In December 2016, Dave Cornthwaite, Spike Reid, Rob Green, Robyn Green and I set off for an adventure none of us could predict!
Using inflatable Origin Paddleboards as our vessel, the team paddled 146 miles around the coast, experiencing both the serine Caribbean seas on one half of the island, and the relentless Atlantic on the other, each dawning their own lessons. We would set up home for the night between two trees, slinging up our hammocks under the stars, amongst Martinique's vast amount of trees.
Even after the Thames trip and numerous miles done on flat-water, on the sea felt like a new game entirely. On the first day, the whole day wasn't quite able to hold standing for any given time, and we all felt like beginners again! It was fun to fall though, as we knew that we would just get back up again and try again, whilst trying not to look like a newborn giraffe!
As time went on though, our bodies adapted and we grew not only physically stronger, but mentally too. Any challenge we would take on, we'd take on together.
One of my most memorable challenges was on the early days of the Atlantic side of the island, where the sheer power of the waves and wind trapped us on an enclosed stretch of beach, which the only way out was by water. We were there for two days before eventually escaping at around 5am, when there was a gap in the churning waves. Such a monumental feeling we all felt when we made it out!
This trip was really affirming that to me, adventure is so needed, being outdoors with like-minded people, exploring the unknown and pushing what you deem to be your limits. It was truly a team effort, and we all felt it in the best way. I am so grateful for doing this trip with such inspiring, genuinely amazing people, and in my mind that formed most of the journey. Along with the team, we met kind strangers who soon became friends, which is really becoming a trend I notice whilst travelling.
In the end, we became the world's first team to circumnavigate the french territory of Martinique by Stand Up Paddleboard.
Here is the film that Dave produced documenting the trip. It has played now at both Wild Film Festival and The Adventure Travel Film Festival. As Dave say's in the video, "If you haven't done it yet, it hasn't been done"