DMPL Podcast: David Thoreson

David Thoreson

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Our guest today on the DMPL Podcast is Iowa native, explorer, adventurer, and photographer David Thoreson! David grew up on Lake Okoboji in northwest Iowa, where he still resides – when he’s not sailing around the world.

Thoreson has sailed more than 65,000 nautical miles across the globe, including being the only North American sailor to navigate the Northwest Passage in both directions. He has been called “the Accidental Explorer,” describing the unlikely path he took from the middle of the Midwest to the world’s oceans. It’s one he took with a little help from “a Minnesota hog farmer” named Roger Swanson.

During the podcast, Thoreson discusses how his family helped forge his love for sailing on the windy waters of Lake Okoboji. He talks about his first continental adventure – taking off 6,000 miles nonstop from South Africa to Argentina, with a crew of eight people. He also chats about the adventures through the Northwest Passage – both successful and unsuccessful.

Thoreson will talk further about his Northwest Passage adventures during an upcoming program at the Franklin Avenue Library. Thoreson, who is an outstanding photographer, has seen firsthand the drastic changes that have occurred in the Arctic due to climate change. 25 years ago, his crew and he had to retreat from an attempt to sail through the Northwest Passage due to ice and narrow passages. 12 years later, they returned – and found the ice had melted, creating a remarkable difference in their path.

He will be at the Franklin Avenue Library on Tuesday, September 24 at 6:30 PM. He’ll discuss how climate change has impacted the Northwest Passage and the Arctic Ocean, and he’ll show some stunning photographs documenting what has happened. The program is free and open to the public. You can learn more about Thoreson’s adventures and photography at and