February 11, 2003 - Solomon Short once said,
“I'm all in favor of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools. Let's start with typewriters.” It is rather incredible what one can achieve with the use of language and words. The British tabloids have a reputation of using words and stretching them to their limit. If you ever have a burning desire to find a naked shot of your favorite British celebrity/royalty or a lascivious story about an ex-spice girl and her latest sexual endeavors, you need not look very far at a London newsstand. As it so happens, the tabloid that that started it all, “The Daily Mail,” got their grubby paws on a scoop about an epileptic ocean rower, who is over two months into his solo Pacific Ocean row.
Andrew is a different kind of person
This ocean rower they write about is Andrew Halsey, a different kind of person – he has epilepsy, no forwarding address, smokes, drinks, and is not exactly the personification of your typical English gentleman. Yet, instead of roaming the streets of London, he saddles up and manages to get some sponsors for a solo row across the earth’s most relentless and difficult ocean.
The question is, what do you get when you combine the writing talents of a former Penthouse magazine contributor/unauthorized biographer, and a crime novelist having them write a story about this eccentric adventurer pushing his limits to edge? The answer is crap. These two trash writers took Andrew, his life, his dream, and stepped all over it writing about how he abandoned his wife and daughter in America and that his motivation behind this row is about becoming famous. In a radio interview yesterday with Andrew Halsey, he had this to say about the article and what the author wrote about him:
“I spoke to my daughter yesterday and she said half of that stuff written is what this lady had actually told her and she..... well I don't know and has been misquoted. The article you are talking about the lady wrote an article about me or done an interview and it turned out that she already wrote the article before we done the interview and it is just that she wanted a holiday in the Galapagos Islands apparently.”
Andrew all smiles despite wind, waves, and bad weather
For the most of January unfavorable weather and currents have pushed Andrew back east, quite a ways actually. Despite these hardships though, Andrew pushes on towards his goal of reaching Australia and is in a great mood:
“(I feel) Terrific to be quite honest, tired now because it is the middle of the night here, optimistic I feel strong, good frame of mind - I am looking forward, I have had a month of being sort of held back, it is going to be nice to start hitting some positive weather again and make some good headway - I feel real positive.”
So what motivation is there for someone to write such negative things about a guy 2 months into a row, all by himself in the middle of the world’s largest ocean in a rowboat that makes a Yugo feel spacious? Surely it has to go beyond money, but it is not even worth this publication’s time to dwell on this anymore.
In the true spirit of adventure
Rather, it is time to start thinking about how brave and courageous this man is to go for his dreams and achieve the impossible, despite how the odds are piled up against him – how dares not to give up. It was this attitude, perseverance, courage that enabled Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackelton to survive almost two years trapped in ice and save the entirety of his crew. It is the spirit of adventure that enabled people to stand atop Everest, plant a flag on the moon, and reach the ends of the earth.
Andrew succeeded in rowing across the Atlantic Ocean, but failed at his first attempt to cross the Pacific. This past November, Andrew set off again in hopes of reaching his dream. There are a lot of skeptics out there questioning his voyage and focusing on the negative. They say things like, “you’ll never make it,” or, “you need more food and supplies.” Andrew’s response – “I feel positive, and……there are plenty of fish and sea birds, I don’t mind eating those, but I am not sure they will be so happy.”
An old Native American saying goes, “Oh great spirit, Maker of Men, Forbid that I judge any man, until I have walked two moons, In his moccasins.” The writers of the aforementioned article(s) in the British tabloids should try rowing two days in Andrew’s boat among 5 foot swells and against 20 knot winds – then they might have something worth writing about.