Malkolm is cycling on! He is now cycling from Alaska to Washington DC, and then continuing on to the UN Climate Change conference in Cancun in December.
It all started with Bird Year, Malkolm and his parents' year-long, fossil-fuel-free journey in search of birds. Cycling a total of 13,133 miles (21,144 km), they identified 548 different bird species and raised more than $25,000 for bird conservation. Bird Year turned them into confirmed cyclists and taught them that climate change was more serious than they had thought.
In 2009, Malkolm biked from Whitehorse to Ottawa as a part of Pedal for the Planet: the project called for the Canadian Government to become a leader in the struggle to come to grips with climate change. The Harper Government did not even meet with the young cyclists.
Malkolm is now 18 and just finished high school. On August 24, he dipped his foot in the Pacific Ocean in Skagway, Alaska. Then headed up and over the White Pass to the Alaska Highway on his journey to Washington and on to Cancun.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Oars, sails and tides (Malkolm)

I leaned over the gunwale of the “Bear”; a replica of an 18th century longboat, like the ones Captain Vancouver used in 1792 when he explored these waters. The boat is part of the fleet used by the Port Townsend Sea Scouts, a group of adventuresome young sailors. The water of Puget Sound lapped peacefully against the side of the boat as we sailed forward.
“But how far forward?” I wondered. I glanced at a nearby peninsula to check our progress. We were no farther along the peninsula than the last time I looked. “Strange.”
“We’re not making much headway,” yelled a sea scout. “I think we’re going backwards!”
We were stuck in a strong current, created by the tide flowing out of the inlet that we were heading for.
“Take in sail! Out oars!” called the skipper, Norm. “We’ll head to shore.” I grabbed my oar, my blistered hands screaming in protest. We inched forward, all the effort that we put into each stroke seemed to be stolen by the current. But gradually we got closer, until finally the hull scraped against the bottom. We jumped ashore and examined the situation. Finally we decided to skirt the shore where the current would be less and then cross the inlet to Port Townsend.
Thankfully the plan worked and an hour and a half later the longboat and her exhausted crew slid into port. We had sore arms and blistered hands, but a great story to tell.

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