Chris Bertish is Shifting gears mentally! Finally getting to this point where you are comfortable with yourself, your position, and the craft– that’s a huge milestone.
No leaks, all my main key systems are still functioning properly- Chart-plotter/ AIS/ water maker/ GPS/ Autopilot & Satellite coms….even though I have implemented a couple of my backups and I’ve improvised/ found solutions for some others already.. so hopefully it’s all positive and forward momentum into the next part of the journey from here on out, as we’re now on the Superhighway!
As the breeze built I felt calm, comfortable and confident..
I came in from my late evening shift, excited to get my weather update from Leven Brown… it seems some lighter breeze in the next couple days.. enjoy it while you can, Bertish.. as from Friday it’s going to start building and get breezy again, he said..
Not what I was expecting or really wanted to hear.. a slowdown on the HI-5 Superhighway and things had backed up..
I thought I was finally in it and was away at speed.. but with these expeditions you should always expect the unexpected.. as it’s par for Navigational ocean course.. on land the goalposts don’t really move, but in the ocean they are moving and changing ALL the time! And you have to roll with it.. learn to embrace the change and find ways to reframe each challenge as positive no matter what it is.. see the obstacle as an adventure and an opportunity to flip it on its head & see the positive side.. even though sometimes that’s easier said than done- especially alone in the ocean, but the same rules apply for land on this one..
So I just “periscope out,” step outside and away from the challenge, relook at it from a completely different perspective, and ask some clever reframing questions to get a positive spin on it and shift my mindset.
To accommodate the new obstacle so it works for me, instead of against me..
As the things we resist, persist. And the things we let go & reframe, flow. Like water! So I ask, is this going to really slow me down that much in the bigger picture?
No not really. Ok, how could it actually help me? Well.. when it’s lighter, around 8- 10knts.. the sea state is calmer and flatter, so I can carry more sail/ area in the day and even at night, which is a huge plus as it’s too dangerous with bigger seas & wind! It’s easier on me, the systems, and the craft- there’s less chance of breaking stuff and I actually get more sleep.. so actually, when I think about it- it’s a gift! Take it, shape it, and embrace it as such!
There we go, done… stoked! Reframed, prepped for success and now looking forward to it 🙂
So as I knew I was going to get 2-3days of lighter breeze, my goal was to run my water maker for the last time.. top up on all my in-cabin water reserves and get some of the emergency water from the main deck compartments so I was sorted for water till the end of the trip, and grab two of the last food packs at the same time..
Find ways to fly the wings downwind instead of reaching in a zig zag down the course as it looked like I was going to have quite a lot of downwind conditions, which I had never had before really and needed to figure that out!
I had built in some systems for this, but the focus was always to ensure I could go across the conditions as that was the key to success early on in this project & I knew I could and would figure out the downwind stuff as I was going – and just wing it!
Winging at a broad reach zigzagging down the course and still hooked into my harness for the first day didn’t seem really very efficient or effective, so I rethought it that night. I tried some different strategies the next day and then did some calculations. The following day, after just going straight downwind and rehanging the wing up- inverted on the top of my sleeping pod, made sense which meant I didn’t actually have to hold it in a really awkward position for long periods of time.. which, when I ran the numbers, actually worked out to be faster and better in every way! Winning!
It also seemed better for my craft, as the constant running of moving the wing over the front solar panel every minute or two to adjust the course was starting to cause some damage to the panel.
So I reminded myself quickly of the familiar quote “when you can and have the opportunity.. Work smarter, not harder!”
This was definitely a win all around. As it would give me more time to do updates on weather, routing, These logs, have a little time to actually enjoy it a little for two days while the wind was light- be in the moment and enjoy it while being able to tweak and fine tune the new system for maximizing miles & efficiency.
When things are good, celebrate! Enjoy it, but use the time wisely to also Tweak/ innovate/ improve/ refine & upscale !
Naked + not afraid!
At this point in the journey this is where I start getting really comfortable and start unlocking things within myself. I reach this stage where I get immense clarity on everything! Being able to let go of anything holding me back in my mind- day to day, and life in general. Letting go of any and all fear and just merging into a really positive flow state, across all levels..
My kit often comes off as the water temp is now warm- over 22degrees Celsius, and the air temp is also now getting super warm. Now down to board shorts or nothing for periods of the day.. is always awesome! Naked and not afraid- perfectly connected with self/ nature in perfect harmony and flowing with it, including with the wind, weather and water!
Merging into one perfect flow state.
Becoming more comfortable with all noises and craft speeds and sounds around you. All thoughts become pure, positive, and pure love/ gratitude for all you have and are experiencing around and not taking anything for granted, while simultaneously being able to somehow still stay true to the core vision and mission of the project at hand.
Do not disturb- on Vacation!
Enjoying each sunset and sunrise, moonrise and set.. appreciating being there, present for all of it, all the time.. fully immersed, in gratitude & in tune!
This is where I’ve started escaping daily to what I call – my Vacation Station!
As it’s still pretty intense up on my little craft most of the time and as the breeze starts building around me, I’ve been –
Escaping 2 Blue! Shhhhht! Don’t tell, it’s my secret hideaway.. my escape from the world above. It’s my secret place I go to get away from the harsh world above.. and just get completely consumed in the deep, cobalt silence of the Deep Blue!
It’s pure, it’s so peaceful, silent pure in its richest and most naked form.. it is raw, deep Blue and Perrrrfect!
Twice a day now, I put my Mystic- Third Eye Ocean goggles on, connect my Stay Covered Big wave leash to my Ankle, and I slip over the side of the craft into Blue!
It’s incredible, met only in equal measure of wonder and awe of holding on with one hand onto the Centreboard or one of the foils and just letting go mentally, closing my eyes under the water and just gliding peacefully as the water glides gently past me.. Elysium!
I return minutes later back to the world- happy, calm, content, and a better human in every way.. that’s what the deep blue ocean does for me.. and that’s why I’m so passionate about protecting it through what I do.. as it’s such a big part of our planet and our home. And for me, it is home!
By now all of you reading this have seen my post on the Polystyrene/ Plastic packaging pollution Crisis where I am very raw, passionate, and emotional about it as I have felt so powerless, and on that day I was feeling and defeated/ deflated/ empty/ – sad – as I had been seeing so much floating by I couldn’t get for weeks now… emotionally draining & exhausting to be watching helplessly as it all goes by.. but not this day as I got that piece and have managed to get a couple others & post that clip about it, because it’s important to see the raw passion and emotion – unguarded in life, it shows who you really are, what you’re passionate about, and what really matters to you- why you do what you do.. It’s your Why, your passion and purpose, and shows that you aren’t afraid to stand up for what you believe in- no matter what and at whatever cost…
It’s also important for kids to know it’s ok to get emotional and passionate about what you believe in, it shows your strength of character and that you care about something passionately which are all really positive traits, even for the toughest of us out there! That’s what true strength of character and courage is all about..
The next morning, my vacation station bit me… as I was gliding in the deep blue. I got stung by a jelly.. right under my arm as it wrapped around my inner arm under the water… I got out pretty quick, as it got painful quite fast!
Box jellyfish sting what? It swelled up quick, but the burn shield I put on worked pretty well to bring the swelling & welts down.. nothing too bad! Thank goodness, you just never know, it could have been worse.
On the second day of light winds I found myself feeling guilty that I had gotten so clever with my new downwind system and I wasn’t having to hold it much at all.. I found myself feeling guilty about it instead of being proud of my work smarter and not harder accomplishment!
Bizarre how we think sometimes!
I have been winging,
Standing up outside in the elements for 12-16hrs a day for almost 40days and I’m feeling guilty about going downwind and not having to hold my wing for a couple days.. as I’ve created and developed a system that is actually more effective and efficient than doing it myself while the wind is light, and I feel I should be holding it and not taking a break.. humans are crazy weird- well, myself anyway, that’s just insane.
I had to remind myself to let it go & accept the Gift I had created for myself/ embrace it, appreciate it, enjoy it as it will be short-lived and more breeze and woolly conditions are coming…
I’ve been setting myself and the craft up for the next 10days ahead -and I’ve started to get really focused in on the weather for the next week to set up the approach Vectors to ensure we put myself in a position to have good wind angles for the last 3 days and
for the approach, so we get it right and not wrong!
This is the time in the journey where I’m still pretty far from the finish but getting closer, and you sometimes struggle to work towards the next big milestone. You really have to focus on the micro goals, which is just to get through one day at a time.. that’s the goal when you wake up, now that the breeze is back and the sea state is getting a lot more volatile.. 6ft waves and 15-20knts of wind again…. You just have to stay disciplined to Get up, show up, get out there, make it happen… just focus on today.. get through to lunch break, then get through to afternoon break, then get through to after sunset… and dinner and once you have done that.. just get through to the morning… 1 day at a time..
That’s it, one micro goal at a time!
Accomplish it and move forward again, head down with your focus on what’s in front of you, grind it out and copy/ paste/ repeat, until you’re in a better place and can reach another big milestone…
Birthday milestone coming up in 3 days time on the 11th & the 500NM to go Milestones coming up as well- let’s just get through to that.. one Mile at a time, one shift at a time, one day at a time, one night at a time. You got this! You’ve done it before, you know the process, follow it and copy/ paste/ repeat. Done
In the ocean, anytime you get into a good place and things are getting easiest and you are getting into a good place- That’s when you often worry, because in the ocean there’s always a curveball coming and you gotta be on your toes all the time to prepare for it mentally.. You don’t know what it’s going to be next.. but you know that it’s coming- the change is coming, and that’s the only constant and certainty out here! Change!
That afternoon I started noticing a significant shift in the wind angle that wasn’t forecasted at all.. by 60-70 Degrees, but then getting a feel something wasn’t right.. the sun was in a different place to where it should be and then I saw it.. a significant difference between what my instruments were saying for my heading from my actual true course over the ground!
It’s not the wind that’s changed, my autopilot has changed my course by 60-70degres, as it’s steering to a Waypoint location and it’s trying to change course to accommodate for the severe current pushing me south, so changing my course to counter it by almost 70 Degrees!!!!
That shouldn’t be.. not that much? what the ?? So I’m winging and pointing the craft on a course of 250Degrees, but the course over the ground via satellite is showing that I’m traveling 180degrees, which is due South!!!
Then I just knew.. Eddie’s got me..
The biggest current I have ever seen, and sure enough, I watched all the numbers for an hour and it fluctuated 15degrees with a massive push South.. super stressful.. never try and fight these currents like a rip in the ocean- never fight it, you will always lose..
I gave Leven and Mark (my weather team) my Coordinates to see if they could see the surface current on the forecasts.. sure enough I was right at the start of two big Eddies rotating into each other..
What was Mark Sponslor’s words? Something like ”prepare for the North River”-it’s coming up fast from the South in forty odd NM
Letting go- don’t fight what you can’t control.. surrendering and letting go is liberating, but harder to do in reality than we sometimes think.
I tweaked my course with the help of my team- we have navigated through most of the first one pushing me South, just done a little navigational sling shot off the top of the first Eddie, and Zigged South to not hit the head current before it shifts and the North river of current starts taking me North.
I have to prepare for that mentally, so for today, I just lock my heading off, on the autopilot, like 250degrees T, and then turn off the displays so I’m not able to see the numbers and see how far I’m getting pushed North, as I know it will freak me out and I will try and battle it as I work with the numbers on the instruments and on the displays all day and night long!
So I turn them off for 10hrs till I’ve sliced my way across and through, the underwater flood taking me North- otherwise it will mess with my head too much.. I know myself very well with this stuff.. so you just have to manage the situation and mitigate the games it plays on your mental state as much as possible by turning it off and letting it go!
Ok, we are through it 8hrs later, not as bad as it was meant to be, I got knocked probably 12NM North, which is half as much as we had anticipated- so that’s positive, we’ll take that win!
Focus on the Big picture and let it go.
Ok, it’s now the 9th..
We are monitoring an incoming Tropical storm coming up from Mexico, which we have known about for a while… it’s definitely going to go past me in two days time, hopefully dissipating just South of me.. but I’m going to get some weather from it for sure.. How much and how strong, we’ll have to wait and see..
It should be ok.. focusing on the positive and we’ve prepped for this anyway.. so all good. I’m learning to let this kind of stuff go and trust in the process and what will be.. let it go, you got this!
So far we have battled the weather across into the trades, dodged container ships and shipping lanes, moved through the calm, battled the storms, consistently broken it down and grinded through the light days, found ways to work smarter & not harder, tweaked, refined, focused on the mission, delivered on the purpose for the project, and my team and I have set myself up for success with all the planning and prep and testing from the last 18months to get us through to exactly where we are now….
We’ve battled through the bad to get to the good, broken it down to bite size chunks in order to achieve the main milestones and to get to exactly where we are today…. My Birthday on the 11th July, and to the biggest Milestone of the journey!
The magic number – what is it?
As of today- right here and right now, 7am on the morning of my Birthday, which was my goal.. was to get to the 500NM milestone and here we are right here, right now! – 487NM to be precise, exactly when you get this post. Which is just under 10days to go on the journey!
I’m ready, ready for the final finishing leg of the journey. Let’s do this!
Captain.. Engage Hyperdrive!
Aye, Captain, We’re going in! Hyperdrive engaged. Full speed ahead.
If you have been enjoying & following this journey and found it inspiring & impactful for you or others, my Birthday Wish to you is to ask you to please support us with what we have been doing on this project as we work toward inspiring people across the world while raising money and awareness for Ocean Health & Climate Action.
You can support our mission by donating to our registered 501c3 Foundation/ charity at https://chrisbertishfoundation.org/chris-bertish…/, to allow us to keep making an impact through these kinds of expeditions and supporting the other amazing partners we work with – namely Conservation International, SeaShepherd, Parley & SeaTrees.
Thank you, that’s my Birthday wish fulfilled & my pledge- to continue inspiring others and raising money and awareness for global challenges around the world, while standing up and taking action and supporting other organizations like our partners that are doing amazing work around the world for Ocean Health and a better planet and future for all of us.
Thnks for your kind donations & support From the Foundation team.
The Chris Bertish Foundation is a registered 5013C Non Profit
1% for the Planet Certified
Climate Neutral Certified
Guide Star- Silver level Transparency approved Www.ChrisBertishfoundation.org
By the numbers:
483NM to go!
Position: 24 08”905’N 14101”00W
Water Temp: 22.5degrees C
2 pieces plastic
2x Black stormy Petrels
2 x polystyrene-dive catch
Black stormy Petrel
Position: 24 03”385’N 142 50”03W
Water Temp: 23.3degrees C
1 x polystyrene
Position: 24 03”385’N 142 50”03W
Water Temp: 23.3degrees C
1 x polystyrene
7th July – Day off from pollution spotting/ creature spotting Position: 22” 48”711N 146’ 16” 243W
One black-winged Petrel
Water Temp: 23,8 Degrees Cels.
8 x Black-winged Stormy Petrels in a couple hours
1 x baby flying fish! First one of the journey! Bizarre
Ode to the real riders of the storm. the Stormy Petrel
The fighter jets of the sea.
Fast, jet graceful, Precise yet sharp and agile.. Sleek, yet brilliant, always in motion, yet perfect in every micro adjustment, every split second, in flight.
Swoop, slide, Ride & glide!
I see you, the real rider of the storm and I stand and watch, mesmerized and in admiration, watching transfixed with equal measures of wonder and awe!
If you’re enjoying these Logs/following the journey and are inspired/impacted, please consider supporting the journey by donating at https://chrisbertishfoundation.org/wing-project/