Ben Southall says “isle see you later” and departs for the Best Expedition in the World
Thursday 19, May 2011
Ben Southall, former Best Job in the World Island Caretaker, this week launches the Best Expedition in the World a four-month, 1600km sea safari along Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef, which re-traces the route taken by Captain James Cook 240 years ago on his Voyage of Discovery.
Ben will paddle, pedal and sail a ‘Hobie’ kayak out of the Town of 1770 during the Captain Cook 1770 Festival at 03:00am on Saturday 21 May (AEST), destined for his first pit stop on Lady Elliot Island.
The jaunty Englishman said he was awestruck by the Great Barrier Reef while acting as Caretaker at Hamilton Island in 2009 as part of the ‘Best Job in the World’, and wanted to encourage more people to share the same experiences.
“This is about showing the world that the Great Barrier Reef is open for business,” said Ben, who will keep fans abreast of his voyage on the website www.bestexpedtionintheworld.com.
“My job is to raise the profile of the Great Barrier Reef, spreading the message of research, education and conservation of the reef, its islands and tourism experiences,” he said.
“I want to inspire people to realise they too can explore this great natural asset either by jumping in a kayak, going for a dive or sailing between Queensland’s islands,” he said.
The Best Expedition in the World will stop at Lady Elliot Island, Musgrave Island, Mackay, the Whitsundays, Townsville, Magnetic Island, Orpheus Island, Hichinbrook Island, Cairns, Port Douglas, Lowe Isles, Cape Tribulation, Endeavour Reef and Cooktown, where Captain Cook came ashore in 1770.
While the route is essentially the same as the original British explorer, this Brit’s journey will differ significantly from that of Cook.
“Captain Cook was a visionary, an experienced sailor, skilled with a sextant who proudly kept 94 men alive by feeding them pork, beef, cheese, citrus fruit, sauerkraut and beer during his command of the 32mt long Endeavour,” said Ben.
“I’ll be doing the expedition alone in my 5mt long Hobie Kayak with just a GPS and iPad, following a nutritionist’s eating plan to take in 3000 calories per day,” he said. A support vessel will accompany Ben during the Expedition.
During the next four months Ben will blog, tweet and record Queensland’s colourful characters and reef experiences for people around the world.
“This expedition will also allow me to visit some of Queensland’s regions which had a tough start to the year due to floods and cyclones and show how well they’re recovering,” said Ben.
While Ben is on the water, his parents Margaret and Duncan Southall will follow his course on land during a ‘Queensland Road Trip’, blogging on the same website.
The Best Expedition in the World and Queensland Road Trip has been made possible thanks to a range of supportive partners including: Sunsail, AirAsia, Sunstate Hobie, YHA, Apollo Motorhome Holidays and BIG4 Holiday Parks.
For further information on Ben’s expedition, please visit www.bestexpeditionintheworld.com
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