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ancient spice routes that have been used over thousands of years and I had to factor in migration, current and winds, which all assisted with successfully completing the crossing. And lastly, it creates a smile across the ocean.”


With the route planned and funding secured, Bertish turned his attention to an SUP craft the likes of which had to withstand everything from the powerful swell of the erratic Atlantic to the dodging of merchant ships and great white sharks. The final craft came from the drawing board of internationally renowned naval architect


Phil Morrison, with many of its features drawing inspiration from open ocean row boats. At just under 20ft in length, and weighing 1,350lb, Bertish’s vessel contained a plethora of high tech additions including radar, GPS, an auto pilot system, freeze dried meals, 50 litres of water, a life raft, phones and even a MacBook. But despite this remarkably impressive roster, Bertish quickly found his most important acquisition to be something a little more traditional.


“The most important piece of kit I took with me ended up being Vaseline,” he reveals. “The open ocean rowers recommended it


for chafing, but it ended up preventing me from sinking. I found out the main hatches on deck were leaking, and the Vaseline helped me seal the hatches and slow the amount of water that leaked in.”


And when you’re in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, there is one sleek, grey and very toothy reason why you do not want to be standing on a sinking paddleboard at any point.


“There were a couple of shark encounters along the way,” he reveals with an uneasy grin spreading across his face. “The first


ONBOARD | SUMMER 2017 | 67


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