Photo: Tim McKenna

Photo: Tim McKenna

Bart de Zwart Completes Expedition in French Polynesia

After four days and three nights paddling solo and unsupported through French Polynesia, Maui's Bart de Zwart made it to Bora Bora. Bart took off from Tahiti early last Thursday, May 15, and paddled 180 miles to Bora Bora, arriving late evening, Sunday, May 18.

Although Bart's an experienced and prepared expedition paddler (having completed a crossing of the North Sea and a crossing from Hawaii’s Big Island to Kauai, to name a couple big ones), he still couldn’t plan for every possible situation, and faced some serious challenges throughout the journey, including staying dry at night and seasickness.

Throughout his expedition, Bart’s been sending updates to his wife, Dagmar, who updates his blog. Here are Bart's last updates before reaching Bora Bora:

May 17, 12:26 a.m.: “…tough but doing good, hardest is to get into my suit at night dry…”

May 17, 2:00 p.m.: “…very tough, but staying strong, a lot of similarities to my 5-day solo, non-stop, unsupported crossing of the Hawaiian Island chain…”

May 17, 8:30 p.m.: “…wind is better, I feel better, planned arrival for tomorrow around 5:30pm, lost pump for air mattress yesterday night when I capsized, blew it up now anyway, not as good, but I could lay down…”

Bart's progress was logged by his DeLorme tracker.

Bart’s progress was logged by his DeLorme tracker.

May 18, 3:00 a.m.: “…slept a little, started paddling, feel good, let’s finish this…”

May 18, 10:00 a.m.: “…just passed Tahaa, 19 miles now to the North of Bora Bora, paddle close to the reef, super beautiful, got to go..”

The final leg of Bart’s expedition through French Polynesia was extremely difficult, as Dagmar explains in the final update:

“Just before sunset Bart made landfall in Bora Bora.
He didn’t expect that paddling the last miles would be that cruel. He got current against him and finally even the wind against him. He had to put all his last strength into that finish.”

Check back for our interview with Bart, coming soon.

Follow Bart’s blog here.
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