Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Tribute to Bart

I'm back in Maui and it's time to pay tribute to Bart and his epic crossing that I couldn't post about as timely and often as I wanted from Bali.

Hereafter, I just finished collecting all the update emails, saving the photos on the hard disk, uploading them to my blog and copying/pasting the text, in order to give you guys an good idea of how it went.
Only now, I finally noticed that everything was already posted on the crossing blog!!
Damn, that could have saved me some time... but I was happy to do it, because Bart did something really hard core.

Little update about the last part of my Indo trip too.
Whoever read the comments of my last post, will know already that I extended my trip of 5 days. Since there was yet another swell on the way (and absolutely flat in Maui), my plan was to go to G-Land fore three days.
Unfortunately, the day after I changed my flights I got sick. Just a cold, with a cough and a light fever. But it lasted ALL the 5 days.

Five days that I entirely spent in my hotel room in Bali. I was going out only to buy food. Fortunately I had a really good book to read (book review post coming up soon.. eventually), but nonetheless, it was quite a pain to be stuck in an hotel room, sick as a dog, while outside it was sunny and there were waves. Oh well, it could have been worse (like, 10 days and a high fever!).

Now I'm back in Maui (still not 100% healed, but much better) and tomorrow will be the first day of a really good week of waves on the south shore.
Unfortunately the trades are going to get pretty strong and that always fucks up something (or some spots).
Let's see if the jet lag and the cold will allow me to go get a dawn patrol session before work...

In the meantime, here's Bart's adventure. If you want to read it from the beginning, you have to scroll at the end of this post. Sorry for the beginner mistake...

---- A great Welcome back on Maui
At my arrival I couldn't hardly walk on the beach, not because of the lack of strength but unlike on my board the beach felt like it was moving, it took me all night to find my land balance again. Dagmar and Soleil really took care of me, fed me put me in the shower and put me to bed. The next day the doctor took a look at all the infections I had on my feed and my burnt hands. I just got some antibiotics to prevent a staff infection. And for the rest I felt great.
Also the day after my arrival in Kauai I started to realize how much publicity this crossing got, Amazing, I got so much messages and emails from all over the world. A big thank you to every body for those encouragements, congratulations and wishes.
We spend 2 days in Kauai, where I enjoyed the comfortable beds at the Marriott Kauai hotel, the food ( I lost 12 pounds) and specially being together with my wife and daughter, After this trip I really enjoyed them all to the fullest. This crossing had been the hardest thing I have ever done but it felt really rewarding.
On Tuesday we flew back to Maui where I was "really" surprised by at least 30 of my good Maui friends who all showed up at the airport for a big welcome and many leis and chocolate ( I like that combination)

A suprised and happy look on our faces at the airport

The my Maui friends

My beautiful daughter

My trainings partner and good friends Connor (left) and Livio (right)

The family back together again

Photographer Jimmy Hepp (left) and Rob(right)

Full page in AD (Dutch) newspaper.

Today I googled a little and came up with hundreds of Newspaper around the world who pick up this story. This is good for Stand Up and good for my sponsors.

A few thank yous

STARBOARD for making the best SUP boards and helping me in anyway they can throughout the year in any part of the globe

Tom Hammerton for his weather forecast which were essential for my decisions along the way

His wife Anne Leete for here press releases

Mark Raaphorst SIC, for making the 'directional device' on the board which help me stay on course even in strong side winds

My wife Dagmar & daughter Soleil who despite having a hard time while I was doing this, pulled through and helped covering the story (this blog and press) like no one can.

DAKINE for always helping out with gear on my adventures

Black Project fins for making the fastest fins

CONTOUR for water sport cameras

Marriott Kauai for this beautiful hotel, with those comfy beds

Micheal Tokunaga, Serrell and Joe for helping me on the Big Island getting the board and bring me to Keo Kea my starting point.

Chris Jensen for the live stream on Kauai

I am going to start writing the inside story of this crossing.


--- Frontpage in "The Garden Island", June 27 2011

Photographer and staff writer Dennis Fujimoto put us on the front page of "The Garden Island".

Bart just gave an interview to "Associated Press".

---- The Morning After, June 27 2011

How is Bart's Morning after all this days of paddling?
He slept great. His feet are looking very very bad, sore, swollen, infected blisters. 5 days and nights in salt water took its toll. There is no way he can wear shoes or slippers right now. He is very very skinny. We have to feed him very good today. His hands are swollen, but not as bad as his feet. Now he needs a great breakfast.
---- Bart's arrival, June 26th 2011, before 7pm


No words necessary. Just a wonderful moment!

--------- Bart's position, June 26th 2011, 3:51pm

This will be the last position of Bart I am posting, before he enters Kalapaki Beach. Soleil and I can't wait to see him!!!!

----- Bart's call, June 26th 2011, 2pm

Bart just called. He is 17 miles away from his finish. He is so super super tired, tries to keep his speed to be in before dark. He had to stop to eat and drink something to get more power. I told him that we have TV and a fotografer waiting for him to get him fired up for the last miles of his amazing crossing. What an accomplishment, the toughest adventure he ever did, and he did quite a few in the past. Now we are getting ready. Everything is set up, ready for the big final: Leis, fruit plate, a teddy from Soleil, by the way - a really cute one -, Chris Jenson from HAWAII STREAM with life streaming and video coverage, Dennis Fujimoto from "The Garden Island" of Kauai, and depending on the time of his arrival, a cheering crowd, and last but not least, Soleil and I on the beach waiting.

----- Bart's position, June 26th 2011, 12:49pm

...and closer. His arrival time will be around 5pm, if he can hold the amazing speed he has right now. Chris Jensen, from "hawaiistream.com" will cover the TV part of the arrival for Hawaii News Now, Dennis Fujimoto covers for "The Garden Island" newspaper. Soleil and I are soooooo excited. I am jumping out of my skin. I talked this morning already to Marleny Cotrim from the DA LIFE store here in Lihue at Kalapaki Beach. I was in tears again, when I explained her what he is doing and that he is coming in this afternoon. Oh, I am getting so emotional writing already that coverage now. Marleny will get a crowd together for his reception. We have leis ready, Soleil even got him a teddy bear, she founds so amazingly cute. She needed to get it. So we are all set up for his big arrival.

---- Bart's position, Getting closer, June 26th 2011, 8:58am

Bart is getting closer. You can see outside the bay that the waves are increasing. According to Tom, our "weatherman", it gets very windy with big seas. The winds are turning ENE and then NE. That's not really in his favor. Tom predicted that he can make it by midnight. I know my Bart, he goes for landfall before dark. He is putting everything he has left over into that goal. We need to wait for the next beacon to see if this is possible.

---- Bart's position, June 26th 2011, 5:10am

I have to see where his position will be around 10am, when I hope to get another beacon signal.
Then we know if he will be finishing today. So far, it still looks like it. Yeahhh... Can' wait. Go Bart Go!!

---- Anne's Hawaiian Chant for Bart, June 25th 2011
Tonight Anne Leete is doing an Hawaiian chant for protection and blessing, her Kumu taught her, for Bart's safe passage to Kauai. The chant is called Na'Aumakua and it calls on the anchestral deities across Hawaii to safeguard, give growth, knowledge, strength, intelligence, insight and mana. An appropriate chant for Bart during this voyage.

---Bart's evening position, June 25th 2011, 5:55pm

Bart you are getting closer. Have a very good night, from your family and all of your friends, we love you, Dagmar and Soleil

----- Bart in the channel, June 25th 2011, 2:33pm

Bart is in the Ka'ie'ie Waho Channel and now on his way to Kauai. We all hope he has a fast and safe passage. He hopes for only one more night out there and to be entering Kalapaki Beach before sunset tomorrow. If this will happen, we can estimate when he will be coming into Kalapaki Beach. This morning Soleil and I flew over the channel. Scary to think he's out there all alone. The channel is huge...72 miles. I know he can do it, to be out there myself would be a nightmare for me. No land to see, I remember that when we sailed around the world. But, that was completely different, back then we'd been on a 44ft sailing yacht and not on a 14ft starboard SUP. Waiting for his next beacon signal now.

---- Bart's position and call, June 25th 6:13am

Just talked to Bart. He feels ready for the Ka'ie'ie Waho Channel towards Kauai. He has to paddle far to the outside that the northerly turning winds towards Kauai not effecting his landfall over there. It started raining. I did'nt get his position he sent out last night. Sadly that sometimes happens. As I knew he was in calmer waters with less wind to rest and sleep, I got some sleep, too. The night before his board capsized 4 times while he was resting. That's hard work to get it up again. Luckily he only lost his camera. He is still good on water and food, but starts to get sore. I hope I will get his position now every 4 hours. Soleil and I are flying out to Kauai today. The Marriott Kauai sponsored a room for us. Yeahhh... Hope so much to see him over there. Ok, have to stop. I am in tears now. I can't wait to spot him coming into this bay. Please let him be safe in the channel.

---- Call from Bart, June 24th 2011, 7:47pm
Bart is doing good, recovered from the hard crossing from Big Island pretty well now. He tries to get some sleep now inbetween his watches., feels he is in calmer waters with less wind then yesterday night. The wind dropped a little on the northshore of Oahu. He still is very good stocked with water and food. He estimates his arrival on Kauai now for Sunday afternoon or Monday morning
----- To the support team, June 24th 2011

I can't say it often enough, "Thank you, Thank you", to the whole support team, Bart, myself and Soleil have. You all know, whom I am talking about. It's amazing what you all do for us. We want to get him to Kauai, and we will!! He really appreciates all of you so much. Keep up the incredible work and support. We are almost there. Let's do it. Go Bart Go!

---- Bart's position, June 24th 2011, 2:24pm

He is almost through the Kaiwi Channel. Way faster then we all here on land expected due to those very rough conditions right now. I hope he has still plenty of water as he is stocked up for 5 full days. The winds on the Northshore of Oahu are onshore right now, so he made a very smart move to stay that far out. Tom, "the weatherman" send him avery precise report. So he was very well prepared for that. Keep your fingers crossed that he makes great progress. Thanks for all the support, by phone, e-mails, txt, fb and blogs. We really appreciate that, Dagmar and Soleil

---- Call from Bart, June 24th 2011, 6:40am

had a rough night, couldn't sleep much due to the wind and swell. 4 times his board tipped over, while he was resting or tried to sleep. Luckily he only lost the camera and still has all his water and all other equipment. Waiting for his next beacon signal now. I hope he will make it across the Kaiwi Channel still in daylight. It will be a very rough crossing.

-----Bart's position, June 24th 5:41am

Good Morning everybody. Bart is past Kalaupapa on Molokai and will cross the Kaiwi Channel today. Rough wind conditions are to be expected. I hope the wind direction will work a lot in his favor, as it looks right now.

-----Bart's position, June 23rd, 9:50pm

I hope he can rest a lot and even sleep enough to be ready for the Kaiwi Channel, which separates Oahu and Molokai, and is 26 miles wide. Good night.
----- New update of Bart's position, June 23rd 2011, 6:11pm

He will be far away from Molokai's Northshore tonight. I hope the channel is not to rough and the wind perfectly from the back. I have to call "The Weatherman" now, Bart's friend Tom Hammerton, Hot Sails Maui and Black Project Fin Man, is "The Weatherman". Thanks Tom for all the precise updates! Hip Hip Hurray to the support team.

--- - Father's Day, June 19th 2011

Soleil made the perfect heartshaped breakfast pancake for Bart.

-------- Bart's progress, June 23rd 2011, 2pm

Bart reached around 2pm today the east coast of Molokai. He had a very fast run through the channel. He is doing great and feels strong. - Finally -. He will stay way outside the Northshore of Molokai. I hope he can send a beacon signal tonight. Bart you are our hero. Dagmar and Soleil

------ Call from Bart, June 23rd 2011, 6:35am

He said, he had a good night, takes pills against his seasickness. That works well. He has good windconditions right now and is paddling towards the east cape of Molokai. He could sleep and rest well in his mattrassbed, was wearing a wetsuit in the night, what really kept him warm.

------ Bart paddling past the Northshore of Maui, June 23rd ...

Finally I received a beacon signal this morning at 5:51am. He is paddling along the Northshore of Maui, Maliko Gulch ahead on his left side. I didn't sleep much as I didn't receive a signal last night. My last contact with Bart was in the afternoon at 4:11pm. I hope he could get some sleep last night and wasn't so seasick again. It's raining a lot here right now. Very tough weather conditions for his crossing. I hope he will call later, so I will have more details.

----- Photoshoot close to Keanae, June 22nd 2011, 2am

I rented an airplane today from "Maui Aviators". Jimmie Hepp was doing a fotoshoot of Bart close to the Keanae peninsula of Maui. Soleil joined as well. Our pilot from "Maui Aviators" was Tony.

He was the first one to spot Bart out there. As Jimmie said," a needle in ahaystack". Unbelievable, that he found him out there. Lucky Bart, he could wave with his bright pink piece of fabric, what keeps him covered up in the night.

I talked to Bart several times on the phone today. He actually left last night at 9pm and not at 1am this morning, as I thought. It was so rough in the channel that he had to throw up several times, as he was so seasick. Even close to Hana this morning he felt still seasick. When I talked to him the first time around 10:45am he was still feeling very weak, but could recover in the past hours. The pilot told us that this channel is the roughest in the world. Great! He took pills against motionsickness and hopes he will get some rest oon his board tonight, without feeling sick. He looks so very very small on this big ocean. He will point now towards the eastcoast of Molokai. I hope so very much he will have a better night. He will send out another beacon signal later this evening, what I will post and anotherone tomorrow morning. Keep checking his blog, please and wish him well, Dagmar and Soleil

---- Bart reached Maui, June 22nd 2011, 10:45am

Bart just reached Maui, after a very brutal 14hour paddle through the Alenuihaha Channel with wind always from the side, sometimes changing to the front. And when Bart says brutal, it was very brutal. Halfway through the channel last night he thought he won't make it to Hana, but to Lahaina instead. He is very worn out know, needs to rest for some hours onboard and hopes for better downwind conditions as he will point towards Peahi and then out towards Molokai Island. He definitely needs some good sleeping conditions for tonight to continue his "Ultimate Crossing". I will get his beacon position around 1pm today. Then I will schedule the airplane and the fotoshoot with fotografer Jimmie Hepp. We gone join him. Soleil keeps me company. She will be a scout to look for Bart out on the ocean and I will do some video footage.

We are all thinking of you. Hugs and kisses, Dagmar and Soleil and all your family and friends. Thanks for all the support we got from all of you. It's very much appreciated. :)

--------Bart started last night

Bart started last night around 1am with perfect conditions from Keokea Bay on Big Island.

Here is a Google Earth image with his first 2 beacon positions, 1:47am and 6:am.

He is pointing perfectly towards Hana. Looks great, Bart. I will keep you posted over the next hours and days with updates. Please check regularly. Dagmar


A lot of people asked me about what gear I take on (the ) board. So here is a small explanation.

Since 5 Months I have been preparing for this trip. Not only physically, I paddle every morning and often in the afternoon to prepare for the races. But mostly I had to figure out all gear I had to take with me on an adventure like this, most of all safety gear but also food, water, sleeping gear, clothing and with which board I could carry all the gear and water I wanted and still have a decent speed. Fortunately Starboard makes a lot of different boards so I could find the right one.

STARBOARD 14’0” x 28” Open Ocean, with some modifications to fit all the gear on the board and a 'Directional device'. Mark Raaphorst from SIC designed and installed a small device in the front of the board to keep me from drifting when I have side winds. Thanks Mark!

I made 18 attachments to strap gear into the board and last, I built in 2 compartments for water storage which sit very low in the board to help with the balance of the board.

I have an Eprib, a personal locator beacon with GPS position, this device has two purposes, one; in case of a life threatening situation (only then) it will sent a signal via Satellite to a rescue coordination center, second with this particular device I can send a limited amount of messages to friends and family on shore to let them know my GPS position.
2 GPS’s and maps to make sure where I am.
Navigation lights on a little mast (only at night)

Flares, Smoke signals and hand flares
2 Compasses, charts/ maps
VHF radio
Cell phone
Hand Water maker, with which I can make drink water from saltwater
Back up paddle and extra shaft

Warm clothing in dry and wet circumstances. (1 mil short wetsuit and a 5 mil full wetsuit)

My water-bed, a inflatable mattress with high walls for the nights, which I strap on my board. This will make it possible to get dry for a couple of hours and get ready for the next day. Also only during the night I use small outriggers to get a little more stability and keep the board from rocking to much.

Camera footage

CONTOUR HD sponsored me with 2 great cameras with built in GPS
After the trip I will edit the footage in to a small film.

A mixture of dryfreezed food, nuts, dry fruits, granola bars, chocolate, perpetuem (liquid sports food) and recoverite (liquid recover drink) and electrolyte drinking powder.

I will be looking forward to fruits and veggies when I get there.


I will be taking enough water with me for the whole trip. In case of emergency I will have the hand water maker to make drinking water from saltwater.


Starboard has been my really great this year with the best boards and getting me to the other continents for the races.

Tom Hammerton of Black Project Fins will be updating me with weather updates.

My wife Dagmar and daughter Soleil will be updating the blog and will go to Kauai to await my arrival.

Bill from MAUI JIM sunglasses gave me a good pair of the latest Maui Jim's. I can see I haven't had a nice pair since a while because these are so much better than what I have been using lately.

Jimmy Hepp and Dagmar will do some photo footage from an airplane when I pass by Maui.

Not to forget all the friends around the world from Holland to South Africa and Hawaii to New Caledonia. Thanks for all the encouragements and support. MAHALO

I will let you know when I start.


flykatcher said...

Bart that is just awesome !!! Way to go. Glad you made it safely home. In sharing this story with people here in Finland, the eyes grow large and there is no shortage of amazement. Well done !!!

Alex said...

Finally read the whole story..Bart, it's amazing what you did! Bravo!