California-Hawaii By Kayak Begins

Cyril Derreumaux has started kayaking from California to Hawaii. He pushed off from Monterey this morning surrounded by a flotilla of other paddlers who came out to see him off.

He first attempted the trip last year but had to be rescued a couple of days out, in 80kph winds and 4.5m swells. His vessel suffered significant damage, and water had started to leak into the kayak. Ultimately, he called the coastguard.

On this second go, he had hoped to start at the beginning of June. However, strong winds off the coast of California would have made a difficult beginning. With last year’s abrupt finish in his head, he waited patiently.

“I need two to three days of blue (5-10 knot winds) in order to get to 100 miles [160km] offshore in the first three days,” he wrote. “The winds have been strong all month.”

His kayak in slightly choppy water offshore

Photo: CyrilDerreumauxAdventure


His kit includes 6,000 calories a day, consisting of two freeze-dried meals and several nutrition bars.

Lying down in the sleeping compartment in the rear of his custom boat.

Derreumaux lies down in the sleeping compartment in the rear of his custom boat. Photo: CyrilDerreumauxAdventure


Asked why he was trying again, he told a local newspaper, “I think the weather was completely unusual last time and I had technical issues.” The paddler remains particularly concerned about hurricanes. He should finish before hurricane season begins, but the weather can be unpredictable.

Though he is again going solo, a land-based team will give him daily weather reports and check how he is doing.

At the dock, stuffing gear in a hatch

Photo: CyrilDerreumauxAdventure


Derreumaux hopes to complete the 4,444km journey in 70 days. If successful, he will be only the third person to complete the journey by paddling, and the second by kayak after Ed Gillet’s epic 1987 adventure.

Rebecca McPhee

Rebecca McPhee is a freelance writer for ExplorersWeb.

Rebecca has been writing about open water sports, adventure travel, and marine science for three years. Prior to that, Rebecca worked as an Editorial Assistant at Taylor and Francis, and a Wildlife Officer for ORCA.

Based in the UK Rebecca is a science teacher and volunteers for a number of marine charities. She enjoys open water swimming, hiking, diving, and traveling.