Imagine being sound asleep, then being shocked awake to find you’re in the middle of an ocean. That’s what happened to Bart de Zwart daily, a 41-year-old husband and father from Maui, while he crossed 300 miles from the Big Island to Kauai on a standup paddleboard. As reported by Yahoo! News, at night he would blow up a set of inflatable air mattresses glued together which “resembled a kiddie pool” and strapped to the board. Sometimes the conditions were windy and choppy, which would flip him over and wake him from slumber. And he did all of this by choice.
Inspired by the ancient Hawaiians who embarked on such journeys in simple canoes, Bart spent five days at sea and paddled an estimated 215,000 strokes during the crossing which, he believes, is the first time it’s been done solo. For food and drink, he strapped freeze-dried meals and fresh water stored in water-tight containers to his 14-foot long board. He had enough rations to last him seven days. Would he do it again? Probably not, he said.
This was by far the hardest thing I’ve done in my life. I’m glad I did it but I don’t think I’ll do it again.
On his blog, The Ultimate Crossing, Bart writes that when he first arrived onto land it took him all night to find the balance to walk properly again.