Although I enjoy almost every type of exploration, be that tunnels, buildings or cranes, my favourite would have to be ships. By their nature, ships as a destination tend to be hard to come by, warships even more so. This is down to a variety of reasons. Firstly, ships tend to end active service in one of three ways. They sink, get opened to the public or are scrapped. If its one of the first two, you can usually access them legitimately, either by taking a tour, or following a diving team if they sank in shallower waters. While you can still technically explore a ship that’s open to the public, that tends to class more as infiltration.
Episode II takes a look at a small collection of explorers from across the pond in America and Canada, focusing on their participation and experiences within their local and global exploring community.
Those who have met me know I hate the heat, with a passion. Summer to me is an unending nightmare, constant heat day and night with no escape outside diving headfirst into water or a freezer. Like a snowman if left exposed for too long i melt, my enthusiasm escaping like water down a drain. That’s why i live in London, its never sunny and always cold, we don’t get summer. Perfect. As such the last place you would expect to find me is the polar opposite of this, a desert. There are only two things capable of convincing me to visit such a place, one, a million dollar house with a pool, the other, an aircraft boneyard boasting over 200 planes in all shapes and sizes. Needless to say this story isn’t about the house.
It had been almost four months since i last crept through or climbed the unknown. The fear of legal repercussion grounding me, causing my inaction, the suffering forever engraved in my mind. It was something that i could not, and still have not shaken. For me, the adventures in London were over, my trump card used, as were my excuses. Yet something still remained, that desire to once again risk it all for that unique experience and reward. I know now that only one thing could cleanse that from my mind, and that’s death. I needed an outlet, some way to satisfy this desire but with London’s capital now off limits i was forced to look further afield. America.
There we were, quietly perched in a dark crawlspace, slithers of light sneaking in from the station below. Supported by thin pieces of wire and screws, the panel on which we stood was clearly not designed to support human weight, our every movement causing the flimsy metal to creak, stretch and bang, threatening to fall. Nevertheless we remained on the edge, our eyes transfixed on the station and stairs, listening for each and every sound no matter how insignificant. Impatience at this point was not an option, if our timing was wrong or we had miscalculated something the result would mean arrest, injury or worse.
Its fair to say that over the years myself and others have become slightly obsessed with the London Underground. It seemed that every time we ventured into the capital we descended into the dust and grime of its transit system. Siologen, a advocate of sewer exploration, given his 14 years experience, puts it into perspective when he said he felt he’d gotten carried away with ”ARTS”, Abandoned (Underground) Rapid Transit Stations, feeling he had “lost the way”. I’d have to agree.