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California to Hawaii solo kayak attempt

Aug 20, 2012
Wave Vidmar testing his custom Seaward ocean kayak. Vidmar will attempt solo crossing without aid. Twenty five years earlier kayaker Ed Gillet made the crossing and nearly died doing it, arriving in Hawaii literally days from starvation.

Wave Vidmar testing his custom Seaward ocean kayak. Vidmar will attempt solo crossing without aid. Twenty five years earlier kayaker Ed Gillet made the crossing and nearly died doing it, arriving in Hawaii literally days from starvation.

Courtesy Seaward Kayaks

Endurance adventurer Wave Vidmar intends to be the first person in 25 years to attempt a 3,100-nm solo kayak voyage from San Francisco to Maui, Hawaii. The first and only passage was made in 1987.

Sponsored by Canadian sea kayak builder Seaward Kayaks, paddler Vidmar (whose name means looking toward the sea) will attempt the longest open ocean crossing in a traditional kayak, without aid.

Built by Seaward Kayaks, his boat has been reinforced to sustain the impact of 50-foot seas and is fitted out with a watermaker and flexible solar panels to power communications equipment. The expedition is expected to take 45 to 56 days and is being compared to running 120 marathons back to back or nine consecutive ascents of Mount Everest.

During his paddle, Vidmar will consume approximately 5,500 calories per day, mostly in the form of dry dehydrated stores. As the craft is a tandem kayak he will sleep by stretching out in the hull. He has waterproof covers to protect himself in the event of a capsize.

Vidmar said that some of the danger that he will face will be natural, such as shark attacks and severe weather, but he is mostly concerned about the risk of running into ships that do not see him and running into float debris left over from the Japanese tsunami.

Live tracking of his progress can be found at www.pacifickayaker.com.

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