Wild At Heart
I had sailed a lot but never really thought of the totality of the wildernesses still left, in all forms, and the activities that are associated with these magic spaces, until 1988. In that summer I was invited to take part in an Operation Raleigh expedition in Alaska
It changed my life. Seriously. For a start I had never seen such huge open and deserted spaces – mountains, forests, glaciers.
We were in the woods, one day, knowing that there was a grizzly bear mother with cubs somewhere close by (we stumbled at one point over her ‘scat’ – bear’s really do shit in the woods). It came upon me at that moment – and on many occasions on that trip – that we were inside the zoo, we were invading space that would be defended by bears, moose, any wildlife that believed we were a threat. Hell, even the mosquitoes got to stab right through our jeans.
It was all so huge, so empty, so wild, so inspiring. I knew then that I had to keep the dream going always; to be there, in the wilderness, making the best of it, seeing with my eyes that simple truth: the world is beautiful and mankind is just a tiny part of that. We need to get back to nature, not try (as if we ever could) to subdue or conquer it.