Part of three incredible stories of women doing the impossible in water (WAExpo Takes to the water April 2017).

Bouncing on to the stage next was Erin Bastian, overflowing with positivity that washed over the audience in waves of pure joy.

Erin’s story was a fascinating one. In response to her boyfriend’s decision to backpack the summer alone, she went one better and planned a kayak expedition around Sardinia. A 860 km adventure that would see her learn quickly that there’s more to a kayak expedition than just paddling.

Not long after pushing off into Sardinian waters, Erin and her expedition buddy ‘Mike’ (who was the only person to respond to her internet invite) were blasted by Cyclone Cleopatra. “November is storm season in the mediterranean, who knew?!” Erin joked.

As the storm raged around her, Erin was able to find her inner calm. It occurred to her that there was nothing to do but accept where she was and to keep paddling, telling us “the simplicity of it was reassuring”.

Paddle by paddle, the duo battled on through choppy waters, lashing rain and with only a “boulder garden” and “poo cave” to bed down in for the night.

860 km felt like an incredibly long way, so Erin altered her mindset, breaking down the impossible beast into manageable chunks to achieve day by day. Each daily goal didn’t seem so hard and the team were able to remain happy and hopeful about reaching the finish line. 

Erin and Mike lifted their paddles out of the water a hundred km shy of their goal. At the time it was deemed a “failure” by Erin, who went on to realise that “against other people’s expectations, my own fears and the elements, I discovered that if I put my mind to something I can achieve anything”.

As if to prove it, Erin went on to plan and execute many more mediterranean expeditions and most impressively, led a team of three along the shore banks of Patagonia’s snow-capped mountains.

She’s now on a mission to teach others how to set up their own expeditions, championing that the “beauty of an adventure is immersion, you’re completely in it. Nothing else exists or matters in that moment and you can forget all of the other crap going on in the world.” We hear you Erin.

Find out more about Erin Bastian expeditions here.

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