Follow Starboard SUP adventurer Bart de Zwart as he explores the Marquesas Islands for the next 12 days tracing the footsteps of the famous Norwegian adventurer Thor Heyerdahl powered by WindSUP. Here is the latest diary update from Bart as he arrives on the island of Hakahau.
Yesterday I did 70 nautical miles (130km) this was the longest crossing of this expedition. I prepared everything the evening before so I could have a running start at 2 am. I decided to start in the middle of the night so I could arrive close to sunset on my next island Ua Pou. I spent that night sleeping on board Dick and Monique’s boat with everything packed and already in the water, they fed me and we enjoyed a nice evening discussing boat life. I saved a lot of time by not having to pack up the tent and tye all my gear on the board.
I started paddling in the rain with a light breeze from behind. It was pitch black when I started, but soon after I had an amazing sky full of stars, I used the stars to set my course, so it saved me looking at my compass every few minutes. It is surprising how fast you get used to the movements of the waves without seeing anything. When the sun came up at 5:30 am there was a good breeze so I rigged up my windsurf sail, however this only for 10 min. The wind then decreased until there was nothing left. If I had to unrigg all the equipment and start paddling it looked like it was going to be a very long day, and perhaps night.
Fortunately, the wind picked up, this happened after I moved away from the wind shadow of the islands. Windsurfing a heavily loaded SUP board is really differentt. There is no space for your feet, and because of the weight of the SUP there is a lot of drag. When I was windsurfing I did not using the harness, I made this decisions because I traveled in only one direction, when you do this for many hours per day your neck starts to hurt, paddling feels easier but it is slower.
My routine is to paddle or windsurf for an hour and then take a 5 min break to eat and drink something, if my tracker is functioning correctly I check my position and course, the hours just fly by. At sunset, I was an hour away from the point of the island and 2 hours from my destination. With the moon up I kept on windsurfing which was very difficult with the motion of the waves against the SUP board. If you sail, you’ll know what I mean by this.
It is always exciting to enter an unknown port or bay in the dark especially when it is windy and I can hear the waves crashing on rocks nearby. I hadvery good sea charts on my iPhone to see where I was, and give me an orientation of Hakahau, However my arrival felt really special because I could not see any village lights, until I was past the village. I arrived safely after 18 hrs at sea but I was totally exhausted.
When I arrived on the beach I asked a local who owned a Vaa (an outrigger) school if it was ok to put up my tent on the beach next to his school. After being seaborne for so long it really took me a good while to get my land legs back and went to bed as soon as I blew up my mattress. Other than the few sailing boats stopping past, not many people visit this island (as is the case for all the islands). Although this is the main town of this island, with its dramatic peaks and mountain backdrop, it is a quiet and sleepy islands. The school kids have outrigger paddle practice every day here during school.
Teaki and Joel invited me over for coffee and eggs – a real treat in a place like this and after yesterday’s crossing. They work at the paddling school so they know all the Tahitian paddlers and we found we had some common friends. Today I walked into the town and talked to the locals, I also enjoyed the views, but mostly I rested. Tomorrow morning I will head for Nuku Hiva – my last island with some exciting and beautiful bays.
You can track Bart’s (Instagram: @bartdezwart) journey via the MapShare website: https://share.garmin.com/BartdeZwartSUPCrossing
The 2023 ICF SUP World Championships (15-19 November) in Pattaya, Thailand has officially kicked off! TotalSUP caught up with the Starboard SUP Dream Team Riders to ask about their SUP racing season to date, board set up and the ICF Worlds expectations. Fiona Wylde: SUP season to date: I’m coming from a bit of a […]
As the 2023 ICF SUP World Championship is about to kick-off, I want to take a moment to publicly send my deep thanks to Starboard for sponsoring our TotalSUP trip to Thailand which has taken my family and I to magical places like Khao Lak, Khao Sok and Kho Pha Ngan over the past two […]
The countdown to the 2023 ICF SUP World Championships held on 15-19 November 2023 in Pattaya, Thailand is on! With an impressive number of nations (44 and counting) already signed up, the highly-stacked ICF Worlds event is certainly setting the scene for some exciting SUP action with the defending Champions and new talent all fired […]
New gear, new sizes or upgrades, the 2024 Stand Up Paddle Range by Starboard is out! What’s new in the 2024 Starboard SUP lineup? – Ace Foil – a downwind foil board inspired from the famous Ace – Starboard Gen R – the flat deck race board is back! – X-15 Foilboard – a board […]
Last year Japanese SUP Racer and new Starboard recruit Rai Tagushi left a lasting impression in the world SUP Racing community by securing a double win at the 1st edition of the Busan SUP Open in Korea, one of the most remarkable performances of the year 2022. As we approach the 2nd edition of this […]
Starboard Team launches Gen-R, this highly anticipated board for 2024 is a new breed amongst Starboards already extensive and world class range of race SUPs. There have been a few boards circulating amongst the Starboard Dream Team riders, where they have already been exhibiting amazing performances on them. The Gen-R is ‘bridging the gap’ between […]
Power, focus and conviction seem to be the accurate words to describe the racing style of Linus Karlsson, six-time Swedish SUP Champion and Starboard Team Rider. TotalSUP caught up with Linus in between two races – Planet Baltic SUP Race in Poland (where he has just bagged fresh podiums – Technical Race Win and Silver […]
Two words: Asger Smidt . We met this die-hard gamer turned SUP athlete, Overall Danish Champion 2023 and Starboard Team Rider in Malmö, Sweden as he was tearing the technical and long distance races up. Ambitious, hungry and tremendously hard working, at only seventeen, Asger brings explosive and elegant paddling style to the SUP racing table. […]
In this exclusive chat with Starboard HQ about their NEW range of pre-impregnated carbon twill fins, the team explain the detailed process that goes into making such great kit. You may not realise the process that goes into the production of your favourite Starboard items, however here you can read first-hand the passion that members of […]
Necessary cookies enable core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility. You may disable these by changing your browser settings, but this may affect how the website functions.
3rd Party Cookies
We use a set of third party tools to provide information on how our users engage with our website so that we can improve the experience of the website for our users. For example, we collect information about which of our pages are most frequently visited, and by which types of users. Keeping this cookie enabled helps us to improve our website.
Please enable Strictly Necessary Cookies first so that we can save your preferences!