Friday, May 9, 2014

The gear, I bring on a crossing

Today I had to rearrange flights because my expedition board was not arriving on Maui in time for my flight to Tahiti. With a lot of support from Starboard, board was rerouted to Los Angeles. And found 2 new flights first  to LA and then  from there to Tahiti. Leaving on Sunday for LA and Monday for Tahiti

The gear for a multiple day crossing is a lot more than you would take on a rail tour,  a lot more.
Specially because this crossing is unsupported, I bring a lot of back up and extra gear, like a water maker. I will bring water for at least 5 days although I think I only need 3. Water is the single most important item on board without water you won't survive very long. Although it is a lot of work with a water maker I make drinking water from saltwater. About one liter in one hour of hand pumping.
I have 2 GPS's and a tracker system (INREACH) which sends a signal with my position  via satellite so very one can follow me.  The Inreach also serves as a emergency beacon in case of a life threatening situation. I also carry and epirb ( personal locator beacon) which I have on me day and night.  Below I have picture with all the electronics I bring.

Gear list
GOPRO Camera Hero 3
Small waterproof hand camera, Canon D10
2x GPS, Delorme and Garmin
Epirb, ACR
Tracker Delorme Inreach 
Iphone (for 2 way, short message communication via Inreach)
Hand watermaker, Katalyn
2x Headlamp
Strobe lamp
VHF radio (not in the picture)
Backup battery to charge cameras and iPhone

For the night I have a mattress where I build some side walls on so I don;t get too much waves in my face. I have to blow it up every night and strap it on the board. Many ask me if I use an anchor at night. Most places where I did crossings are between 300 and 4000 meters deep and impossible to anchor. If the wind is not in the right direction I set the sea anchor though, basically a parachute in the water which stops me from drifting to far in the wrong direction. And I use my back up paddle with 2 floaters in the night as small outriggers so the board is a little more stable. At night it does get very cold at sea specially when you are wet. That's why the drysuit with under layers under it will be a big upgrade from the Hawaiian Crossing when I only had a wetsuit and was very cold every night.
Here is the rest of my packing list

Expedition board with front rudder and grab line around the whole board to attached all gear to.
2 paddles
3 leashes (I always wear min. 2 at the same time)
Drysuit very advanced , light weight suit made by SUPSKIN
Sea anchor
Survival blanket a thick one with insulation works as a sleeping bag which can a and does get wet.

2 x underlayer pants, Patagonia
2x thin under layer shirt, Patagonia
2x warmunder layer shirt, Patagonia
1x thin down jacket, Patagonia
1x thin down body, Patagonia
3x warm socks
warm head (night)
sun head (day)
2x surfshorts
2x long arm lycra

Water (for 5 days 25l. +)
packed in several 2 or 4 liter  containers

Food (for 5 days)
Heed (Hammer) electrolyte powder
Perpethuem (Hammer), liquid bike food , Powder
Recoverite (Hammer), Protein recover drink for at night, powder
Muesli/oat breakfast with milk powder (just mix in water)
Dry freeze meals (mountain House)
Heat packs ( these packs react with water and warm up my meals)
Sport Bars
Nut and dry fruit mix

Medicine package
Strong painkillers
2 x antibiotics
Sunscreen and blocker

Repair sack 
tie reps
handy knife

life vest
sea chart

Inflatable bed
small hand pump

Every thing is packed in zip lock bags in dry bags.
All electronics are in small dry packs with small leashes attached to the grab line.


  1. You say you have a gps tracker system so we can follow you. Can we get the link please ?

  2. When I start ( next week) the link will be posted on Facebook, and on this blog, Aloha, Bart

  3. Where is the old fashioned sextant?

  4. Thanks. I live in Huahine... an island that's on your way betwen Tahiti and Bora. I will be checking where you are during your crossing ;) Good luck.