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September 10 , 2010

Atlantic Gigantic


“Life is out there for anyone who seeks it and here is a great example. Colin and his crewmates seize this opportunity to sail the Gambo across the northern Atlantic despite fear and common sense warning against it, embodying a real spirit of adventure.”
– Mike Robinson, chief executive for the Royal Scottish Geographical Society 

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“Every year, millions of people come to Scotland by land, sea and air, to bask in a country that boasts spectacular scenery, a rich history and culture and the warmest of welcomes. The journey to Scotland is very much part of the overall visitor experience and I think it’s safe to say that Colin Souness and his friends undertook a more adventurous and thrilling journey than most to return to the land of his birth. The timing of Atlantic Gigantic is very apt following our hugely successful Year of Homecoming – a year-long celebration of the very best of Scottish culture – and I would like to congratulate Colin and company on their successful voyage!”
– Mike Cantlay, chairman of VisitScotland

For anyone who thinks that science is a boring game of white coats and dry numbers, here is a book which might make you think again. 

ATLANTIC GIGANTIC tells the story of how three young scientists—glaciologists Sam Doyle and Colin Souness, and marine biologist Matt Burdekin—wound up in Greenland as part of a cutting-edge climate research project and found themselves sailing home across the North Atlantic Ocean. Brought together and offered the chance by a top UK climate scientist, these three, despite being little more than novice sailors, found themselves volunteering to sail an expeditionary research yacht from the Arctic waters of western Greenland to Oban in Scotland's West Highlands, without any on-hand guidance.

Atlantic Gigantic describes how a shared love of challenge and discovery, unexpectedly brought these three adventurous research students to the very edge of their comfort zones—and launched them clear out, straight into the clutches of the North Atlantic. They came together as a crew, sharing their love of exploration, proving their strengths in the face of their fears, and working out not only how to sail but also how to make up for their other respective experience gaps by pooling their very different personalities and skill sets. This book relates the tale of their journey through water, through storms, through fears and through friendship.

Colin Souness is a glaciologist and seafarer with a passion for wild spaces. He grew up first in Scotland’s west highlands and later in her rugged borderlands and has been inspired by wilderness areas from as early as he can remember. So naturally, Colin went on to study as a geomorphologist. Later, after first crewing a five-month sailing expedition to Antarctica and then joining the Royal Air Force for a while, Colin went back to uni for a PhD studying ice on Mars. Now Colin works as a lecturer and Polar Regions guide aboard ice-strengthened ships throughout the Arctic and in the Antarctic. He is a graduate of Aberystwyth University and The University of Edinburgh.

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