It’s happened. Chris Bertish has completed the first ever transatlantic crossing via a standup paddleboard, solo and unassisted.
A Hero’s Welcome
“NOW do you believe in I’mpossible?!” – Chris Bertish
Chris Bertish arrived on dry land in Antigua at about 8:32AST this morning. Paddling into English Harbour after having crossed 4050 nautical miles from the coast of Morocco, Chris Bertish has achieved the impossible.
Equipment failures, injury, tumultuous seas created an epic journey for this 42-year-old South African who set out to prove that if you have a strong enough WHY, or purpose, there is nothing that one cannot achieve. Alone, solo and unassisted, for over three months, Chris’ background as a lifetime waterman and big wave surfer served him well in his expedition. However, he attributes his success to his positive, determined and focused mindset … his purpose.
“Do what you love and love what you do..be driven by your passion, Inspired and powered by your Purpose and success will follow you.”
Chris uses ‘Visual Blueprinting’ wherein he visualizes the end product of his goal over and over again, in full technicolor.
“I can watch the movie in my head over and over in full HD. I can see the colors perfectly and in vivid raw, rich color. I can hear the sounds, smell the scents in the sea air, hear the people screaming, see the water moving in perfect motion and once I can play it in moving color with sight and sound, then I start adding the emotion, the Purpose, the “Why” and I start stacking them, on on top of another, like layers, until they are so strong and powerful that I can feel them so deeply that when I play it back over in my mind I start feeling those emotions welling up within me and I have to hold back the tears of joy/ elation and pride.”
This, he says, is the magic potion for a strong mindset and his ultimate success. To believe in the WHY of his purpose and to visualize the goal, richly and fully, in a dedicated manner in order to live it before it’s ever even achieved. Chris has been trained in this visualization practice and his due diligence to it has made him into the man he became today, the first human to ever cross the Atlantic Ocean one hard earned stroke at a time on a standup paddleboard.
“A day, that took my whole life to create & a story that has inspired hundreds of thousands, the world over and a legacy with a self sustainable charity that will change the lives of millions of children for generations to come!”
Setting World Records and achieving a goal no man or woman has ever contemplated before were all a part of this hero’s journey. And yet, Chris set out across the Atlantic one stroke at a time, in order to raise money for children less fortunate than himself. He stated over and over again in his Captain’s Logs throughout the trip that the thing that kept him moving forward and gave him the strength to endure any hardship was the vision of the smiles on the children’s faces that he would be able to help with the funds raised from his adventure.
“It took every fiber in my being to get through each and every day & every never ending night, day by day, stroke by stroke, over 2 million, as I paddled smiles across the Atlantic and onto the faces of millions of little children in South Africa.“
Chris is a man of heart. Big heart and, certainly, big adventure. He has inspired so many, not just children, since he departed the coast of Morocco ninety-three days ago with his resilient spirit, his passionate determination and his overcoming of hardship. Chris’ belief is that there is nothing one cannot accomplish if there is proper preparation, planning and a belief in one’s self to accomplish the dream.
“It’s an incredible day… It’s the culmination of everything’s I’ve been working on and towards for half a decade now and it’s a day that will change history, the world and both my life and the lives of millions of little children in South Africa forever!”
He even gave a description of his final moments at sea because he knew so many people (like US!) have been cheering him on, sending good wishes and staying in touch with his updates. So for his final Captain’s Log, dated today, he describes the moment before he pulled in to shore.
“It’s a Magnificently sunny morning, with a strong banks of trade wind clouds overhead and a stiff warm breeze pushing me into the leeward island of Antigua, in the Caribbean, after days of working the approach angles right and it’s still tight, but make able..
All the colors are vivid and rich.. Bursting with energy energy of the deep blue Caribbean sea. The water is a majestic emerald blue..
I’ve been paddling alone, solo, in the open ocean, for 93 days..I’ve covered over 4050NM/ 7500km. I’ve taken more than 2,008 800 strokes and we’ve raised over 6.5 Million Rand for charity!
It’s an incredible day… It’s the culmination of everything’s I’ve been working on and towards for half a decade now and it’s a day that will change history, the world and both my life and the lives of millions of little children in South Africa forever!
It’s such a milestone event that people have flown in from all over the world to witness it and to be a part of it.. Friends, family, press, media and many people who have simply been inspired by this incredible story…
It’s a day that will redefine what’s Possible!
Leven Brown, my forecasting & routing guru has already come out to meet me 5-10miles out, to check if I’m Ok and help guide me in from way out… If needed, but I’m ok, We’ve got my navigation and approach angles right, even with the adverse weather over the lays 3 days, we’re looking good!
As I approach the the outer limit of the Bay at English HARBOUR and turn the corner into English Harbour, my body straining from fatigue, yet still surging with inspired energy and adrenaline surges, the pain in my shoulder, hands and body, disappear and is replaced by pure sense of renewed energy, upliftment and joy.. and as the Bay opens up in front of me I it….
Like the looking at the Spanish armada coming out to greet me.. There are boats and yachts of all shapes and sizes everywhere, a whole flotilla… It’s simply incredible!
Could this all really be all be to welcome me in..they are all here inspired by a remarkable story and to witness history take place… It’s all about to happen, right in front of me.. The blueprint as I had visualized it, is unfolding right in that moment, before my very eyes…
As I reach them as they come out to greet me… I see my part of my team, some close friends, my partner and my brothers and someone waving a huge South African flag and everyone starts going mental, screaming and cheering..it sets in and those emotions start to rise and overcome my ability to be able to hold them back and the tears start streaming down my face.. Tears of Stoke, elation, pride and pure joy.
I raise my paddle with my one hand above my head and from deep within me like a primal roar from a lion staking his territory and he is King Of the Jungle, I let out a roar so, deep, loud and of primal decent..
It can be heard for miles..
– Chris Bertish Captain’s Log, March 9, 2017
Yes, you can. Yes, he did it. We, at Standup Journal Online, are sup-remely grateful this hero has found his way home and is safe with his mission successful. He has proven that seemly impossible goals can be reached, one stroke at a time. Chris Bertish’s journey has broken all preconceptions and made his WHY powerful enough to achieve an incredible dream of crossing the Atlantic Ocean by himself on a stand up paddleboard. WHAT a DAY!
“I don’t need to be strong and keep it together any longer, it’s been 93 days and it’s done and I let it all go… I am home!”
We leave you with Chris’ final quote or source of inspiration where he drew his strength from in those 4050 miles across the Atlantic. May we all live to celebrate these moments of pure inspiration, incredulity and ultimate STOKE for ourselves, people like Chris to drive the bar ever higher and those that we can help along the way. Aloha, over and over to you, Chris Bertish. Thank YOU for achieving the I’mPossible and showing us the way in this great sport of standup paddling. Namaste.
“When you are Inspired…by some great purpose, some extraordinary project.
All your thoughts break their bonds, your mind transcends limitations.
Your consciousness expands in every direction and you find yourself in a new and wonderful world you never realized existed. Dormant forces, faculties and talents, that previously weren’t accessible to you, come alive and you discover yourself to be…a greater person, by far, than you ever imagined yourself to be.” –Patangali
STAY TUNED for an EXCLUSIVE interview with Chris this Saturday, March 11th with Standup Journal Online!