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What’s happening!

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Hi! I’m a writer and photographer (and now a budding filmmaker), an outdoor adventurer and some-time expedition leader, and an elected Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society and 2021 recipient of the RCGS Sir Christopher Ondaatje Medal for Exploration. And I’m a PhD scientist, too. Although I no longer work as a geologist, my sciences background is a huge part of who I am and of nearly everything I do.

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You can sign up for occasional updates about my projects and speaking events on my contacts page (don’t worry, I will never share your info or spam you!)

 

Like most everyone on the planet, my plans for 2020-2021 were pretty much derailed by COVID-19. I was thrilled get out in late 2020 to participate in the big Coastal Cleanup that took place along the wild and rugged shores of British Columbia’s north-central coast. You can find out more about that in this article I wrote for Canadian Geographic, or check out the photos and video that I have posted here on my blog.

My current projects and endeavours include:

Keep it Moving 2021: Going a bit stir-crazy, close to home, and needing some big physical goal to motivate me (but unable to sign up for any ultramarathon races because of COVID travel restrictions), I set my own private ultramarathon goal: to run the 47km Juan de Fuca Trail in a day. Although the website hasn’t quite caught up with all of the activities, I completed the run (and, via the training, got back in shape!) on September 7. More coming on the website – as well as a short film! – soon: http://www.keepitmoving2021.wordpress.com

 

The Food Garden Volume 1 Book CoverThe Food Garden project is a series of books aimed at regular urban people who want to produce food. Whether because, like me, you have worries about our food security and think this is important knowledge to have – or (also like me) you just appreciate the taste and quality of home-grown tomatoes and strawberries and greens: flavour and freshness that money simply cannot buy.

These books are not intended for people with big properties and series of raised beds and greenhouses – they are for normal town and city folk who want to grow food in whatever space they have, be that a back yard plot or a community garden, or a few pots on their balcony. If this resonates with you, please check out The Food Garden website, and sign up on my Contacts page for updates: I aim to have Volume 1, “the bible” out for 2022.

The Secret Coast Expedition project: The Secret Coast Expedition itself may be over… but I still have lots going on (not to mention a book to write!). The expedition, co-sponsored by the RCGS and the Spanish Embassy in Canada, was a one-month wilderness journey down the wild and mostly unpopulated west coast of Vancouver Island. It was not only an exploration of this remote, surf-swept coast, but also of a nearly forgotten period of our history: LDSC_9675the earliest contacts between the indigenous Nuu-chah-nulth people and the earliest explorers to arrive here – the first of whom were the Spanish. My first round of presentations about this project in November were to packed houses! I expect to do another tour in April, and will post dates and venues here once confirmed. In the meantime – I am still sorting through my photos, continuing my interviews with indigenous oral historians, and immersing myself in lots of old writings. More info here: www.secret-coast.com

Snowbirds: This is a totally fun and rewarding project! Anna’s hummingbirds used to live only in the southwest US and northern Mexico. But they have been expanding their range northward, and made it to my house here on central Vancouver Island six years ago! I’m working on a book and a video, documenting the story of their arrival – and how they cope with our Canadian winters. This 3 minute video explains it better than written words – or head over to www.winterhummingbirds.com to follow my progress:

 

Come adventuring with me! I am excited to be working with Hurtigruten Expeditions this coming southern summer (December 2021-January 2022). Hurtigruten is the world’s oldest and most prestigious small cruise ship company – based in Norway since the 1890s, and now operating all over the world. I will be naturalist/lecturer on the 16-day route that passes through the Chilean Fjords (departing from and finishing up in Punta Arenas), visiting the Antarctic Peninsula and the Falkland Islands. If you would like more information about these or other expeditions that I will be embarking on, you can contact me personally through my Contact page.