Return to South Africa

After an unexpected trip back to Canada for a few weeks, I am once again in South Africa for Triwaters. The weather in Toronto at my departure was deteriorating from heavy snow to freezing rain. This resulted in a delay of 1 hour for boarding, 1 hour due to a power outage in the terminal preventing us from starting our engines, and another 1 hour waiting for the deicer to be free. The plane having been covered in a thick layer of green solution was ready for takeoff. I flew British Airways via London again. Turbulence leaving London was some of the best I’ve experienced yet. The wine flew up and out of my glass, hovered in the air directly across from my eyes, and then landed near the window sill.

Once safely landed in Johannesburg, I hit the ground running. I had to speak with a few media producers and our charitable partner WESSA. I then ran some errands for a few supplies and headed to Ermelo with Egon who had come to pick me up. After a short nap I was ready to go for the rest of the day to get some food and update social media etc.

Yesterday, I woke up early and headed to the Triwaters office at Franz’s family’s company. After a number of phone calls we had filled the days schedule with visits to local farmers whom we met either hiking or “paddling” (really dragging kayaks) through their land. I was warmly welcomed for a second time and shown around their properties as they explained just how severe the water shortage here is and how it is affecting their livelihoods.

Richard, one of the farmers, is an ex-military paraglider who served in a number of conflict sites having completed over 600 jumps. We had coffee in his 150+ year old house which served as a hospital during the Boer war in the late 1800’s. It is a beautiful home with a rich history. The walls are covered in unique South African artifacts, many of them South African animals, and photos from his time spent paragliding. On his property we saw hundreds of blesbok, a family of meerkats, a few fish eagles, and numerous species of water fowl.

Today will be spent doing some editing, scheduling the next week, and resting before a long drive across the country to meet up with Franz and Brett who are busy paddling down the Orange River. I very much look forward to reuniting with them and helping to document the story both in photos and video. Grant and Christiaan from Flyingfish Productions in Canada are joining us in a little over a week.

Richard is an ex-military paraglider and badass farmer.

Richard is an ex-military paraglider and badass farmer.

A small fraction of Richard's farming operation.

A small fraction of Richard’s farming operation.

This bridge is one of the oldest in the region and was hand built in the late 1800's.

This bridge is one of the oldest in the region and was hand built in the late 1800’s.

The upper Vaal River.

The upper Vaal River.

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Posted in Expeditions, Source to Sea Vaal River January 2015, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Winter minimalism on Lake Ontario

I’m a fan of minimalism – especially when it comes to my photography. This set of photos was taken in a snow storm. Piercing through the clouds of snow are para-skiers and various minimalist scenes including rocks, a picnic table, and flagpoles.

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Winter Portrait Session

Mid-winter can offer some beautiful lighting, especially on a frozen lake. This set was taken on Lake Ontario recently just before sunset.

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Trip to the Adirondacks: February 2015

Headed south to the Adirondack Mountain range in upstate New York this past weekend. Weather was cold, but tolerable with beautiful blue skis and sunshine. Very rare that it is this clear in the Adirondacks!

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Publication in The Paddler e-zine

Check out the latest on Triwaters Tour!

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Interview with The Paddler e-zine

Just a quick post about my recent interview with the Paddler e-zine, a fantastic paddling magazine out of the UK. The interview was with The Paddler’s Peter Tranter. You can read the article by clicking on the following image of the spread which will redirect you to the specific page in the magazine which it appears.

Enjoy!

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TriWaters Tour Featured in Indwe Magazine

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Very excited to share an article written about TriWaters Tour in the in-flight magazine of South African Express! The article was written by Stuart Wainwright with photos contributed by TriWaters team members. It helps to explain why we are doing this tour and provides insights into the state of water security both in South Africa and world-wide.

Indwe magazine – 1 October 2014

You can see the full October issue by clicking the link below.

October issue of Indwe Magazine

Posted in Expeditions, Source to Sea Vaal River January 2015 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment