Anyone who has been paddle-boarding knows you get sore after a few hours, but how about doing that for 93 days straight?
South African Chris Bertish has become the first person to cross the Atlantic Ocean on a stand-up paddleboard, arriving safely into Antigua on Thursday roughly three months after leaving Morocco.
The 42-year-old arrived in the Leeward islands of the Caribbean at 8:23am local time on March 9th, marking the end of his 4,050-mile journey, The Guardian reported.
An emotional Bertish admitted he couldn’t quite believe the adventure of a lifetime was over.
In a video-log posted to Facebook an hour before he completed the voyage, he said: “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 daredevil managed to hold a press conference soon after reaching dry land, which was broadcast on Facebook by Supthemag.
Admitting that even 24 hours ago he was doubtful of his chances of getting to the end, he said: “When I look at the conditions we had last night, it just seems mind-boggling that I’m just alive at all, to be perfectly honest.”
He also spoke about some of the scariest moments of the trip, including battling off giant squids and whales while being ravaged by 20-foot waves during a storm in the Canary Islands.
“I was getting pulled down through waves by a creature,” he said. “It was like something out of some science fiction film.”
The big wave surfer completed the journey on a custom-built 20ft long-board, taking six months to construct and costing a staggering $120,000. He paddled on average around 43 miles a day and mostly travelled at night to avoid sun exposure.
Designed by British naval architect Phil Morrison the vessel included a cabin at the front where Bertish slept 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 contend with sharks, storms and the inevitable isolation of the solo journey, got a lot further than the last person to attempt the mission.
Nicolas Jarossay from France only managed a week before he was forced to be rescued.