As I write this my garage is bursting with gear. And my heart with anticipation. It's the eve of my attempt to break the circumnavigation record of Vancouver Island. A dream that started as a curious, smoldering smoke three years ago in the dark places of my imagination has become a raging inferno of intent in the light of day that consumes every waking moment. Training. Racing. Pushing harder. Digging deeper. Ratcheting up the pressure and paddling ever tippier craft in bigger conditions for the opportunity to get better. Every moment a catalyst to become an experience that makes me stronger. Faster. Smarter. Meaner. Hungrier. Long days that mutate and become heinous grinds past multiple bonks, sunburns and the reasonable norms of society. 50 miles. 60. Then 70 and now 80. Flying past every normative constraint into the land of driven obsession. Never enough, and all for this moment. It feels good to be here, and to be paddling a one of a kind touring surfski made for me by my sponsor, Epic Kayaks, for this very mission.
The questions that were there in the very beginning stand now to be answered. Am I ready? What will I face? Am I strong enough? Will I fail? Will I make it? Is this worth it? Time to find out.
I'll be using a DeLorme inReach as I make my attempt, entirely unassisted. For you vicarious types, feel free to follow along here: https://share.delorme.com/NicholasCryder
A special thanks to Greg Barton, Jim Teshura and my amazing friends, family and sponsors for believing in me as I talked endlessly and paddled obsessively. Hope to make you proud.
And finally, for you lovers of fast, arty looking boats, enjoy below.