‘Natalie Schulte’ across the 2623 kilometer ditch that separates Melbourne and Auckland. It will take eight days. Apart from feeling a need to live out the opening credits of The Wire season two while also being unable to text, email or even pigeon for […]

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‘Love, death, birth, beauty, evil’ … and flight

November 19, 2011


In The Southerly online, Andrew Bourke writes about ‘Poetry with Wings’. His post has me captured, mid flight between looking up one thing and another, firstly because of the beauty of the poetry such as Dennis Haskell’s: we navigate by our ears as this horizontal stunted yacht edges forward inch by drawn-out inch. Secondly because, […]

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