My Upcoming Piece for Columbia Magazine

Portrait of Billy Gawronski

“The Tale of the Stowaway who Traded Antarctic Adventures for a Columbia Classroom”

Funny backstory! I wrote it three years ago, got paid, and I forgot about it. I was promised it would run eventually but it wasn’t getting canceled.

Well they finally found the right place for it on the back page which will now have a series of quirky stories. This short piece is launching that series.  Enjoy the read!

Read the article on

A Spread on THE STOWAWAY in the New York Post

How a Jersey teen stowaway became an international celebrity

A few minutes past 4 a.m. on Aug. 25, 1928, 17-year-old Billy Gawronski dove into the Hudson River and swam out to board a ship called the City of New York, which was sailing to Antarctica the next day.

Gawronski had no experience at sea or as an adventurer. But he had a desire to live a more exciting life than the one he was born into.

Read the full article by Larry Getlen on New York Post

Lewis Pugh, a Tremendous Source of Inspiration

I just received this picture which made me smile. Endurance swimmer, environmental lawyer, and ocean advocate Lewis Pugh is reading my non-fiction book out 1/16 THE STOWAWAY: A Young Man’s Extraordinary Adventure to Antarctica. Pugh has been described as the “Sir Edmund Hillary of swimming.” In 2015 he swam in his Speedos off the coastline of Antarctica to help draw attention to the wildlife of the Ross Sea – including the Emperor and Adelie penguins, and whales. Success! In 2016 he helped negotiate the creation of the largest protected area in the world – the Ross Sea off Antarctica. Speedo diplomacy. Pugh was on my expedition to Antarctica in 2015 – he was a tremendous source of inspiration and helped me figure out how to write about swimming in open water.