View From Here James Lowe
go! - South Africa|June 2020
The big wave surfer turned geology lecturer tells us about visiting some of the most remote places on earth, and why he always carries a sarong.
Kyra Tarr

You’re a geology lecturer on a cruise ship? That’s right. I studied Earth Sciences at Stellenbosch University and graduated in 2011, but I didn’t immediately go into the field. My heart was set on becoming a professional big wave surfer, so I went to Hawaii for four months with the aim of surfing the most notorious big wave spots in the world. I achieved personal goals and caught some massive waves, but fame and fortune, sadly, did not follow.

I came home to South Africa with an uncertain future. A family friend told me about the expedition cruise industry, but initially it didn’t appeal to me. Sometime later she forwarded me a Facebook post that was urgently advertising for a geologist, and out of sheer desperation I sent the company my CV. I got a callback almost immediately and had one weekend to prepare for a Skype interview. Three weeks later I was on a plane to meet the ship in Japan. I’ve never looked back!

What is expedition cruising? There’s an appetite among travellers to branch away from traditional tourist destinations and experience something adventurous and unique. Expeditions ships, which generally carry between 100 and 200 passengers, cruise to remote destinations like the Arctic, the Antarctic and the Galapagos Islands, among others.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM GO! - SOUTH AFRICAView All

TAKE A HIKE

Follow in the footsteps of the Tesselaarsdal barber.

6 mins read
go! - South Africa
December 2020/January 2021

WITH MY OWN EYES

MOLE SNACK, LAKE ST LUCIA

2 mins read
go! - South Africa
December 2020/January 2021

Mission Vietnam From South To North

Vietnam is a hotchpotch of old and new, with everything from cultural and historical attractions to dynamic, modern cities. Join Jacqueli and Joubert Tulleken as they traverse the country from south to north.

10 mins read
go! - South Africa
December 2020/January 2021

Birds

One morning in Mozambique

3 mins read
go! - South Africa
December 2020/January 2021

This Bus Is The Business

The minibus is as much part of our South African DNA as the double-cab bakkie, but it’s not always top of mind when people think of buying a new family car. The Ford Tourneo Custommight just change a few minds…

3 mins read
go! - South Africa
December 2020/January 2021

The Journey To Sesmylspruit

Life might be a journey, but that journey has to end somewhere. In this moving tribute to his beloved wife Rina, Willie Kuperus describes their retirement years in Ramsgate on the KZN South Coast, and the road to his final home in Pretoria.

10+ mins read
go! - South Africa
December 2020/January 2021

Kloof To Cliff!

It’s easy to forget that the Drakensberg isn’t just a KZN thing. Hike up high and down low on the High Five Trail in Mpumalanga.

10+ mins read
go! - South Africa
December 2020/January 2021

An Ode To Our Favourite Seaside Towns

An ode to our favourite seaside towns

10+ mins read
go! - South Africa
December 2020/January 2021

When Life Gives You Thorns

Getting lost on a tough hike is sometimes the best way to find direction, writes Milton Schorr.

6 mins read
go! - South Africa
December 2020/January 2021

View From Here - Reason Nyengera

From landlocked Zimbabwe to the open ocean…We chat to BirdLife SA’s Albatross Task Force project manager about what it’s like to fight for the survival of these magnificent birds.

4 mins read
go! - South Africa
December 2020/January 2021
RELATED STORIES

REMEMBERING MY POTTER 19 TANBARK

In the mid-1980s, Joe Edwards flew me out to California to try out our new boat.

7 mins read
Small Craft Advisor
January - February 2021

Jolie Brise rescues Adriana

Jolie Brise, which is roughly translated as “nice breeze,” is perhaps one of the most famous yachts of the 20th century; more than 100 years after her launch, the vessel is still plying the waters of the Atlantic.

2 mins read
Ocean Navigator
November - December 2020

Evaluating Modern Catamarans

A multihull voyager examines the of key elements offshore cruising cats.

9 mins read
Ocean Navigator
March/April 2020

Ocean Proof - How To Prepare For (Nearly) Anything

In the first of a two-part series on planning for bluewater cruising, vicky ellis looks at how to be prepared for almost anything

9 mins read
Yachting World
March 2020

The Best New Yachts For 2020

Toby Hodges highlights European Yacht of the year nominees and unveils the winners

10+ mins read
Yachting World
March 2020

Could You Take On The Atlantic Ocean Alone?

Could you take on the atlantic ocean alone? Ed Gorman headed off on a single-handed cruise to madeira to find out just that

9 mins read
Yachting World
January 2020

When Is The Right Time To Cut Loose And Sail Away?

When is the right time to cut loose and sail away? Any time, as Helen Fretter finds out from cruisers of all life stages

9 mins read
Yachting World
December 2019

Safety Rests On Preparation

Two retired medical personnel respond to a carbon monoxide emergency on a nearby boat

9 mins read
Ocean Navigator
September/October 2019

A Lucky Escape

In the 1970s-80s, Sir Peter Johnson Wrote a column in Yachting wWorld. This was his article in the issue immediately after the race

9 mins read
Yachting World
October 2019

Built For Bluewater

Made for an owner with a very particular set of demands, the first contest 85cs incorporates a host of features that make it a world cruiser with a difference. David harding tells the story

9 mins read
Yachting World
October 2019