Continental Drift: Once-Solo Explorer Mike Horn Takes Young Adventurers on a Four-Year World Tour

Text by Andrew Burmon
Photographs by Lisa Cates

Mike Horn spent the afternoon of September 5th surveying North Cove Marina from the spitshined deck of his 115-foot arctic schooner, the Pangaea, and watching a crowd of businessmen point excitedly at her gleaming aluminum hull. The South African explorer looked out of place in front of Manhattan’s smooth glass buildings, his thousand-yard stare abbreviated by the Financial District’s 50-foot views. No matter. New York was the last thing on his checklist—a few hands to shake, a few bolts to tighten.

Two days later, Horn sailed out of the marina and onto the Hudson, beginning a four-year journey around the world that will take him across oceans, through jungles, up mountains, and across deserts—a journey he’s imagined for himself for the better part of the last decade. His first stop will be in Punta Arenas, Chile before he heads further south towards Tierra del Fuego and Antarctica.

For a man who has swum down the Amazon, reached the North Pole in the dark of winter, and traced the Equator without motor power, spending time aboard a state of the art ship like the Pangaea—with its built-in espresso machine and wheel house that is equal parts Mercedes and Star Trek—might seem like a vacation. Horn sees it differently. He views his PANGAEA Expedition, which will take a revolving crew of 144 handselected young adventurers and scientists to seven continents in an attempt to show them to the beauty and delicacy of the Earth, as the capstone to his career as a professional adventurer.

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