The first ever solo, open ocean, SUP trans-Atlantic crossing.

An undertaking so unique, so out-of-the-box, and of such an immense feat that most would believe it to be… Impossible!

8 hours ago

Captains Log, Ocean Date-Mon 16th Jan 17'

Oh Ship! Shifting your comfort zone & dealing with change! Face your fears to grow and achieve your dreams...

My Captains logs from this week onwards are going to be a little shorter as I'm trying to get through more miles while the weather is good to get to my main, key Trans Atl. Waypoint of 20Degrees North and 31 degrees West, by/ on Sunday/Monday this coming week, so I need to chomp those miles & therefore, I'm increasing my daily 24hr shift hours from 11-12/13 hours I'm paddling, which gives me less time for writing, but I'll try and make them every 4/5 days instead of once a week

Work with me guys and gals, I'm trying to paddle across an ocean here on something never done on this planet ever before ...while still trying my best to juggle everything else and keep you guys posted & inspired 🙂

Last night was a picture perfect night to conclude this blog, with the way it turned out and the shifts I managed to fit in, so here we go...

I have now been out on the Atlantic, alone, on the ImpiFish, for exactly the last 40days, since the day I took that first stroke and pushed away from the dock and the safety of land, in Agadir, Morocco on the 6th December last year, 2016.

Since then I have noticed some dramatic shifts in my consciousness and mental state towards two of the great fears/ challenges I knew I would face while out on the ocean on my tiny little craft, less than 6 metres long and how this has shifted & how I have mentally taught my myself to shift my attitude and comfort zone on these two challenges..to now have moved through it, grow and now be enjoying them and be ready to shift it further, as life is all about learning, growing and evolving, where ever possible.

We all have things we fear and we all don't like being pushed outside of our comfort zone because it's exactly that.. Uncomfortable! but that....is where the magic happens and where growth, inspiration and your greatest learning happens.

Many people fear change/ being pushed outside there comfort zone and facing there fears, whereas even though I'm not superhuman or any different to anyone else out there.. I have learnt over the years that that's where the magic happens, where you grow learn, evolve and are inspired, when you're challenged, that's where your greatest potential lies, just beyond your comfort zone & once you've faced your fears and you are able to welcome them and move through them, then you start to welcome and actually encourage constant change in your life...as it makes it exciting keeps it creative as you are constantly learning, growing and evolving so you are constantly inspired.

Over the years I've learnt a very simple philosophy to everything.. The more you do something, the more you do anything in life, the better you get at it and the better you get at handling and dealing with any situation.

Simple yes, nothing new, but to get there, to get through challenges, face your fears, deal with change it's exactly that too, but it's also all about attitude and mindset.

Over this epic voyage, my two greatest challenges and concerns when I left besides not getting shipwrecked on land further down the coast and major system failures, which I've had many close encounters with both of those too.

The first major concern was the huge amount of major shipping lanes and traffic area's I wound be crossing when on this adventure.
Secondly was paddling at night generally and also in hectic conditions with no light/ moon, of overcast, as I know from the open Ocean 24hr record I have done, in Mozambique, just how scary it can be and how difficult it can be out there.. When you are standing and your balance is tested every second, as the craft is moving under your feet all the time and often you have no visual sight, it's pitch black and no horizon.
All my past night time paddling experience had been under fairly mild conditions and with boat support.
So months before I already started preparing myself for what was to come
In the following ways.
Beforehand,in order to minimize the stress as much and to start trying to get use to it, minimize the anxiety & stress so It could be mentally controlled..
Mentally I knew I needed the best systems possible to detect ships and in turn even better ones for them to detect me, as I'm so small...
So this this is what I started doing, months beforehand...
I started training at night alone, up in Langebaan lagoon, to get the feeling and get comfortable with it..
Then I got all the systems added to the ImpiFish to make us as safe as possible.
I got top tech Navigational aids added to her like a great autopilot system, so I don't. Have to worry about staying on course over and above everything else, I got AIS added, which is like Radar, but I feel better as it gives you more information on the other vessel, distance, bearings and collision distance and time.
Echomax.. Amplifying the Impifish's signal to other ships on their radar to make me easy to pick up night and day.
I have a VHF Inside my cabin and and handheld outside. The best waterproof binoculars, hand held bearing compass, a spot waterproof Laser with a range of over 10NM /18km to shine at a ships bridge deck of they get close and weren't responding on VHF / Firefly strobe 5NM visual effective and various flares. Safety harness and tether and a leash as a backup to this.

Then over and above this, I spent a lot of time visualizing what and how it would feel, so I got my mind ready and prepared way in advance, as then I had already been there mentally, when I first was out there, so more comfortable with the situation.

And then once out there at first it was scary and freaky at times, and there were and have been super intense times, see the pic of myself attached below surrounded by ships in the shipping lanes and my heart the one time within the first week spiking to over 200bpm, I couldn't get hold of one of the ships that was on a direct collision course, who came within less than a mile from at night!
Other times when I was almost washed overboard at night, but over time with practice repetition of the situations I just trained myself to mentally start enjoying it, and now I love seeing ships and interact with them and the night shifts are fast becoming my favorite time of my 25hr day.

Consistency and repetition creates habits and makes you more comfortable with situation until it becomes your norm and then you are ready to shift it again and grow further.

Now, even with no moon, I'm still able to enjoy it.. As , I've managed to shift my comfort zone in 3 stages.
1. Before- mental preparation
2. Deal with it; create the norm
3. Learn to love it,
So you are ready to Shift it again.

It's always been the same for me as my progression into surfing bigger and bigger waves, it didn't just happen, it was a slow progression of shifting my comfort levels and growing each time.. Thnks for the awesome illustration #JoeMitchel did for me a couple years ago
I try and work with and around the conditions in my favor and put myself there as much as possible, then deal with the things you can control, minimize the things you not able to control and manage the ones that are mental and in your grasp and know with the right attitude, the more you put yourself there the better you will get at dealing with it..

Often, like last night it was cold dark and windy, just silence your little voice trying to talk you out of getting up & going outside.
Stop it in its tracks a just override with power sentence like the below:
Tell your little voice to Suck it up.. Shut up, harden up, get up, stand up, take action, make the change be the change.

Every Surfer knows the feeling when it's cold & windy and the surf is not great- sitting in your warm car and your little voice starts talking you out of it.. You have to be able to catch it and override it.. Catch yourself, recognize it catch it, Override it, Stop thinking, remind yourself of the Rule # 1 - when in doubt go out and just go, go go!

When have you ever gone out and then regretted it afterward? never right!
Looking back afterwards, you're always thankful you did go out... Change the messaging take action/ and the positive endorphins kick in that make you energized and feel alive back kick in, which alleviate stress and make you feel good, healthier and happier so, it's a no brained, you just always gotta go!

Like last night I get into PFA mode, (Prepared For Anything)- shut up, gear up/ suit up, get out there and make it happen.
PFA Gear for night shifts:
Goal/ target number of miles on my Chartplotter
Waterproof socks
Gul Goretex GXC Boots
Gull Code Zero sailor outta foul weather bottoms
Thermo shirt
Gul Gloves
Mini Head torch
Skeletool
mini firefly torch & emergency strobe
Harness/ Carribeena and safety tether
Big wave leash connect
Coffee

Last night turned out to be epic, with 2x shifts.. 7-9:30 pm and 12:30-4am, with a Perfect Night sky, Clear thoughts, Almost full Moon, Phosphorescence, Shooting stars, it was epic!

At the end of my shift I lay back out on my little solar panel, back deck after my shift had ended, for an hour writing notes and went from updating my 6yr plan, which evolved into a crystal clear 10 yr plan, in two hours flat. Complete start to finish.
Thought/ to Idea/Dream
Vision/ Visualize
Mental Picture/ visual mapping
Literal Visual Road map and timeline to goals
Vision/ Mission / call to action and visual timeline

I should have been tired but I wasn't at all I couldn't even keep up with my fingers typing furiously & a little clumsily in my paddling gloves under the dark, but magic night sky.
This is the time when your thoughts are often the clearest, as its peaceful, with less distractions & where your thoughts are crystal clear.

So last night's night shift turned into the best night ever, so I've learned to love the night/ own it- face your fears/ manage them/ control them - own them! Don't let them own you and most importantly, don't let them limit you from your greatest potential / your goals /dreams/ passions & purpose - to fulfill your burning desire.

The last time I looked at my watch this morning after staring up at the night sky typing this to you before heading into my little cabin it was 4;30am& I still need led to be up at sunrise for my weather update, so it am just goes to show that passion for heat inspires you transcends the body's need to feel fatigue, it actually gives you more Energy, as I wasn't tired at all..
That's what it means to be powered by your passion and driven by your purpose!

Welcome challenges & change.. Face your fears head on and own them!
The fears you face become your friends, the ones you don't become your limits!
Face them, embrace them, transcend them, own them and grow...

What do you Stand for?

#TheSupCrossing Carrick Wealth #TheStandUpGuy #StandUp Signature of Hope Trust Operation Smile South Africa The Lunchbox Fund
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