When it comes to pushing oneself towards greatness, some of us vow to read more books or sign up for a 5K run. Others try to learn a new skill, like woodworking. Chris Bertish, however, decided to become the first person to cross the Atlantic Ocean on a paddleboard because he is a crazy man.
This was no ordinary paddleboard. Bertish, a big-wave surfer and sailing enthusiast, worked with naval architect Phil Morrison to create a custom-built 20-foot vessel with a tiny cabin and an even tinier sleeping berth. That’s where he stashed GPS equipment, a satellite weather system, radios, a satellite phone, and an autopilot system. On top of the craft they installed solar panels to keep all those gadgets charged, and Bertish also kept an emergency kit—complete with a life raft and flares—nearby just in case. He also had shark repellant handy, because, well, sharks are scary. The whole getup cost over $120,000 to build.
Miraculously, the 42-year-old South African paddled his way from Morocco to Antigua, alone, in just 94 days. That’s 4,500 nautical miles of unassisted and unsupported ocean-faring, although Bertish did encounter some yachts and cargo ships along the way. He also weathered some storms by strapping himself into a harness that connected to the paddleboard, which looks utterly terrifying.....................