Mick Dawson tells the story of kayaking around the Falkland Islands with friend and fellow Royal Marines veteran Steve Grenham, who was struggling to cope with the effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and the extraordinary tale of his 2,500-mile voyage in a rowing boat with his friend and former Royal Marine Commando Steve ‘Sparky’ Sparkes, who was not only a rowing novice, but also blind.
Sparky and Mick succeeded in rowing across the finish line after a truly epic voyage of over 2,500 miles from Monterey Bay in California to Waikiki, Hawaii. They’d hoped to break the record for a two-man rowboat and finish in less than fifty-five days, but a hurricane interfered with their plans. It took them eighty-two days, sixteen hours and fifty-four minutes to complete the race, but it was an even greater achievement for that, and Sparky became the first visually impaired person to row across the Pacific.
The race with Sparky was the second expedition of an organisation Mick had set up a few years earlier, The Cockleshell Endeavour, designed to help another former Royal Marine and friend, Steve Grenham, by kayaking with him around the Falklands, where both former commandos served during the 1982 conflict with Argentina.