If you’ve ever been to the beach, you’ve likely seen someone on a paddleboard braving the big blue ocean. It is a tiring but rewarding exercise for many, and unlike surfing, doesn’t require big waves.
South African watersport pro Chris Bertish took it a step further. Well, a stroke further. Or really, 2 million strokes further: he rode a paddle board across the Atlantic Ocean, something no one else had ever accomplished.
Bertish, a big wave surfer by trade, was able to complete his trip in 93 days. Starting in Morocco and ending in Antigua, the trip covered 4,500 nautical miles.
If you’re wondering just how a guy crossed the ocean using equipment available for rent down at your local lake, you’d be right to do so. Bertish didn’t use a typical paddleboard. He used a 1,360-pound, 20-foot-long vessel, fitted with a tiny cabin and solar panels. Not too shabby.
He traveled the equivalent of a marathon every day he was at sea and at one point even set the world record for the furthest daily distance traveled, unsupported and unassisted over open ocean. His total distance that day was nearly 72 miles.
He has used this opportunity to raise money for multiple causes back in South Africa. The charities include Signature of Hope Trust, the Lunchbox Foundation, and Operation Smile, for which he has raised upwards of $412,000.
When asked about his accomplishments, he said this:
“The more time I can spend in the ocean, in any shape or form, the better. I’m a waterman and the ocean is my inspiration. It’s where I truly feel alive, comfortable, content, happy and free.”
“Nothing is impossible, unless you believe it to be.”
What a way to live your life.