The Dolphin: The Life of David Lewis

Author(s): Ben Lowings

New Zealand Biography

David Lewis might be the greatest explorer you've never heard of.

This British-born New Zealander was the first person to sail a catamaran around the world, the first - in Ice Bird - to reach Antarctica solo under sail, and the first to make known to Westerners how ancient navigators reached - and could reach again - the Pacific islands. 

David Lewis's achievements have been acknowledged with a series of awards, including that of Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

Born in England in 1917, but raised in New Zealand and Rarotonga, Lewis' exploits included climbing 19 South Island peaks, kayaking solo around the North Island, circumnavigating Earth in a catamaran, and being the first person to sail to Antarctica alone.

His studies of traditional Pacific navigation systems outlined in his book We, the Navigators, introduced these methods to a wider audience and contributed to a resurgence of interest.

Journalist Ben Lowings started hearing stories about the the sailor, adventurer, doctor and Polynesian scholar while covering the Pacific for RNZ and has written this biography - the first of - David Lewis.


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Ben Lowings has sailed dinghies and yachts everywhere from the Norwegian Arctic to 'Windy Wellington' in New Zealand. He's rafted whitewater in India, California and Uganda and kayaked off Queensland. An ex-newsreader for Radio New Zealand, he's spent more than a decade at the BBC World Service, reporting from the Philippines during typhoons and following Australian peacekeepers in the Solomons. Aside from editor shifts, he skippers commercial yacht deliveries around Britain. He read English at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, and has written for Marine Quarterly, Classic Sailor, Earthlines and Island Review. He lives near the Thames in Berkshire with his wife and son.

General Fields

  • : 9781907206511
  • : Lodestar Books
  • : Lodestar Books
  • : October 2020
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Ben Lowings
  • : Paperback
  • : Paperback
  • : English
  • : English
  • : 286
  • : 286