A big thank you goes to Paul Clark of Black and Red Photography for the awesome images he has been taking of me, his help getting some pro deals lined up, and his answering my seemingly endless strings of questions about touring. Clark has the bata on SUP touring and is a wealth of knowledge post his 200+ mile paddle of the Sea of Cortez.
Another sweet resource has been Deschutes County Library. In the many travel, paddle, and southern hemisphere focused publications I have been pouring over, perhaps the most helpful has been Sea Kayaking: A Manual for Long-Distance Touring. I know what you are thinking, ‘but Krystal, you Paddle Board, not Kayak?’ I know. But there are precious few literary options as SUP is such a new sport… The most interesting passages on sea touring have been cautions in regards to choosing a bears’ favorite fishing spot for camp, looking out for falling coconuts when in the tropics, and a comprehensive list of safety equipment. One of my favorite segments on the importance of navigation skills:
Don’t be intimidated by reports of currents that run at terrible speeds. Don’t dismiss them either… The best you can do when planning a major crossing is to combine all you have heard and read with what your eyes tell you from the cliff top. Judge each source of information critically against your own experience, then make your decision. Don’t let anyone do it for you unless you are listening to a sea canoeist more experienced than you are, or to someone whose credibility you know to be utterly beyond doubt.
I feel this advise might be suitable as a moto for the trip… Shortened it would look like this:
Don’t be intimidated, but dismiss nothing. Combine all you have heard and read with what you see. Judge critically against your own experience and then make a decision. Don’t let anyone do it for you.