Jon Bowermaster’s World Worsts
Name Jon Bowermaster
Who? Legendary National Geographic writer, filmmaker and kayaker. His TEN books include Wildebeest in a Rainstorm and Descending the Dragon and his high-def documentary “Terra Antarctica, Re-Discovering the Seventh Continent” is just released. More at jonbowermaster.com
Countries Visited 80+
1. Worst Waters for Kayaking Anywhere the water temps drop below 35 degrees F … as in the Aleutian islands, where we spent five weeks. And Antarctica, where we recently kayaked the length of the Peninsula, 600 miles. Out of the boat in those temps and you’ve got less than five minutes to live.
2. Worst Place I Spent the Night Floor of a restaurant at the literal end of the road in a Nicaraguan forest; unknowingly, we’d arrived in the last Sandinista hideaway. Machine gun fire in the middle of the night encouraged us to sleep on the floor … turned out it was the local sheriff, drunk.
3. Worst Storm Three days stuck in a tent on the Aleutian Island of Chuginadak, 70-mph winds and non-stop rain. Or maybe it was three days stuck in a tent near the Patriot Hills, Antarctica, -35 degrees. Take your pick, both were no fun. Lot of time spent watching the tent blow down around you and pop back up … and picking lint out of velcro.
4. Worst Overland Kayak Transport Gabon. We had an 18-mile portage through the jungle to get from river to lagoon. Unfortunately, the tires on the portage carts I’d brought with us all punctured within the first twenty four hours, which turned a day-and-a-half portage into three-and-a-half-day portage as we literally dragged the kayaks through the jungle.
5. Worst Meal Same little Nicaraguan hell-hole. Pig, slightly cooked, with razor-sharp hairs still coating it. Once made a seven-course meal out of a goat in Samburu-land, Kenya, which was not bad except for the first course (some kind of blood sundowner) and the last (brains).