10 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
Gul Goretex GXC Boots
Gull Code Zero sailor outta foul weather bottoms
Mini Head torch
mini firefly torch & emergency strobe
Harness/ Carribeena and safety tether
Big wave leash connect
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
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 ... See MoreSee Less
14 hours ago
Part two of a four part series by David Becker, Chris’ Life Coach for the Sup Crossing, has shared with us some of the exercises and skills they focused on prior to the journey.
David Becker: Any epic undertaking requires a powerful vision. Today, Chris and I worked on the strong vision that will empower him during #TheSupCrossing presented by Carrick Wealth. His ability to see the end result so firmly in his mind’s eye will make this journey possible. Today, we totally immersed him in that powerful vision. #mindfireperformance Operation Smile The Lunchbox Fund Signature of Hope Trust ... See MoreSee Less
2 days ago
Take a Break, Have a Listen to a Brand Spankin' New Interview with Chris from the #TheImpiFish on the Atlantic and David O'Hara, Founder SUP for all in Ireland! #Magical #TheSupCrossing Carrick Wealth Operation Smile Signature of Hope Trust The Lunchbox Fund
youtu.be/zem3jjecEs8 ... See MoreSee Less
3 days ago
Wonder where in the world I am? Find out with a visit to my live tracker!
#TheSupCrossing Carrick Wealth Operation Smile The Lunchbox Fund Signature of Hope Trust ... See MoreSee Less
3 days ago
Morning sunrise, after a long day and full moon night of paddling between squalls, against current and rain, over 13hrs, over the last 24hrs, until 1:45am this morning..
You have to have a strong "Why", to power your purpose! #TheSupCrossing Carrick Wealth Signature of Hope Trust The Lunchbox Fund Operation Smile ... See MoreSee Less
4 days ago
Captains Log, Ocean Date-Fri 13!th Jan 17'
"Things that go Pfffft in the night! "
Connecting with the creatures of the deep...
I just wanted to start by sending a big thank you to everyone for all the love, messages and support on my Captain's Log updates, as I managed to check some messages and feedback from people for the first time, a couple days ago and it was so overwhelmingly positive... Even brought a couple of tears to my eyes, with a couple of the really special messages of inspiration and heartfelt appreciation from so many people from around the world.. So Thnk you I appreciate it more than you know and just his last week alone we reached over 325 000 people with these unique ocean stories, so thank you everyone, your messages mean a lot to me and keep me going, as much as my passion for my purpose does, one day at a time, one stroke at a time, one smile & lunchbox and school at a time.. Mahalo!
Many people mentioned they have been reading my posts to there kids at night which is awesome... Please everyone who is enjoying them, as a sign of gratitude & thanks, please donate anything you can to the charity side of the project, as this is the Why for me and why you are getting these amazing updates from the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. A little goes a long way, no matter whether it be R20/ $1 or$100 it all makes a massive difference. I would really appreciate your help and generosity.
Start your 2017 out with the most powerful character trait in life-Gratitude & giving...
One special lady I know- Fionna Chudley was trying to work out how I can be paddling, sending these long inspiring posts, while trying to stay alive, survive, do everything while out in the Atlantic on a little craft that is a couple doors in length most of the time 2 inches under water as its aways wet.
You right Fionna, it has been super tough, paddling 10-15hrs p/day, making water, weather routing, fixing problems making food, hydration, craft and system maintenance, looking after the charity side, while still filming daily for the film, downloading footage, backing it up, taking screenshots for the posts, writing the posts and then trying to send them, which can sometimes take as long as writing them..but with my amazing #BGAN Inmarsat satellite system, it's all possible.
I've used these posts I've been writing, just as mental notes for the second half of my next book, called " Go the Distance! ", of which, the first half was already written before I started this month's ago, from the last 4yrs of epic adventures, especially after the overwhelming success of my first book - #Stoked!
So these posts are just sneaky notes into a a couple stories from some of the chapters in this next book, which I'm really enjoying writing.
My passion for what I'm doing- my purpose gives me boundless energy to keep going when others would need rest... It's like having the Secret key to the fountain of youth...Most of the time, I only need 6 hours of sleep when inspired by what I'm doing, even if I'm paddling 10-12hours a day, I still am good, to get everything done afterwards, but I'm so powered by my passion for what I do, I don't need to sleep much, it's awesome.. It's like a bottomless well of energy, that never runs out and as long as I know that what I'm doing is making a positive difference, impact and changing lives it keeps me going.
Find your passion, driven by purpose & you'll feel like you never will have to work another day in your life, as when I do what I love and love what I do, it's never work.. It is me and It, it's why I am here on this planet and most importantly, because I believe with every fiber in my being in this project and what and how it's changing and impacting the lives of millions around the world, not only in the kids I'm helping with feeding them, or the operations we are paying for it the already 1.5 schools we have already raised enough money to build so far, that will breed the future heroes, doctors, lawyers & teachers of our country for the next 10 generations to follow, while simultaneously it's also hopefully inspiring thousands around the world into believing in dreams again and in themselves and what's possible if you set your sights on a small idea, a goal, a dream & then have the courage to take action, stay focused, determined and never give up on it, then even the normal person, like you or I can achieve the extraordinary & seemingly impossible.
So thank you all for believing in me and supporting me along this epic journey, I feel all those hearts of hope and believing and carry them all with me and behind me with every breath I take and every stroke I make...
Distracted sorry, Captains log, Cpt's Log.
Over the last month, I have seen pretty much most sea creatures most people ask me about, all the time and much much more...
Besides the daily challenges, which are many, this is the one gift I get, almost daily, that keeps me going, keeps me smiling, grounded and connected at a very deep and primal level to my true self, my animal instincts and the very raw, pure and special connection I have with the deep blue out here. It's pretty incredible and to be perfectly honest, almost indescribable.
You have to be out here to appreciate its raw beauty and deep mystical Atlantic blue colors with visibility which seems to go on forever...
But it's wasn't like this at the beginning of the journey at all. It's been quite an ocean paradox actually, to watch it all change, because leaving Morroco the water was dirty and lots of pollution- plastic and general rubbish all over the place in the water and the further I paddled away from mankind and effects of the modern world, the cleaner and the deeper the blue, the water became with less and less polluted, even though the plastic issue, is a worrying and ongoing problem, still, even almost 800km from land..frightening what are we doing to our oceans and our world, it really does make me a combination between very sad and equally mad! #BanTheBag #BanPlasticGlobally
In the first 2 days out of Morroco, I saw no fish, one smallish Shark(under 10ft) that swished by inquisitively on day two, just interested to see what/ who I was and then carried on his daily mission, just like me... No stress, I have the utmost respect for Sharks, I'm not fearful of them, but honor them and respect them and there beauty and majesty in the ocean and feel they are the "Pit-bulls", of the sea, just have got a bad rap and are horribly misunderstood.
I have been very fortunate being an Ambassador for the Two Oceans Aquarium to have had the chance to freedive with the Ragged tooth Sharks without a cage and it was one of the most awesome and incredible experiences I've had in years.. Send out the right energy and calm your body and mind and let them know you see them, understand you are in there space, there environment and there home and as long as you don't act like prey, then you won't get treated like prey.
I'm looking forward to hopefully seeing a couple more on my journey now that the water has gone that mystical Atlantic blue I've been so longing to see again.
From the evening of the 2nd day out, I got a 4-8 (a small pod) of dolphins that I kept seeing every evening or at night while frantically paddling for my life, to try and get away from land, so I didn't get blown back onto Morocco & shipwrecked, 50-100km down the coast which was the greatest concern for the first week, especially with a very erratic and shifting weather forecast.
I wasn't really appreciating the dolphins as much as I normally would, as I was stressing about the many challenges I was having to deal with daily and it only really dawned on me a couple days later, that I realized, that I believe dolphins, being one of the most intelligent mammals in the planet, can hear/feel/ read your signs/emotions/energy and were picking up my solo emotional stress and anxiety, and they were just coming by to check in on me for support daily, as they came by every day for the first 7 days straight.
Once I wasn't stressed anymore about the land being an issue, as I had created a 60 nautical mile buffer, I never saw that pod again.. I believe they had felt my tension and stress easing and had known they weren't needed any longer and moved on..it's pretty deep, but I believe it and that's pretty special.. I believe we are connected with all creatures from the source, we just need to be able to read, feel and see the signs.
Over the following week I saw different kinds of dolphins, spinner, dusky and bottlenose dolphins and sporadically small fish, a green back turtle and lots of plastic bags still #Frustrating.
Getting closer to the Canary Islands my anxiety levels started rising as the islands started posing a massive navigational hazard, with the weather forecast 2 days off the edge of the island chain, being 5-6 meter seas and 25-35knts of wind, a full blown hectic storm.. While wondering wether I was going to survive for 2 days and nights as I was getting rolled around in my little craft #theImpiFish, being knocked flat during the night by large waves, wondering if the storm would let up before I got wrecked on Rocka's Grande, at the edge of Lanzarote island..
A very stressful time, but even more stressful was the last night, when my sea/ para anchor started pulling me around erratically and started almost pulling me through giant waves, like it was trying to drag me under, as if hooked on something.. I checked the depth on my Paper Charts and I was in 200m of water, so no chance of being hooked on a reef or rocks, no chance of fishing nets or pots, I had checked.. Only answer, after checking with my weather /paddle guru- Leven Brown was exactly what I too was also thinking in the back of my mind, but really.....could it really be... I had obviously got a REALLY large creature caught in my para anchor.. Shark or small whale and it was trying to swim down to get away and get deeper.
I got into my harness, gear, tethered myself on, went outside into the pretty scary, black howling, wet night, with big crests breaking all around me and pulled on the retrieval line to pull the mouth of the para anchor up, to see if it would release what was inside and free it.
Within the next 30secs, everything went back to normal and it was like it was gone, what ever it was had managed to free itself with my help and I went back inside my cabin, knowing that at least one life threatening issue had been dealt with and all I needed to do was to survive the night, as another wave hit the ImpiFish so hard, everything shook and I got flung into the side of the cabin, so hard it almost knocked me out when my head hit one of my paddles inside the cabin.
Once I had finally got through the Canary Islands which is a whole other story for the book, the water finally started going that magical blue I so vividly remembered and turtles started becoming almost a daily sighting, as the water started getting warmer as I moved further and further south.
Over the last 10 days I have had amazing encounters, while paddling under the moonlight to the light dancing in its trail on the deep dark ocean canvas.
I find myself constantly whipping out my GoPro's to get some amazing footage of my little dolphin friends which keep me company at night, but most of the town it's too dark, as they have become regular visitors to my regular moonlike night shifts, over the last week, between 8:30-midnight. They normally stay with me for about 3-10mins and then carry on into the night, just reminding me, they are there and that I still have company & I'm never alone 🙂
I really don't feel like they stay because they want to, as I'm too slow for them to have fun in my bow wave, so I think they just stay to keep me company for a short while as they are social creatures and then carry on going...on New Year's Day, during the flat calm day I was padding and could hear some creatures blowing in the distance but couldn't see them.. As the calm and silence of the ocean was deafeningly beautiful... it was incredible.
Finally, I saw one of them blowing & breathing 150 meters away as they came up for air.. Not a normal dolphin, these were far bigger and slower, either a Minky whale or large Risso Dolphin's which are quite a lot bigger, with a big round head, often very shy and often covered in scars- my super Aquarium consultant tells me 🙂 Thnks Maryke Musson
I got all excited and tried to turn the ImpiFish around and go paddle with them, I got my goggles ready and leash on and I was gone overboard in a flash.. And they were no were to be seen, gone...
Any chance I get to swim with them and I'm over the side swimming with the dolphins if it's during the day and calm'ish sea's. I try and swim with them as much as I can. It's the best and most raw, happy, connected feeling you will get swimming with dolphins..
Anyway, a little disappointed I got back on the #ImpiFish and carried on padding. That afternoon seeing a whole school of yellow fin tuna that came swimming with for a good 15mins, such incredible colours, out here in the deep blue, they almost seem to glow in blue's as they swim by. Skittish but sure in their way...
The following day I got to swim with a periscope up' spike'y Loggerhead turtle, which made my day, super stoked, even if he want that keen to hang around and swim with me for very long, I think I was too excited and scared him a little. My excitement for turtles does sometimes get the better of me, as they're my favorite.. I Love those little guys - Tortugas in Spanish and Tarta-ruga in Portuguese. My favorite word!
The next day I'm pumping out water I found in one of my water tight compartments, from one of the leaks I have been dealing with and the bilge pipe over the side is swishing in the water and out of the corner of my eye i see something, weird, yet wonderful.
What is it?
No way, a little Boxfish/Puffer fish, one of my favorite Fishes in the planet, trying hard to keep up with the squirley pipe.. Trying to get it..haha. The cutest little Boxfish, Pufferguy you have ever seen.. I got out the GoPro and started shooting him in the water, under, over and he was just in a mission for the end of the bilge pipe. He was priceless and beautiful for some amazing pics off the GoPro footage, so hope you guys like him as much as me:)
The following day I see a monster crazy blue bottlenose dolphin out here in the middle of nowhere all on his own.. And I catch myself saying, "What the hell are you doing all the way out here all alone buddy?" Aaaaah, that's all relative, if the blue bottle could talk, he'd probably be saying the same thing about me! Right? Haha
So two nights ago, I'm paddling in the sheer glass, only the second night I've had it like that on the entire trip, paddling to the light of the moon, right into the silvery trail it leaves on the water and it's dead quiet, like eerily quiet with slight haze in the water, like being on a spooky film set, it was that surreal and I've been paddling that day solid from 8am with only a couple of breaks, so I'm tired it's been a 14hour day and I keep on hearing this weird sound. At first I though it was my jacket running against the side of my ear as I was paddling, but then I stopped paddling to check and sure enough, every 2-3mins, there it was again.. "PPPFFFT" came out of the low haze over the water, as it stated moving closer... Ok, inquisitive, but a little nervous, I take one step inward into the deck of the ImpiFish and then lower and spread my stance to get more stable, just in case...
There it is again... "PPPFFFT" I know most of the sounds but this wasn't quite one that I knew...
Before I know it I'm surrounded by 10 -12 of these bigger dolphins/ small whales, who knows what they were as i never got to see one, but I was able to hear them surfacing and breathing all around me for almost half a hour, like they were just keeping me company for a while, like my own personal whale/ dolphin escort.. It was a pretty incredible, special surreal experience, as it was sheet glass and perfectly still, as their sounds filled the night sky and dark waters of the deep, all crystal clear and as loud as the depths of night.
So, I may never know, till my dying day, what went "Pffft" in the night, but that's ok, I don't need to know, as it made me realize how incredibly special those sort of and incredible and unique moments in time are and have been for me and how very few people on this planet will ever get to experience something like that and then be able to let go and just be immersed in it, Un-afraid, listening to every water drop fall, every movement of the water as these creatures were swimming, moving, diving and gliding through the water and surfacing in the darkness that surrounded me was an experience I will never forget, it gave me chills to the core and still makes me smile at how surreal it was, as the phosphorescence moved and danced around each creature and lite there smooth trail through the water around the ImpiFish and I...
So much happening daily to keep up with the posts... have an awesome weekend guys n' gals..
Go have an adventure!
"Ode' to the Creatures of the Deep!"
I believe in the sea & its creatures within, it's who I am, I am the sea and it is me.
I feel you near, I breathe your energy and hear you speaking in your squeaky language, though the walls of my little craft...I feel your presence deep within, sometimes I hear you, even if often I don't see you, but just the knowing comforts me, it guides me, it softens my worries and lightens the load..
Thank you for your love, your guiding light, your positive presence, your constant support and friendship, it's helped me more than you will ever know... CB.
What do you Stand for?
#TheSupCrossing Carrick Wealth #TheStandUpGuy #StandUp Signature of Hope Trust Operation Smile The Lunchbox Fund ... See MoreSee Less