Surfer Chris Bertish Becomes The First Person To Paddleboard The Atlantic Ocean After Epic Voyage
Anyone who has been paddle-boarding is sure you get sore only after a couple of hours, but how about doing that for 93 days straight?
South African Chris Bertish just became the first person to cross the Atlantic Ocean on a stand-up paddleboard. He arrived safely into Antigua on Thursday, that is three months after leaving Morocco.
As The Guardian reported, the 42-year-old arrived in the Leeward islands of the Caribbean at 8:23am local time on March 9th.
Bertish, quite emotionally, admitted he couldn’t quite believe his adventure of a lifetime was over.
In a video-log he posted to Facebook just an hour before he completed the voyage, he explained: “A day I have been working toward for as long as I can remember … I’ve put everything on the line for this project for the last five years … everything!”
Despite an exhausting few months, the adventurer managed to hold a press conference not long after reaching dry land, which was broadcast on Facebook by Supthemag.
Admitting that even 24 hours before that moment he was doubtful of his chances of getting to the end, he confessed: “When I looked at the conditions we had last night, it just seemed mind-boggling that I’m just alive at all, to be perfectly honest.”
He also talked about some of the scariest moments of the trip, including battling off giant squids and whales while being atacked by 20-foot waves during a storm in the Canary Islands.
“I was getting pulled down through waves by a creature,” he told the media. “It was like something out of some science fiction film.”
The incredible surfer accomplished the journey on a custom-built 20ft long-board. It took six months to construct it and cost a staggering $120,000. He paddled on average around 43 miles a day and mostly travelled at night to avoid sun exposure.
The vessel, which was designed by British naval architect Phil Morrison, included a cabin at the front where Bertish could sleep by sitting upright along his VHF radios, GPS systems, satellite weather forecasting equipment and other equipment that aided him on the journey.
Bertish, who had to live together with sharks, storms and the inevitable isolation of the solo journey for three months, completed his journey, unlike the last person who attempted the mission, Nicolas Jarossay, from France. He only managed to paddle for a week before he was forced to be rescued.