A 42-year-old South African surfer and his paddleboard just made history. After 93 days of paddling, Chris Bertish finally arrived in English Harbour, Antigua, on Thursday, becoming the first man ever to cross the Atlantic Ocean solo on a paddleboard. He'd paddled 4,050 nautical miles since leaving Agadir, Morocco, on Dec. 6.
Along the way, Bertish encountered sharks and pufferfish, weathered rough storms, and celebrated the New Year with a swig of scotch. He paddled an average of 43 miles daily, traveling mostly at night to avoid spending too much time in the sun. Aside from setting the record for the first solo paddleboard trip across the ocean, Bertish also nearly doubled the previous record for the most miles ever paddled in 24 hours, traveling almost 72 nautical miles one day.
Bertish's paddleboard is admittedly fancier than most, but he still made the entire journey standing up, unsupported, and on his own. His 20-foot board, built for $120,000 with the help of a naval architect, boasted a "tiny cabin and an even tinier sleeping berth," as well as solar panels to charge his devices, Gizmodo reported. Bertish packed everything from shark repellant and a life raft to a weather system and a satellite phone.
Bertish managed to raise more than $490,000 with his paddleboard pilgrimage. He plans to donate the money to the charities Signature of Hope Trust, The Lunchbox Fund, and Operation Smile.