82 days Alone at Sea: Transatlantic Paddler Captain’s Log
Chris Bertish Checks In On Course To Make History Next Week
Chris Bertish is the man with the master plan. After years in the making facing near impossible logistics, his ambitious adventure--the first-ever attempt at an unsupported transatlantic SUP crossing--is rapidly approaching completion. With merely a week and 430 nautical miles anticipated before the finish, Bertish checks in via his live blog for one of his final Captain’s Logs from the biggest SUP expedition in history. -MM
2/28/2017: #TheSUPCrossing Captains Log
Pulled verbatim from The SUP Crossing Live Tracker page.
“A tale of shifting paradigms, Cabin Fever, the ‘Squall Rider,’ bump and grind, the search for the endangered Gold Monkey and the return of the mighty Stripe! ”
-82 days at sea alone
-210NM paddled over the last 4 days. Avg-52NM p/day.
-430NM remaining to Antigua
-Approximate Finish ETA 8/9th March
2.5 months ago I never thought of having over two million people follow me on this epic journey and read my Captains log posts. I didn’t think I would be getting personal inspiring messages from my greatest heroes and inspirations of whom had never met..One from the world’s leading entrepreneur, adventurer’s and inspiration to me, Sir Richard Branson himself and the other from my greatest Adventure hero and possibly the world’s greatest modern-day Adventurer of our time, Sir Ranulph Fiennes.
All this was about as far from my mind and a reality, as walking on the moon, but then again, look at what we’ve accomplished since then….
2.5 months ago, the possibility of having a ship come within 2 Miles of me on AIS was terrifying and a major concern… The ImpiFish clocking up more than 5knts on the speedo, not really a reality and being able to clock over 62nm in 24hrs was not even something I believed was really possible to do in such a heavy craft, mid-ocean, with all my gear, food, water and supplies…
But it’s interesting when you are constantly pushing your limits and your comfort zone, when you start changing the way you look at things, with a renewed attitude and perspective, the things you look at, also begin to change!
Over the last 80 days, I have witnessed both myself, continually shifting my own comfort zone’s and personal paradigms, as I too have watched the world’s view and support for what I am doing, also shift and come a complete full circle… It’s been really interesting mentally to watch it all unfold….
All the skeptics the pessimists & the naysayers….the Can’t and Impossible Clan, watching the silence of the lambs, as I forged on through thick and thin…no matter the obstacle and challenge ahead.
I have always believed there’s no such thing as Impossible or Can’t … I use to see it as a forbidden word, deleted from my vocabulary, but even this for me has now shifted further….
I have now come to embrace these words, that which I use to call the ‘Dirty words’ like a swear word and now they have become My Power Tools.
My Power words…and I’ve learned to now love and embrace them. As they stand for great opportunity/ motivator/ change/ a challenge / new solutions / something others have battled with/ creative opportunity / catalyst / great opportunity for growth and success.
The words Can’t and Impossible are fire starters for me… They are my Motivators and the catalyst for greatness and my greatest potential. They are the catalyst for change!
They are my two greatest tools for adventure/ growth / shifting my own comfort zones, shifting paradigms, transcending my own limits, in order to redefine possible and set new parameters for myself and for others…
These two words are my greatest asset, my greatest inspiration, and greatest tools and within them, locked deep inside for most people out there, lies their greatest potential, for any human who dares to unlock them. Within those two words lies your greatest self, greatest potential and opportunity and a new world you never even imagined possible, but it’s there lying dormant if you believe and have the courage to try.
Those two words hold the key to Limitless living and it all starts just with the belief in self and the realization that you have the capability and capacity to do and achieve anything you want in life & if it’s your purpose and you set your mind on it and anything else, you can do it, you can do anything, including changing the world!
“What would you do in life, if you realized that there was no such thing as Impossible? Because isn’t….unless you choose to believe there is!”
Now that you know this, take daily steps and actions in the direction of your goals and dreams and change your life accordingly…”
Remember I mentioned about the Fat lady singing. Well, she hasn’t Sung yet and that is the reason I am sitting in my little Cabin, after sending the last Captains Log, starting to write this one.
As I have had the tail end of bad low-pressure system heading north hit me and I’ve been forced to be on sea anchor the last 30hours and I’m going backward at almost 1mile an hour in the wrong direction! Awesome.
Not… I have serious cabin fever, especially as my cabin is 2 for by 5,10ft…need to get outta here tomorrow no matter what, either way, I’m paddling. Even if it’s the wrong direction! Change the actions to change the results…
So that next morning, After the last 30hrs painstakingly watching my hard earned miles disappear from the day before, as I went backward and in cocked over 25mikes/35km.. By dawn I was over it, I’m getting that sea anchor up and we are moving. What direction I wasn’t sure, it wasn’t going to be great, but I couldn’t expect different results unless I was to change what I was doing on my side, so I needed to take action and make the change, be the change… Any decision is better than no decision.
As I checked my hand bearing compass and started paddling I could see even trying to paddle across the Breeze it was going to be a slog… All day & I was going to be going almost die North, but still a little West, which is where I needed to be going… Either which way, this was better than backward, do it was the right decision. It wasn’t the easy option, the easy road, but like in life, the easy option is most often not the right option.
I knew that later in the afternoon the wind was going to star swinging around in my favor, so u had to just put my head down and grind it out all day, which is what I did for 9 hours. Until it did start all changing and now two days later, looking back in hindsight with the updated forecast, if I hadn’t taken so much North that day, I would have been to far South to make it to my next waypoint as the wind shifted by 30degrees.
The lesson, take action always, don’t wait for change, be the change, get up and take action and create the results you desire! Sitting around waiting for it to happen won’t get you anywhere in any situation in life.
The following day I knew the breeze was going to build and there might be some pretty volatile moments and usually, the squalls can be quite daunting, but they are normally quick and intense and then over within 20mins to half an hour. In the beginning of this adventure, I would most often duck into my cabin and wait it out… Blinding rain and 25-35knts squalls can be pretty scary mid-ocean, but as I’ve got more comfortable with everything and now that I need to get those miles and I’ve been through pretty much everything, I started mentally analyzing my attitude to see if I could shift and change my perception to create different more positive results..
So I started trying to focus on squalls over the last week as opportunities in disguise to capitalize and get extra distance and use it as a challenge to get some speed and distance and learnt to ride them out!
So now, as I’ve shifts my comfort zone and perception when I see a squally coming my mindset has changed. Now I smile, I start Laughing and go "hell yeah, bring it on, let’s get ready." Harness on, locked and loaded and let’s get ready to ride the white lightning! And the mental challenge is to see what top speed I can get through the squall, that’s the mission, to see how much Surf Time I can get.. Goooo the #impifish.. Yesterday I cracked 7.4knts, over 12km/h.. Stoked!
(I miss my surfing, so at least I’m getting a little surf time, wherever I can:) haha..
“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at begin to change!” Unknown quote.
Yesterday morning at 4:53am exactly, I was sleeping tracking West with the pilot on…when I had another non-friendly visitor, with a double, bump and grind pass on the ImpIFish, it was pretty scary and I’m not going to go into detail in the log, as it’s bad for my mental state. The positive thing that at least it sensed on the second time round we weren’t worth a bite and moved on and hopefully that’s our last visitor from the men in grey suits while I’m out here. If you want to hear more you’ll have to wait for the book…Written in depth, from safety and security of dry land.
The search for the elusive & endangered Gold Monkey!
This is the elusive 12th monkey, very rare and hardly ever seen, let alone caught…but I believe in life we all need to have a Gold Monkey to strive for…some call it the BHAG- big hairy audacious goal!
Keeps you striving to push harder and go further, often in tough times even more relevant, in order to push through and past the point when you are far from the finish, but need something to keep you going.
Welcome to the law of the 12th Monkey!
The #ImpiFish and I have had a gold monkey for the last 3 weeks, but he’s been so far in the distance, there was no hope we would get close to spotting her before she left the forest-finish.
There’s been a double’s team in the Talisker Row Race in a very fast Rannoch build row boat- the fastest of them all. That has been over 420nm ahead of me, but I have been slowly reeling them in, day by day, week by week…I now have 430nm remaining to the finish and they are just over 260nm ahead of me now.
Meaning, besides them being a double’s team of two, even though I left from Morroco and they left from the Canaries, starting a week earlier than me, I have caught up over 260NM on them, over the last 2 months and even though today I realize I won’t actually catch them before the finish, it’s given me a hunger and drive to push harder daily and go further.
Over the last 4 days, I have paddled 210NM, meaning, before I broke the 24hr record the first time, I would have broken it 3 times over the last 4days…
This has been a big part in keeping me focused, driven, hungry and pushing daily to get those Xtra miles, to go harder and push further, not to just hang on by a thread till the end, but to finish strong. It’s helped me a great deal mentally, especially over the last week, which has been super tough.
Everyone needs a Gold Monkey-The 12th Monkey, to strive for…To help them dream big, live bigger and not settle for mediocre or average when the possibility for extraordinary is out there waiting for you.
The Mighty Stripe has been keeping me company, even with all the big teeth that have come a knocking night and day, Stripe has been brave, bold and fearless and never left my side… Every now and again, daily I see him dart out from under the #Impifish bow, to go check out some reef weed or something floating and then quickly dart back under us again and every time I see him.. I shout, “Stripppe!” “Go get Em’ boy, get Em’ Stripe.” haha he keeps me company and keeps me smiling.
Thanks! Stripe, for always being there, through thick and thin… I often put on my goggles and pop my head over the side just to say and check in on him and he comes up inquisitively to say hi and then shoots off again…
Everyone needs a travel buddy in life, thanks Stripe for being mine…
“If you advance confidently and constantly in the direction of your own goals and dreams and endeavor to live the life which you have imagined, you will meet with a success unexpected in common hours..it will chase you..” -Thero
As we come close to the end of this epic adventure, my last 3 Captains Log’s will be mini one’s as I focus on the approach angles and navigation/ routing and weather to get to Antigua, as it requires incredible focus and reading of the weather, currents, forecast and constantly tweaking this to arrive at your exact destination without sails or an engine, just playing the angles and reading the weather.. I’m sure you guys all understand, I’m back to paddling. -Chris Bertish
The SUP Crossing Trailer
Check out our exclusive interview with Bertish from the middle of the Atlantic.
Stay tuned to supthemag.com for real-time coverage of the end to Bertish’s history-making transatlantic voyage.