Dave Cornthwaite’s 1000 Mile Expeditions


I love the Dave Cornthwaite story. It starts in 2005, when a 23 year old graphic designer walks off his job in London, grabs a skateboard and skates the length of Britain. A new life begins.

Expedition 1000

Expedition 1000 is Dave Cornthwaite’s ambitious plan to undertake 25 expeditions of at least 1000 miles, each using a different kind of non-motorized transport. Skateboards. Paddleboard. Bicycle. Swimming. Sailing. He’s got six under his belt so far and the stories just keep getting better.

Swim 1000

A few days ago, I came across this excellent short film about Dave’s “Swim 1000” expedition of 2012. This was a 1000 mile swim of the Missouri river undertaken for Coppafeel, the breast cancer charity. The journey began August 10th in Chamberlain, South Dakota and ended 58 days later in St. Louis, Missouri. But that’s not the real story.

The story he’s bringing you is the one captured by Miguel Endara, an advertising exec who befriended Dave and volunteered to capture his expedition. Did he ever! Here’s the film.

I think this is an exquisite little piece of filmmaking. Maybe because of his training, maybe because he was there with this extraordinary troupe, Miguel Endara skips past all the logistics and machinations that distract many adventure filmmakers and just gets to the heart of this journey. The people on it.

Swim 1000 Team photo by Miguel Endara
Swim 1000 Team photo by Miguel Endara

“It’s about the people,” Dave Cornthwaite avows. And so it is. Heartfelt, hypnotic, rich in character, this is seriously great filmmaking in a small package.

I defy anyone to watch this film and not wish they have been there to experience the journey. “I want to get to be an old man and look back and have a lifetime of memories and smile about them. And if I’m living in a tent, then I’m living in a tent.” Wise words. Can’t wait to see what Dave Cornthwaite does next.
Here’s his website.

Dave Cornthwaite & team at finish photo Miguel Endara
Dave Cornthwaite & team at finish of Swim 1000 photo Miguel Endara

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