My summer was spent training for the Maltese Sup Project…alongside planning a wedding, buying a house,and then living in the a caravan outside while renovating the place! I also worked as much I could to feed myself, to buy paint and materials, and, of course, fund the adventures…
We did the minimum of planning for our trip to Malta. All I had to consider was the destination – which the lovely Sonja had chosen — the climate — which we knew was fickle in November — flights which we knew would be cheep (£150 return) – and, finally, which British SUP company I would contact for sponsorship?
Even though planning was minimal my thoughts about the project and my training were constant. As soon as Andy – from McConks – was on board, he kindly sent me a training board for me to use whilst my expedition board went though the design process. This was a 10.8 Go Enywhere inflatable ISUP
Below is Jackson on the Mcconks 10.8 Go Anywhere ISUP.
Training sessions started gently. I had fun in the sun and enjoyed sunset SUPs on evenings after work with my friends and Jackson. My steady progression soon led me to solo journeys on the sea. I now know that I should have trained with the board fully-loaded in a 5ft swell and force 4 winds with minimal landing opportunity! More detail on the trip’s conditions will follow in a future blog.
One of my logistical aims for the trip was to see how inexpensive I could make the trip! The McConks boards come with a McConks 3 piece carbon paddle this was great because it packed in neatly with the SUP. The Go Explore weighs in at an amazing 11kg, and the 3 piece paddle is 600g.
I booked only one Sup bag (hold luggage) onto the flight I could fit quite a lot of extras into the SUP bag too. The rest of my stuff I popped into my hand luggage. I could only hope that the airport wouldn’t empty my underwear all over the security check-in desk eek! I was lucky in this respect but, on the way out, I found that Manchester airport have scales where you weigh your own bag! Well, my bag weighed-in at 23kg (3kg over the maximum), the machine asked me to pay £30, I swiftly moved to another set of scales! I managed to rearrange things and offset the difference with the aid of my foot under my bag. I now weighed in at 19kg. My return journey was blessed by a wonderful woman behind the desk who let me through the net with a whopping 25kg (£14 per kg) bag. Somehow, she skirted the charge, taking my hand luggage and putting it though the system as combined luggage!
So then, how to live off a Sup for 10 days!
My McConks Go explore 12’8 is designed in a way to carry expedition kit and I was lucky to have more storage space than the others on the trip. However, I still needed to think carefully about my packing. This started at home because I had to think of plane luggage restrictions.
when traveling with a group its not necessary to all book an extra bag each but it helps to have a group bag.
McConks Go Explore 12’8
This is what I took with me…
Clothing which I was wearing (wetsuit, trainers and Palm Glide)
Roll matt (one night I slept on the board with no roll mat as a test and i was warm enough)
Repair kit (glue, patches, x2 spare canisters for Palm Glide life jacket)
Split kayak paddles
Phone and Camera.
Roof rack straps to secure bags to board.
Below is what it looked like after 3 days on the sea.
The black bag at the back of the board had the pump, repair kit and trombone in it.
The red bag a the front had my sleeping kit in it “triple dry bagged” (roll mat, sleeping bag, bivvy bag.
The two bags behind the red one (red and blue) Red one was spare clothing and food. The blue one was a day sack (lunch, camera, phone)
So there you have it my first blog about Malta. with the facts of travel and logistics. A full trip report will follow.
Thanks for reading x x x x