Journey to the Sinking Lands

A witness to the world's first evacuation of an entire people due to climate change

Archive for Journey of a Lifetime

To the islands

So, I made it to the islands. Today, every lesson learned yesterday was stood on its head. There was a knock on my door before 6am, the skipper was ready. And he was, beside the water. Boat loaded, itching to go. The weather fine. After waiting for six hours yesterday for a boat that never came, today it seemed as if I was the one holding us up. A crowd gathered to push us off, and as we floated free, half of them climbed in. The skipper turned the boat and threw open his engine; there were eight of us on board now, piled and perched on a huge swag of luggage under a tarpaulin. We set off, the early sun scattering both sea and sky around us, picking out the silouettes of fishermen paddling home in their canoes. Three hours – at first I thought we were chasing right into a storm, but it suddenly cleared – out of sight of land, then suddenly the first island swam into view. Everyone in our boat laughed to see the smile on my face. Motor through a channel between the reef and up to land. Read the rest of this entry »


Morning in Tinputz

I slept in my clothes last night, on the bare wooden floor of one of the houses the first boatload of people to be evacuated from the Carteret Islands are building for their families. It was a jet-black night in the small clearing hacked out amid the jungle, the dark broken only by our two candles and the lights of Fireflies jigging in the trees. I’m heading out to the islands themselves on Friday (that’s if everything goes to plan; I’ve learned not to expect anything here until it happens) and the guys gave me a list of messages to pass on to their families, and a few things they ask I bring back with me when I return. Read the rest of this entry »

Journey of a Lifetime.

circusIt’s Friday night, and I fly on Monday morning. I’ve been listening to some of the previous radio programmes made as part of the Journey of a Lifetime award. Last year, Emily Ainsworth ran away to join a Mexican circus

dave-waldman1A year before David Waldman ran in Kenya. Luke Freeman drove cattle in Madagascar and wrote speeches for the president.

Journey of a Lifetime

I’ve just added a new page to the site all about the Journey of a Lifetime Award itself, the people who have done it in the past and how you can have a go at doing it yourself in the future.

I know, I should have put this up sooner, not least to give the people who organise the award their due (something about paying the piper…?), but it just didn’t occur to me until I was in the bath last night. Go on, check it out – the link is in the next column on the right.