March 25, 2009

Epic Journeys: Sailing and Travelling Around the World

Around the World in 80 Days with Michael Palin

Inspiration from movies

As a child, I loved watching the big colorful movies set on location or on the lavish sets of the 1950's and early 60's. This was the era of Singing in the Rain, It's a Mad Mad Mad World and Lawrence of Arabia. One of my favorite movies was Around the World in 80 Days, starring David Niven, a favorite actor of mine.

Armchair Travel
Now more than ever, having the funds or work opportunity to travel abroad is difficult to come by. Just keeping a roof over our heads is difficult, so for many the only chance to "travel" is by reading a great book. An author that captured my attention in school was Jules Verne. The Mysterious Island was a huge favorite as was character, Captain Nemo. Coming from a family who migrated from Maine to Washington State and included many merchant seamen, I loved mysterious ship captains and the hard work of a ship hand.

The Monty Python Angle
At first glance, I would not have put Michael Palin, a man with silly walks, in the role of Phileas Fogg (the David Niven movie role). However he doesn't disappoint in his incredible BBC series, Around the World in 80 Days! I couldn't stop watching it once I started and finished seeing all of the episodes in record time I'd wager...what a great way to see the world first hand. He does such a good job highlighting different lands and cultures - such a different persona than his movie and television characters.

Sail Around the World
Shortly after I became hooked on the Michael Palin series, I found this amazing advertisement in the Financial Times last weekend - explore the world by tall ship.

Two incredible journeys either exploring the South Seas or navigating around the globe are available on an authentic tall ship! Yes, you can live out your dream or escape - either way these are epic undertakings for those with a career sabbatical, life-break or gap year to enjoy.

The ship chosen for this project a modern fully equipped vessel, traditionally rigged squarerigger with a capacity to carry 25 voyage crew and 10 professional crew. Displacing 379 tons and carrying 11 sails, she meets or exceeds current British Survey and Safety requirements for worldwide voyaging. She is fully equipped with modern and traditional navigation equipment, satellite and long range communications and complete life saving apparatus.

You will be expected to work on the ship so it is not a cruise but a real life epic journey! This New Zealand based company has twenty years experience.
People of all ages, in good health with a sense of adventure will join from all over the world. This will be no passenger cruise – those joining will be fully participating in every aspect of ship’s life under the guidance and care of a professional crew. Active involvement, learning the traditional ways of tallship seamanship is central to the authenticity of the experience and the project.

photo credit to Uncle Leo

A Voyage Around the World
Undertake one of the world’s greatest adventures – to circumnavigate the globe by tallship. Just 25 berths are available on a modern, ocean going tallship departing England this April for an epic 30,000 mile passage of self discovery. No previous sailing experience is necessary to join this expeditionary voyage to South America, South Africa, Australasia and across the Southern Ocean to round the legendary Cape Horn.

Explore the South Seas
South Sea voyaging for people of all ages through the tropical islands of the South Pacific. We seek out the hidden Pacific - sailing the tradewinds to find the untouched beauty and undisturbed culture of the remoter islands and communities of Oceania. Escape with us for a voyage of discovery to places most people only dream about.


  1. I love Micheal Palin's 80 journey. Have played it countless times, showed it to all my friends and picture myself travelling how he did.It's amazing to see the difference between Shanghai then and Shanghai now. If I could, I would jump at a chance to do this type of trip.

  2. I would love to host a show like Michael Palin's but more so - travel on a tall ship around the world!


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