On realising you’ve bitten off more than you expected but not more than you can chew

I arrived in lush Charleston, SC today. Louise and I quickly confessed to having done zero training for this impending rowing trip along part of the South Carolina section of the Intracoastal Waterway (a mutual relief). And after a quick peruse of some charts I now see just how uninhabited our likely route is, which leaves me to conclude that this isn’t going to be the beer and pancake pit stop cruise I had been hoping for. Instead a true adventure unexpectedly awaits. As you can see, a huge amount of planning and preparation has been done for this row… But that’s the joy of doing it with a seasoned rowing pal who understands what’s needed. Louise and I rowed the Atlantic together onboard Big Blue in 2011. And in 1997 she and Tori Murden were the only female entrants in the Atlantic Rowing Race. But most impressively she spent 80 days rowing the entire length of the Yukon River with a filmmaker/artist friend long before that sort of thing was de rigour. Her easygoing chatty nature is good cover for some serious mettle.


The Next Challenge Grant

The Next Challenge Grant
If you have an idea for an adventure then you can apply now for up to £1,000 from The Next Challenge Grant. Deadline June 10th – www.thenextchallenge.org/grantThe Next Challenge Grant offers awards of between £100 and £1,000 for original, independent microadventures and expeditions.

The grant is funded by money from ten adventurers and dozens of £3 donations from members of the public.

Background to the grant
The grant was started last year by Tim Moss who decided to give away all of the advertising revenue he’d made from his website, The Next Challenge.

He then invited 100 members of the public to match his £200 offer with £2 donations of their own. They did.

Following that, seven other ‘adventurers’ including Margaret spontaneously offered to chip in some of their own money too. In the end, we had over £1,600.

1,300 people applied for grants. 50 of them made the shortlist and 10 won awards. The winners ranged from a 14 year old Australian walking across a desert island with his dad as support, to a Canadian student spending 100 nights sleeping outside. And from a young woman attempting to walk the length of every National Trail in Britain to another trying to run 5,000 miles around its coast.

This year we have ten adventurers backing the grant with special pots of money for cycling trips, environmentally conscious expeditions and adventure film making. 50 members of the public have contributed so far too bringing the total to almost £2,000.
This year Margaret’s funding will go to the person with the best film idea. Suggestions for the sorts of things this could be will be posted on this blog very soon.

Applying for the grant
You do not need any experience to apply and there are no restrictions on who is eligible. You just have to be doing something original that involves a bit of physical exertion and that you are organising yourself (i.e. not paying someone else). Original ideas and interesting stories are more important than breaking records.

Applications are through a very short online form. The deadline for applications is Friday June 10th. Apply online now at: http://www.thenextchallenge.org/grant

Donating to the grant

50 people have each donated £3 to the grant so far. If you’d like to contribute too then you can do so directly on PayPal: http://bit.ly/2016grant (you don’t need an account, just click ‘Continue’ above the Visa icon) or you can read a little more about it here first: http://thenextchallenge.org/donate-3-adventure/


– You can read the background to grant here: http://thenextchallenge.org/giving-away-advertising-revenue/
– Find out about making a donation yourself here: http://thenextchallenge.org/donate-3-adventure/
– Meet the winners of the 2015 Next Challenge Grant here: http://thenextchallenge.org/meet-2015-grant-winners/