The second-ever CA-to-HI solo kayak trip requires persistence and patience

Cyril Derreumaux completed his solo kayak trip from California to Hawaii. He arrived at Hilo on September 20 after 92 days at sea. He is the second person to make the trek uphill on a kayak.


Editor’s note: This article was originally published explorers.


Cyril Derreumaux set off from Monterey, California on June 21 In the company of well-wishers rowing a few strokes next to him. Then came 3 months of solo effort. He initially hoped to complete the 2,761-mile trek to Waikiki, Hawaii, in 70 days, but difficult circumstances slowed his progress.

However, a seasoned paddle eventually prevailed. The taste of success must be sweeter in the memory of his previous attempt Finished after 6 days and only 70 miles.

The complete Derreumaux tracked track across the Pacific Ocean; (screenshot / solokayaktohawaii.com / tracker)

hard start

For the first few weeks, headwinds pushed Derreumaux in the wrong direction. Instead of making progress, the daily goal became not to lose distance. The constant bulges made him seasick, and he felt very weak. In the second week, the pipe that connected his steering line was disconnected and allowed water to enter the cabin.

Then 46 days later, his water machine broke. From that point on, in addition to paddling 10 to 12 hours a day, he also spent 1 to 1.5 hours manually generating fresh water. And he spent several days in bad weather in his little cabin, at sea anchor.

It soon became clear that the trip would take more than 70 days. By the middle of the road, he started rationing food. Even though he counted 6,000 calories a day feeding all that rowing, he lost weight quickly, even before rationing. With that, he began to doubt whether he would ever arrive in time.

At the end of August, he decided to change his endpoint in Hawaii. Instead of landing in Waikiki, he redirected it to Hilo. This cut 6 days of kayaking off the trip. It also means that he has enough food to go a distance without resorting to toothpaste like the first Kayaker from California to Hawaii, Ed GilletteHas been accomplished.

Staying entertained: Music, Seinfeld, and Dolphins

Derreumaux entertained himself by listening to music almost continuously. Before leaving, he downloaded Seinfeld to watch him at night when he’s not paddling.

Along the way, enjoy watching dolphins swim and jump around the boat. In the end, hundreds of them came to visit. During the last few days of the trip, he had Which schools do you follow?.

“Mahi Mahi pet fish follow me all day, I loved it!” Written on social media. “[It] He left me yesterday morning. I guess he didn’t like it when I played Celine Dion.”

As the trip progressed, Derreumaux became more relaxed and in tune with its surroundings. He found that not seeing himself in the mirror was a very “liberating experience”. He also established a kind of symbiosis with his custom-made boat, the “Valentine”.

“I know her well now,” he said. “I know how you act in any kind of water, I know all the sounds it makes and what they mean, I can find anything in the dark… It’s so special.”

Ed Gillette example; Overcoming failure

Ed Gillet’s original 1987 ride inspired Derreumaux first. Gillette was much less technical. He used a ready-made kayak – no sleeping cabins, no extended storage space – and had no means of communication for most of the trip. After 3 weeks at sea, Deruyo said: “I feel more in awe of Ed Gillette and what he has accomplished [than ever]. ”

He first attempted the flight in 2021 but needed rescue 6 days later. Storms and waves destroyed his boat and caused water to seep into the cabin. As conditions deteriorated, he abandoned the crossing.

But despite that awkward ending, Diriomau channeled the failure into improving his technique and approach.

He modified the sea anchor system, installed a satellite communications system, and added a manual bilge pump and side panels to keep water out of the cockpit. He also trained to be more familiar with how the kayak behaves in high winds Tell Honolulu KHON 2.

This wasn’t the first time Deriomau had crossed the ocean from California to Hawaii. In 2016, he and his colleagues broke the rowing speed record in the Great Pacific Race. Since then he has broken the markbut the four-man team traveled nearly 2,800 miles from Monterey, California, to Oahu, Hawaii, in 39 days, 9 hours and 56 minutes.

Cyril Direomaux
immersed in the finish line. (Photo/ Tom Gomez)

In the end, adaptation, experience and perseverance are all Added to success for kayaking. Sign his 92-day trip with Thank you messages To his supporters and team.

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