Adventure paddling - Cali to Hawaii

As inconceivable as this may be, at some point, someone on an outrigger canoe will probably be able to accomplish this amazing journey ....

No stranger to adventure, having been shot at twice and kidnapped in South America, San Diego's Edward Gillet, 36 years old, decided to paddle his kayak from California to Hawai'i.

In 1987, he took off from Monterey California in his 21 feet long kayak, crammed with 60 days food supply and 25 gallons of water, and using simple navigation devices - sextant and a calculator (pre-GPS days), kayaked some 2200 miles in 63 days, followed by a school of Mahi Mahi, and landed at Kahului, Mau'i.

A trip that he thought would only take 40 days ended up 23 days longer than expected. After only his third day at sea, his okole was covered in salt water sores. Within a week, the skin on his hands and back began to chap and crack open. On the 50th day, the school of Mahi Mahi that followed him was no more, eliminating a source of food. Four days before reaching land, he ran out of food. On the 63rd day, he states, "When I swung my sextant to look at the southern horizon, I was annoyed by the mountain filling my sextant viewfinder and fouling up my view of the horizon line. "That damned mountain..." I thought. Seconds later, I realised I was looking at land!"

Upon landing on shore, having spent all those days at sea, his legs gave out from under him as he crumbled to the ground.

You can read about his account here:
Edward Gillet's Journey

Submitted by hckt on Tue, 06/17/2008 - 10:41am

Real hard core, real crazy. Its amazing how much drive and determination some people have.

#1 Tue, 06/17/2008 - 11:26am

i am more than ready. i can surf..
i just might beat some of you.

#2 Tue, 06/17/2008 - 11:52am

Theres one part where he talks about catching the Mahi Mahi for Sashimi and eating toothpaste! It seems the conditions were pretty good with prevailing trades of 20 knots and consistent surfing swells of 6 feet until he hit some northerly current, which I imagine then kinda put a damper on things a bit.

#3 Tue, 06/17/2008 - 12:05pm

Roz Savage is doing it right now on a rowboat. Check out her daily blog and get inspired!

#4 Tue, 06/17/2008 - 1:23pm

Obviously its an incredible undertaking even today, but imagine pre GPS, pre personal locater beacon, pre satellite phone, etc., etc. Gillet was truely wacked.

#5 Tue, 06/17/2008 - 5:05pm

I remember this story about a guy who rowed from Japan to the west coast. That was about 15 years ago. At the start he said there was no sense in practicing since he would get all the practice anyways. He made it to about a mile from shore and then he fought the currents at some river mouth for several days and the Coast Guard finally was able to persuade him that he didn't have to make the last half mile to get in the record books. I believe he accepted finally, went home, never to be heard from again.
I don't know about being whacked, I'd rather think that's the epitome of determination or... finish what you start, and don't brag about it.

#6 Tue, 06/17/2008 - 6:48pm

I read somewhere Gillet used a kite sail as well.

#7 Thu, 06/19/2008 - 12:00pm

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