Since our last raid, two soloists have completed their journey and two others are still fighting on the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
Solo Kayaking in Hawaii
Cyril Derremaux completed his solo kayak from California to Hawaii on September 20. After 92 days of paddling, he became the second person to complete this course in a kayak. He had wanted to complete the 4,444 km journey in 70 days, but bad weather made that impossible.
To make sure he didn’t run out of food, he redirected his endpoint from Waikiki to the much closer Hilo. After he finished, he said the first few weeks were the hardest, as his body got used to the lack of sleep and the constant paddling.
He also struggled with seasickness during those first few weeks. Over time, he felt more comfortable with his boat valentine and the surroundings. “I know how she behaves in what type of water, I know all the noises she makes and what they mean, I could find anything in the dark…it’s very special,” did he declare..
His journey follows that of Ed Gillet, who made the first crossing in 1987. Gillet’s journey was very different. He was using a standard kayak, had no sleeping compartment and virtually no communication.
Derreumaux first attempted the crossing in 2021 but needed rescue after his boat began to leak. He absorbed the lessons learned, returned the following year and was successful.
Other Pacific crossings
Michelle’s Great Pacific Row
Michelle Lee rows from Ensenada, Mexico to Sydney, Australia. It started on August 8 and has now spent 60 days at sea. In her latest update, she said: ‘I have a feathered friend on board. He acts like my guardian angel and only leaves to eat. Such a privilege.
Although the first few weeks were difficult, recently it enjoyed favorable winds and currents. She says she is “constantly amazed”, especially when watching the wildlife pass by.
Tom’s Pacific Row
Tom Robinson rows from Lima, Peru to his home country of Australia in his handmade boat Maywar. It is based on traditional whalers. It started on July 2 and the Ocean Rowing Society estimates it will finish in March 2023. So far it has covered 5,900km and 41% of the route.
Robinson has not given updates on his progress since leaving. He divides his journey into four stages: from Lima to Tahiti, from Tahiti to the Cook Islands, from the Cook Islands to Tonga and from Tonga to Brisbane. Robinson is currently in the middle of the first stage, by far the longest. If he completes the line, he will become the youngest person to row across the Pacific alone.
Damien Browne has become the first person to row from New York to Ireland. After 112 days at sea, he made landfall not quite the way he had envisioned. In the last hour of the row, 35 knot winds knocked his boat over and rammed the craft against the rocks. To make matters worse, an oar broke. He had no choice but to climb onto the rocks and wait. Emergency services had to recover it 12 km from its intended point of arrival, the port of Galway.
Although he’s rowed alone on an ocean before, he says this one was different: “I can’t explain how difficult the conditions were,” he said. The Independent. “Obviously it’s the North Atlantic, it’s very changeable, and every change I seemed to have was negative.”
Initially, this line began as a two-man effort, just 13 days into the journey his teammate had to quit due to chest pains. Together, they had wanted to make the trip in 55 days. Of himself, Browne knew that it was impossible.
Browne also experienced consistently tricky weather, spending days on the para-anchor and sometimes rowing for hours only to see his progress vanish in 15 minutes when he stopped for a break.