Sam McNeill


Ocean Warrior #Resolute Expeditions

Introduction by Adam Purser

Sam is an integral part of the Ocean Warrior #Resolute Expeditions and Classic Sailing thought it might be helpful if you heard Sam’s story.

I was born in the middle of the Indian Ocean to a Naval family but sailing never featured in my life! My family moved to Dartmoor when I was just 6 months old where I have lived ever since and from a very young age Dartmoor formed the backdrop of my life. The defining moment of my teenage years was leading the girls’ team for my school in the annual Ten Tors challenge, a two-day expedition across Dartmoor for teams of 6 young people run by the military. I attribute everything that I have achieved since to that early experience of being on expedition. 

I very quickly progressed to serving with several search and rescue teams where I learnt invaluable skills in team, incident, and casualty management. A life of adventure and outdoor pursuits ensued, and I spent many years in the mountains whilst also training young people in expedition skills. The backdrop to this adventurous life was a 33-year Civil Service career – while being functional it left me feeling that I needed to be doing something more purposeful with my life but I just couldn’t fathom what that was! 

Then, 5 years ago I met a polar explorer, Jim! 2 years later I gave up my career and all its trappings to join Jim full time on the Global Warrior Project AND 1 year ago we got married! 

When I joined Jim,  Ice Warrior was in full flow and I have since spent a lot of time working at our polar training base in Longyearbyen on the Arctic Archipelago of Svalbard witnessing polar nights and the midnight sun. However, I was still working on Terra Firma!

After the launch of our Ocean Warrior Project in January 2023 I knew I was going to have to go on a sailing ship which filled me with dread, I could get sea sick on a pedalo!

Up until the start of our ‘Foundation Expeditions’ in September I had little interest in being near a boat, on a boat, let alone being in love with a boat! After 53 years of mountains and 3 weeks on the Ocean Warrior vessel Linden, a beautiful, wooden, classic tall ship, sailing around Svalbard I had not only fallen in love with a boat but also, I had fallen in love with sailing! It suddenly dawned on me that being on a boat is so fantastic it is worth being seasick for!

My motivation has always been to enable and inspire people to achieve things they never thought possible but now I have found my purpose doing that whilst also putting a more immediate finger on the pulse of the planet and telling that story visually through well crafted digital content. 

I have also told Jim that we can get a boat!

Sam McNeill

Operations Director and Digital Content Creator at Global Warrior Project

Ice Warrior Expeditions Ltd  | Warrior Citizen Science Ltd (Non-Profit)

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