Legendary ultra-distance SUP racer & Starboard Dream Team rider Bart de Zwart is at it again! The Dutch SUP explorer has just set off on his next exciting adventure ~ The Vanuatu Expedition. Exploring the unknown by paddleboard is nothing new for Bart, this expedition will be a little different in that he will be joined by teammate Trevor Tunnington.
While Trevor Tunnington is better known in the SUP racing circuit for his explosive 200m power, we have witnessed the young Kiwi exploring some more amazing paddle board destinations like Iceland, Norway and Israel the past few months on inflatable paddle board, making some really great Vlogs along the way.
At the halfway stop in Fiji Bart managed to write us these 10 interesting facts about The Vanuatu Expedition:
Once or twice a year I am lucky enough to go on one of those special trips. I call them expeditions because it is an exploration into the unknown. A stand up paddle board my preferred way to travel. I honestly don’t know where I going to sleep tomorrow. I know it will be on Tanna one of the 70 islands which make up Vanuatu. A group of islands roughly situated between Fiji and Papua New Guinea. And I know that we will have an Inflatable SUP and 3-piece paddle to get around on and a tent to sleep in.
This time Trevor Tunnington and I decided to go bare minimum. Some clothing essentials, navigation gear and a day ration of food.
I have often done these trips alone but it is so much nicer to share the experiences you encounter. Trevor is not only an accomplished SUP racer but also a fun person to travel with. You have to be easy and open minded to enjoy trips like this then you will have an experience you will never forget.
Vanuatu has some interesting facts which make this a unique country far away from civilization:
- Vanuatu is one of the most dangerous countries in the world in terms of natural disasters. It is positioned exactly over the ring of fire and has very active volcanos, frequent visits from cyclones, earthquakes, flooding and sea level rises.
- Vanuatu is one of the least visited countries in the world.
- Most of its inhabitants live a very simple lifestyle. They live in nature from nature. A sustaining form of life where the western world could learn a thing or two from. It will be interesting to see how they deal with plastic pollution.
- At the same time, it is also one of the happiest countries n the world which proves again that wealth is not the key to happiness.
- We travel very light this time. This is what gear we bring on this 12 day expedition. Starboard 14’ Touring, 3-pieces paddles, drybag/backpacks, compass, GPS, satellite tracker/messenger, tent, sleeping pads, knife, led lights, 2 shirts, 2 shorts, hat, Maui Jim sunglasses, suncream, emergency expedition blanket (works as a sleeping bag) 2x 3 liter water bags, water purifying tablets and some nuts and dried fruit just in case.
- Cannibalism was practised as recent as 1969, so we are on the safe side now, especially because I bought some dried fruits and nuts in case we need to trade…
- Bungee jumping was invented in Vanuatu. On the island Pentecost, men and Boys have to prove themselves by jumping from a wooden tower with vines around there legs.
- The island Torba is banning importation of Western food by 2020, to become totally organic. This is to ban unhealthy western food and replace by locally produced organic food.
- Tanna island features one of the most accessible active volcanos, Mt Yasur. You can stand on the rim while the volcano is bursting lava in the air right in front of you.
- There are over 120 different languages and even more dialects in this spread out country. Luckily for us, English is one of the official languages so everyone understands each other.
The Vanuatu Islands are located in the Pacific, where Trev & Bart will be exploring for the next 2 weeks by Inflatable paddle board
We will be paddling and exploring some of these islands in the next 2 weeks. Due to the lack of internet, a full cover story with photos and video will come out after we return home.
Aloha from Fiji, halfway to Vanuatu.