Swimming in Antarctica – for MPAs and Peace

Swimming in Antarctica – for MPAs and Peace

Lewis Pugh, “human polar bear” and U.N. Patron of the Oceans, is giving a BBC interview about his recent quite terrifying swims in Antarctica in minus degree waters chased by sea lions, and about his goal to raise international awareness and encourage the creation of Marine Protected Areas (MPA) in and around the Ross Sea. He is also asking:

“As we seem to be sleepwalking into another cold war, can we use the (protection of the) waters around Antarctica and the Ross Sea as a bridge for building peace elsewhere in the world?”

lewis-pugh-antarktis_620x349During his Antarctic expedition in February/March he set a new record for the most southerly swim in history, near Cape Adare in -1.7°C waters (where salty sea water starts to freeze) and -37°C air temperature, wearing nothing than a speedo, swim cap and goggles.

Read more about his “speedo diplomacy” visiting the Kremlin, his vision of ocean conservation as a positive influence on international relations and details about his Antarctica campaign and other expeditions on → his blog and on lewispugh.com/lewis-pugh-sets-sights-on-russia/
(Fotos: Kelvin Trautman)

Lewis Pugh: Seven Swims – Seven Seas – for 1 Reason

Lewis Pugh: Seven Swims – Seven Seas – for 1 Reason

Vietnam Beach - Nha Trang

(Note: Lewis Pugh’s “Seven Seas” is quite different from Ocean’s Seven!)

On my trips around the world I so often wondered what will happen to our oceans with increasing pollution via plastic and other garbage and reckless industrial overfishing that also destroys corals and other sealife. Beaches, seabeds and the water itself are losing their pristine beauty, the sea and its inhabitants are suffering in many ways. Before swimming Gibraltar in 2012 we watched a film about how endangered not only whales and dolphins are in the straits, but how bluefin tuna is on the verge of extinction being caught by industrial fishing boats even on their way to spawn in the mediterranean. Local fisherman are losing their livelihoods. Similar situations can be found all over the world, where catches don’t serve to feed the hungry but the well-nourished, not serving the need of people but rather their greed (Einstein). Today, to work for a peaceful world also has to include taking care of our environment and our resources – including, very importantly, the oceans, which cover over 71 percent of the Earth’s surface and contain 97 percent of the water of our blue planet.

Seven-seasSo when environmental campaigner, UN Patron of the Oceans, North Pole and Everest swimmer Lewis Pugh got ready for his new expedition to help preserve our oceans and to highlight the need for the creation of marine protected areas, Peace Nobel Laureate Desmond Tutu blessed him and told him:  “You’re not a swimmer, you’re a peace campaigner.” And explained:

“When you damage the environment, you create conditions ripe for conflict. When you protect the environment, you bring peace.”

Lewis new project happening right now till the end of August is his Seven Seas Expedition – a series of long distance swims in the Mediterranean, the Adriatic Sea, the Aegean Sea, the Arabian Sea, the Black Sea, the Red Sea and a final 100 km staged swim in the North Sea with the mission “to inspire people around the world to protect and preserve our oceans, and all that live in them, for a peaceful and sustainable future.”

And he is inviting everyone to GET INVOLVED – in whichever way you feel inspired. Like with the Peace Run – every little step or action counts. Each of us CAN make a difference. Because we are all connected.

On August, 28-29th, Lewis finished his last of the 7 Sea Swims:

60 km in 2 sets from South End in the North Sea up the Thames to Thames Barrier, London,UK in 8hrs and 12 minutes in 2 swims (with the incoming tide).

Here is a very deep and touching summary of his swim experiences and a call to action to protect our oceans. He says:

“I’ve experienced some things I will never forget. And seen some things I wish I could erase from my memory, but which will haunt me for the rest of my days…” continue:  https://lewispugh.com/our-fight-for-a-fighting-chance/-swims

Lewis Pugh 7 Swims7 Seas for MAPs

Lewis Pugh swimming an an MAP (Marine Protected Area) in the Red Sea, and in a non-protectd area during his 7 Swims in7 Seas (Photo: Kelvin Trautman)


Lewis Gordon Pugh – Mind-shifting Everest Swim

Lewis Gordon Pugh – Mind-shifting Everest Swim

Lewis Gordon Pugh - Achieving the Impossible

Lewis Gordon Pugh – Achieving the Impossible

Just finished reading ice swimmer and fellow Channel swimmer Lewis Gordon Pugh’s captivating book “Achieving the Impossible“, published in May 2010,  and came across this extremely inspiring video speach about his Mount Everest swim for Peace, also in May 2010, which I want to share here, because it carries such an important message:


The book  is a captivating documentary from his background of swimming from Robben Island to Cape Town at age 17, his pioneer swim across  Lake Malawi with Otto Thaning (EC 1994),  to the English Channel in 1992, his swim around Cape Agulhas in 1994 – the southernmost point of the African continent, where the Atlantic and the Indian Ocean meet – on to his multi-day staged swims around Cape Good Hope, across the 204 kms of Sognefjord in Norway in 2004 and the river Thames in 2006, crowned by his record-breaking and world-consciousness-awakening swims in the Antarctis and finally his 1 mile swim in minus 1.7 °C water at the geographic North Pole in 2007.

He has become a dedicated environmentalist trying to raise awareness about the urgent need to change our ways if we want to protect our planet – and he has shown with his swims how things that would seem impossible can be achieved with determination, dedication, the courage of the heart and a vision.

Lewis Gordon Pugh talking about his North Pole swim

Lewis Gordon Pugh talking about his North Pole swim

Here another video where he describes his North Pole swim:

I hope Lewis will receive the Torch Bearer Award of the World Harmony Run in the near future as one of the outstanding individuals of today`s world, committed to working towards making the world a better place, and in particular towards more harmony between man and nature.

His birthday is December 5th – so happy birthday!

“Smilingly you touch
The head of impossibility.
Carefully you feel
The heart of impossibility.
Powerfully you transform
The life of impossibility
Into definite practicality.”

Sri Chinmoy (a poem dedicated to Michael Gorbachev in 1990)

Speaking of sustainable living and a change of our ways – if more people changed to a more plant-based or even vegetarian diet, it would make a big difference for our future. (I have been a vegetarian since 1981!)
And regarding over-population, I vividly remember an answer by the Dalai Lama at the Parliament of World Religions in Chicago in 1993. Asked about a solution, he answered with a very cute smile: “It is very simple – more people have to become monks and nuns!”