Latitude Zero

On the 3rd of June in 1999 at around 18h00, local time, I left Gabon on the West African coast for the first step of an expedition called Latitude Zero.

This would be the first solo circumnavigation of the world around the Equator – unaided and with no engine-driven support. My fuels were simply focussed determination, human strength and mental will-power.

It would last 18 months and I would cover over 40 000km in six stages, doing a precise circle around the middle of the earth.

Stage 1
I crossed the Atlantic Ocean from Gabon to Brazil on a trimaran – a sea distance of 4210nm which took me 19 days.

Stage 2
Once on the South American continent, I continued on foot from Brazil to Ecuador. On this stage, I also used an airboat and a bicycle, continuing through the Amazon Jungle, up the Rio Negro and over the Andes mountains in Colombia and Ecuador to the Pacific Ocean. A total distance of 3626 km – which I completed in 5 months and 4 days.

Stage 3
It was back onto my trimaran in the Pacific Ocean to cross from Ecuador to Borneo, sailing through the Galapagos Islands, completing 8685nm in 2 months and 16 days.

Stage 4
Now in the Indonesian Islands, I traversed Borneo and Sumatera on foot and by sailboat, a distance of 2220km, taking me 2 months and 7 days.

Stage 5
Next up was an Indian Ocean crossing from Sumatera to Somalia, through the Maldives doing 3927nm in 2 month and 4 days.

Stage 6
The final stage was on the African continent. I travelled from Somalia back to Gabon, on foot, by canoe, bicycle and airboat, taking me through Kenya, Uganda, Zaire, the DRC and back to Gabon – my starting point. A distance of 4173km completed in 4 months.

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