In An International First, Surfer Chris Bertish Conquers The Atlantic Alone On A Paddleboard : The Two-Way : NPR

Chris Bertish set out from Morocco to become the first to make the crossing alone on a stand-up paddleboard. On Thursday, after 93 days, he paddled into the West Indies, with a whole ocean behind him.

by Colin Dwyer, NPR

In the span of 93 days, Chris Bertish crossed more than 4,050 nautical miles of Atlantic Ocean — and he conquered this lonely crossing standing up. When the South African surfer entered English Harbour on the island of Antigua on Thursday, he was riding the same massive stand-up paddleboard that bore him from Morocco’s Agadir Marina roughly three months ago.

Still, if Bertish’s equipment wasn’t much different from when he started, his place in the record books now certainly is: On Thursday, Bertish became the first person in history to make a solo trans-Atlantic journey on a stand-up paddleboard.

“Across the entire Atlantic Ocean and I am finally here,” Bertish wrote Thursday on Facebook. “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!”

By the time he made it to the West Indies, battling fittingly windy and rough conditions,” SUP Magazine reports he had already faced down “shark encounters, equipment failures, unfavorable trade winds, loneliness and huge swells.”

At one point, conditions were so rough — and rough for so long — that he and his navigational systems were “just really embattled to just make it through and survive,” Bertish told SUP Magazine in a phone call about halfway through his trans-Atlantic paddle.

“My craft was taking on water, I couldn’t open my hatches, I was underwater most of the time and I don’t think most people understand the severity of that kind of problem,” he continued. “I have a sea grass growing on my entire deck because it’s underwater the entire time.”

But it wasn’t all hardship. There were high marks, as well: Bertish says he smashed the records for longest distance paddled alone across open ocean, and for the longest distance paddled alone in a single 24-hour span — 71.96 nautical miles, nearly doubling the previous mark.

He says he paddled about 60 miles in his last full day on the water alone.

Now, as we noted in December, Bertish’s vessel isn’t exactly your granddad’s stand-up paddleboard. The 20-foot-long behemoth — which he calls ImpiFish — boasts satellite weather forecasting equipment, handheld radio and GPS, solar panels and a tiny cabin where he could sleep at night. And he’s been sure to relay updates to landlubbing supporters on Facebook.

THE TWO-WAY
A Surfer And His Paddleboard Embark On A Lonely Trans-Atlantic Voyage
Those same supporters helped Bertish in his quest to parlay his paddling into charity. He says that as of Thursday, his journey had managed to raise more than $490,000 for Signature of Hope Trust, The Lunchbox Fund and Operation Smile.

“Bertish aims to raise enough money to build at least five schools in South Africa, provide monthly dividends to feed and educate thousands of children and pay for surgeons to carry out life-changing cleft lip and palate operations,” CNN reports.

“I pretty much ate exactly the same thing every single day for 93 days,” he told a crowd assembled to greet him Thursday, as he was settling down to his first meal on land in quite a while. “A lot of the kids we’re doing this for don’t even have enough money to go to school.”

Bertish added: “Every time I’d look down at the same packet of food I was going to have to eat another day in a row, I tell myself: ‘Shut up, you’ve actually got food to eat.’ These kids have nothing.”

He reminded the gathered crowd just how lucky they were to have anything to eat at all … until, his reminder spoken, the crowd politely told him to shut up and just eat his burger — his first after an ocean’s worth of paddling.

Source: In An International First, Surfer Chris Bertish Conquers The Atlantic Alone On A Paddleboard : The Two-Way : NPR

Why Conservation Matters: Rafting the Green River’s Gates of Lodore

by Michael Lanza, The Big Outside

The momentarily sedate current of the Green River pulls our flotilla of five rafts and two kayaks toward what looks like a geological impossibility: a gigantic cleft at least a thousand feet deep, where the river appears to have chopped a path right through the Uinta Mountains of northeastern Utah. Sheer, cracked cliffs of burgundy-brown rock frame the gap. Box elder, juniper, and a few cottonwoods grow on broad sand bars backed by tiered walls that seem to reach infinitely upward and backward, eclipsing broad swaths of blue sky.

We notice movement on river left and glance over to see two bighorn sheep dash up a rocky canyon wall so steep that none of us can imagine even walking up it.

These are the Gates of Lodore, portal to a canyon as famous today for its scenery and wilderness character as it was infamous for the catastrophes suffered by its first explorers, who set out in wooden boats a century and a half ago to map the West’s greatest river system.Much has certainly changed since John Wesley Powell’s historic journey through the Canyon of Lodore. But thanks to conservation struggles in the past—decades before the teenagers among us were born—much about the canyons incised deeply into the ancient layers of rock here in Dinosaur National Monument remains the same as Powell saw.

Much has certainly changed since John Wesley Powell’s historic journey through the Canyon of Lodore. But thanks to conservation struggles in the past—decades before the teenagers among us were born—much about the canyons incised deeply into the ancient layers of rock here in Dinosaur National Monument remains the same as Powell saw.

And yet, we live in a time when the lessons of history seem in danger of drowning in muddy political waters where facts are described as “alternative” and truths are reshaped to suit the agendas of the powerful. The story of how these canyons narrowly avoided concrete walls that would have transformed rivers into reservoirs feels like an intensely relevant one to impart to another generation.

Our party of 30—friends and family ranging in age from 12 to their sixties, including seven kids and five guides with Holiday River Expeditions—has launched on one of the West’s classic, multi-day, wilderness river trips: floating the Green River through Dinosaur National Monument, on the Utah-Colorado border. Covering 44 river miles in four days, we’ll run a handful of class III and IV rapids, three of which Powell gave ominous names: Disaster Falls, Triplet Falls, and Hells Half Mile. We’ll also dayhike to see prehistoric pictographs, stand beneath icy waterfalls, and spot more bighorn sheep than any of us has ever seen on one trip.

Source: Why Conservation Matters: Rafting the Green River’s Gates of Lodore | The Big Outside

Record-breaking Irishman rows Atlantic after beating alcohol and heroin addiction 

He burnt around 8,000 calories a day and lost approximately 20% of his body weight over the duration of the race

by ANITA MCSORLEY, Irish Mirror

An Irish former heroin addict and alcoholic who tried to kill himself became a superfit endurance athlete and rowing across the Atlantic – sponsored by a whiskey company.

He lived in a squat for 15 years and tried to commit suicide because he couldn’t accept the fact that he was gay.

He bravely held off the challenge of a three man American team, to finish the race in third place. 30 minutes was all that separated the two boats after 49 days of relentless ocean rowing, in what was an historically close finish.

Upon arrival at Antigua, he raised the Irish Tricolour to salute the large crowd gathered to watch him complete the race.

Source: Record-breaking Irishman rows Atlantic after beating alcohol and heroin addiction – Irish Mirror Online

U.S. Whitewater Rafting Team just misses speed record down Grand Canyon in custom

“It was an exciting couple moments. There was this elation that we had made it through and we had such a clean line and then coming face-to-face with the reality that our boat was sinking,” said Mason, one of seven whitewater athletes who had spent the last year training and designing the speediest raft with a goal of breaking a record set by a kayaker.

Source: U.S. Whitewater Rafting Team just misses speed record down Grand Canyon in custom-built cataraft

North America’s First “Surf Park” Will Open Friday | SURFER Magazine

North America’s first official “surf park” (that’s Nland’s term, mind you) will open this Friday, October 7, in Austin, Texas.

Source: North America’s First “Surf Park” Will Open Friday | SURFER Magazine

Weekend Getaway: Canoeing the Green River

You need something to revive your soul, but this time a yoga class just isn’t going to cut it. Smashing things in your house might be a good way to vent your frustration, but going on an outdoor adventure for a few days to blow off some steam is probably a better move.

Solution: Disappear for a while and go on a canoe trip down the Green River in Utah.

In short, I didn’t need to smash anything once I got back.

Source: Weekend Getaway: Canoe Trip Down Green River – Elevation Outdoors Magazine

Recovery Fund for Injured Carbondale Kayaker 

Nate is an 11th grade English teacher in Carbondale Colorado, thus his income and savings is not enough to cover such a financial burden.

Source: Nate White Recovery Fund by Ben White – GoFundMe

Kayaker Lands a First Descent on 150-foot stretch of PA Waterfalls

Raymondskill Falls is the crown jewel of whitewater kayaking in the Delaware Water Gap of Pennsylvania. At a combined 150 feet, the three-tiered waterfall is the tallest in the state (by comparison, Niagra Falls is 167 feet).

Source: Kayaker Lands a First Descent on Raymondskill Falls | Outside Online

Kayak Park Coming to Eagle, CO – Elevation Outdoors Magazine

The town of Eagle just voted to build a whitewater park that will give local kayakers the playground of their dreams and continue to draw outdoor adventurers to a town on the rise.

Source: Kayak Park Coming to Eagle, CO – Elevation Outdoors Magazine