Saturday, July 12, 2014

Aleksander Doba at Outdoor fair

EN: I went to Friedrichshafen in Germany to the Outdoor fair. I saw of course some new products, met brands and bumped into Polish Aleksander Doba, the man who kayaked (not a conventional kayak) the Atlantic. On Sunday I drove the the source of the Danube river.
FR: J'ai été à la foire outdoor à Friedrichshafenen Allemagne. J'y ai vu les nouveaux produits, rencontré les marques et je suis tombé sur le Polonais Aleksander Doba, l'homme qui à traversé l'Atlantique en kayak (non conventionnel) Dimanche, j'ai été à la source du Danube.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

A few conferences before the summer

EN: This evening, I did my fourth conference "Café de l'Aventure" in Paris. The evening is organized by La Guilde and the SEF (French Society of Explorers). Two weeks ago I also did a CreativeMornings talk in Brussels, the video is online.

FR: Ce soir, j'ai été donner ma 4ème conférence au Café de l'Aventure à Paris. L'événement est organisé par La Guilde et la SEF (Société des Explorateurs Français). Il y a deux semaines j'ai aussi fait une intervention au CreativeMornings à Bruxelles. La vidéo est en ligne.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

New kayak and new clean-up action

EN: I went North of Amsterdam to the Arjan Bloem kayak shop. They nearly store 2000 kayaks so there was a lot to see. I bought a second hand river wild water kayak. I tested it back in Brussels in the canals and took the opportunity to do 1km of clean up. I collected all kind of trash but mainly plastic bottles and tetrapacks.

FR: J'ai été au Nord d'Amsterdam chez Arjan Bloem. Ils stockent pas loin de 2000 kayaks et il y a beaucoup à voir. J'ai acheté un kayak d'eau vive de seconde main. Je l'ai testé à Bruxelles dans le canal et j'ai nettoyé 1km de berge. J'ai amassé de tout mais surtout des bouteilles en plastique et des tétrapacks.

My new kayak Dagger ID 7.0

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Gold of Bengal

EN: Just back from the festival of the films of the Sea in Dunkirk. Just one day but good to meet Corentin again and his Gold of Bengal boat made of jute fabric.

FR: Juste rentré du festival du film de mer à Dunkerque. Un seul jour mais content d'avoir revu Corentin et son bateau Gold of Bengal fait en fibre de jute.

Gold of Bengal films:
Interview France2 (à la fin)

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Knighted by Jane Goodall

EN: I've been an ambassador for the Jane Goodall Institute Belgium and its Roots and Shoots program since 2011. Today at the European parliament Jane knighted me Jane Goodall Institute knight for the Youth, the animals and the plants in the order of the Iguana. She then called me Sir Iguana. I also did a tiny conference about my expeditions to the audience of 300 pupils, teenagers and teachers from all over Belgium.

FR: Je suis ambassadeur du Jane Goodall Institute Belgique et le programme Roots and Shoots depuis 2011. Aujourd'hui au parlement Européen, Jane m'a fait chevalier de son institut pour la jeunesse, les animaux et les plantes de l'ordre de l'Iguane. Elle m'a ensuite appelé Sir Iguana. J'ai aussi fait une mini conférence sur mes expéditions à l'assemblée composé d'élèves, ados et enseignants provenant des quatre coins de la Belgique.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

CapExpe grants

EN: Last year, in between the Clipperton expedition (the documentary is scheduled on 6 June on Thalassa, France3) Guillaume Bruyr contacted me to have some tips. I couldn't help him much because I had no experience on his road from Belgium to Kazakhstan. I met him at Capexpe the organisation helping low budget expeditions to realize outdoor adventures. Six projects were presented during the evening and the crowd could vote for 3 that got a grant of around 500 EUR.

FR: L'année dernière, entre l'expédition Clipperton (docu prévu le 6 juin sur Thalassa, France3) Guillaume Bruyr me contacte pour avoir des tuyaux. Je ne peux pas beaucoup l'aider car je n'ai aps d'expérience sur sa route de la Belgique vers le Kazakhstan. Je l'ai rencontré au CapExpe, l'organisation qui soutient les projets aventureux à faible budget. Six projets ont été présentés au public qui a voté pour 3 projets qui ont reçu une bourse d'environ 500 Eur.

Friday, April 18, 2014

PlanetSolar in Boulogne sur mer

EN: I'm in France at Boulogne sur mer. I'm attending an evening and talk given by Gerard D'Aboville. I also saw already the PlanetSolar boat and tomorrow I will visit it.

FR: Je suis en France à Boulogne sur mer. J'assiste à un événement et conférence donnée par Gérard D'Aboville. J'ai déjà vu le PlanetSolar et demain je le visite.

UPDATE: I visited this saturday afternoon the inside of the boat.
J'ai pu visiter l'intérieur du PlanetSolar ce samedi après-midi.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Time to comment.

EN: In 2010, I was contacted by Ripley Davenport. I helped him by giving him the blueprints of the key elements to build a desert cart. He wanted to cross Mongolia or part of it unsupported. One of my advice he didn't listen to, and failed on the first attempt (not protecting the bearings, so sand grinded them apparently) as I think he made the cart somehow cheaper, so less strong.
At first when I heard of him and saw his website, I was like... Who is this guy as he pretended to be a renowned explorer. But I helped and I decided one day to drive to Denmark and meet him. I spent there a few hours with him and his family. Good moments. We met again a year later after he moved to Ireland. I spent another good time with different other people.
And then in April 2012 (I think) I got an email from a random American named Kent Madin, who asked me gently if I had seen any documentation about Ripley's past expeditions and he mentioned he wanted to write an article about the fact that today, with the internet, it is possible to create an identity (blogs do want content) and start promoting yourself. I directly called Ripley who told me not to speak to the guy as he was a "madman" trying to get info about his expeditions for several weeks or months already. I said to Ripley I was going to Skype to Mr. Madin and tell him 2 things: a) I have no reason to believe Ripley is not telling the truth but I haven't asked data about his previous expedition claims and b) Please leave Ripley alone.
This is exactly what I did.
But during the Skype, Mr. Madin was very gentle and I felt he was not a bad man, just a man with questions ... I could not answer because he had a lot of experience with Mongolia, I had never been there and he felt things where not true from Ripley's claims during his Mongolian expeditions. I listened to him for 10-15 min. I concluded that if Ripley had proofs he should just give some.
I called Ripley after the call, said the conversation was ok and I said what I said I was going to say (point a+b).
A few weeks later, Ripley's wife called me, somehow with mixed up feelings of being angry on me with sentences like "You came and entered my house!". I calmed her and said I didn't do anything wrong and didn't give info to Mr. Madin as I had none.
A few more weeks later, I noticed Ripley had unfriended me from Facebook. Not a big deal as at the same time I started to receive a few links of information about Ripley from Kent Madin. I received then perhaps 3-4 emails from Madin in the past 2 years. It was hard to believe but the killer argument came by email early 2014 when Madin showed that Ripley had used desert photos from Russian websites to put on his own photo site trying to prove he'd been in these deserts. Until then, I still had hope Ripley wasn't fake and now I believe he has lied to me and many more. He deceived a lot of people I guess. It's hard to change "side". My only side, is the side of the truth. 
Two weeks ago, a compilation of info about Kent Madin came out. I was dubbed a bit like a fight back against Madin being a cyberstalker. I received a long PDF by email, then I saw it was posted on 2 adventure blogs in public.
I've done my research and contacted Madin and 3 other people who knew Ripley better than me. Only 2 replied and what they told me by email and phone was not nice. They are not friends with Ripley anymore either. They are also convinced he is mainly fake. But let's put it this way in short. Kent Madin has taken a lot of time I believe to ask questions about an adventure personality and challenged the claims. If someone is asking me to prove my expeditions' claims, I'll drown the person with information that he would apologize. Apparently Ripley never did. In the process, Madin has potentially found 2-3 other "fake" or liars about past accomplishments. These people and Ripley have teamed up to compile the PDF I received. I even read about 120 people having been contacted in the past 2+ years and that Madin is accused of cyberstalking.
My opinion is that I dunno how Madin did his research. Perhaps he went far sometimes but in my experience, he has ALWAYS been clear with his objective : an article about how someone can today embellish or create its internet profile to...make money (sponsors, ...). But everyone who has read the entire document and the related websites can read facts for himself. The PDF I read and accusing Madin of cyberstalking is in my opinion a mixture of foolish arguments, out of the context, not well structured and wrong. I don't believe Madin cyberstalked anyone. In my opinion, he just asked questions like any curious person would be and of course I believe it's awkward to publish the facts online but if the accused adventurers are really lying, hence making or trying to make money somehow out of the "exploring/adventure" money pot, hence taking potential money away from me by UNFAIR competition (=bullshit and lies), then I have a problem and must somehow agree that the truth must come out and that if the accused explorers/adventurers have been lying to a lot of people, they have only one way out: prove with deep arguments Madin's arguments aren't true and prove their expeditions claims are true OR come with a public apology that they have been lying. Lance Armstrong has done it. I believe he can now better look at his children and people in the street. With the internet days and global communications and with people who cannot bare LIES, someone will always find out. The world we live in can only become better with the truth.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

China Jam with Nicolas Favresse and Sean Villanueva

EN: In their infinite quest for unclimbed big walls, adventurers Sean Villanueva O’Driscoll, Nicolas Favresse, Stephane Hanssens and filmmaker Evrard Wendenbaum traveled in September 2013 to a remote valley in the westernmost region of China. There, they found a beautiful 4000-foot vertical rock pillar.I went to see the film Chian Jam.
Photo left to Right: Nicolas, Sean, Bob Shepton, Stephane, Jean-Louis Wertz, Evrard.

FR: Dans leur quête...

Thursday, March 27, 2014

BANFF Brussels

EN: I went to the the BANFF tour. This year I also did a 4 minute short slideshow about my most important expeditions.
FR: Jai été voir le BANFF tour. Cette année j'ai montré durant 4 minutes un résumé de mes expés principales.