On October 9th, 2012 I did a crossing of the width of the Great Salt Lake on a stand-up paddle board. It was my understanding that this was the first-ever crossing of the lake via SUP, but I have been told since then, that other groups have done it previously (although I have not seen any GPS downloads or blog reports confirming it). Perhaps this is the first solo, unsupported crossing. I did this 28 mile starting just after 10 a.m. The ambient temps during the day ranged from about 50F to 68F with a water temperature of 62F. I specifically picked this day as the forecast had a wind of only 6 MPH in the morning decreasing to 1 or 2 MPH by the afternoon — perfect conditions for a safe trip on such a body of water. My moving time was 6:54 for a total travel time of about 7:41. I traveled from the west near the railroad causeway, which crosses this lake in a east/west direction. This was for safety, so that if there were any issues, I could paddle towards it and latch on. This time of year, I went about as far east as I could go before running into the dreaded biotherms or before hitting very shallow waters.
Here’s a link to an online map with my planned route. It ended up being about 7/10s of a mile longer, probably due to my uneven paddling on a SUP board.
Next up, a south or north crossing? That would be a 75-mile adventure. Hmmm, that would be one long day and part of a night.
Many thanks to Dave Shearer, the harbor master for his advice on access and conditions and to my daughter Rosemary for making rather long shuttle required for this effort.
> My board was a 14’0″ x 28″ carbon fiber Admundson TR-X with a Surftech carbon fiber SUP paddle (small blade). My back-up “kayak” paddle was a clunky Cairsle.
> I was testing a new SUP-specific hydration backpack which I’m designing for release next spring (eoGEAR Inc.). In it I used a 2-liter bladder and later switched out to a 1.5-liter bladder after I consumed the first one. Both were filled with Cytomax. In my dry bag I also had a liter of Hammer Perpeteum and two liters of water. I had way more fluids that I needed.
> The other product I was testing was a tie-down system for gear. They are designed with quick-release buckles which secured a Seattle Sports wide mouth dry bag and also my PFD.
> I was also testing a rough prototype of a device to hold a watch style GPS to the board for use in navigating. Half way through the paddle, I switched, mounting it my chest pouch.
Postscript: Today (30 Oct 2012) I did a “radio” interview on SUP Radio, which is now available as a Podcast.