So over the last few months we have been asked a million questions about our adventure.. everything from how many miles we’ll be paddling to what we’ll eat along the way. It’s nice to be asked the questions because it shows that people care and want to know more about what we’re doing. So, I’m going to answer, to the best of my ability, the questions we have been asked the most. If you have a question that isn’t on this list – go ahead, ask us! We’ll be happy to answer it!
Q: How many miles will you paddle?
A: It’s hard to give an exact number but from what we have estimated we will paddle over 250 miles.
Q: How many channels will you be crossing?
A: We will be crossing a total of 9 channels. Each channel has a different personality. Some will be endurance paddles (Oahu-Kauai Channel) others will be fun, downwind surfing paddles (Maui-Molokai Channel) and some can be dangerous and unforgiving (Big Island-Maui Channel).
Q: Will you have a boat with you throughout the trip?
A: Yes. We will have an escort boat follow us throughout the trip. We will have two boats with us as we cross from Big Island to Maui and as we paddle from Oahu to Kauai for safety reasons. The Big Island to Maui channel is notorious for having dangerous conditions and the Oahu to Kauai channel involves night paddling, so it’s best if we each have our own escort boat.
Q: Who will you have on the escort boats?
A: Aside from the captain and crew, we will have Chris Aguilar, our videographer and Jen Holcomb, our expedition writer. We will have other friends, spouses and significant others join us along the way. The latter being the ones we will make jump into the water in the middle of the channel to give us our food & drink … hahaha…
Q: What will you eat when you’re paddling?
A: EVERYTHING. What you eat is all about personal preference and finding what works for you. I like almond butter and banana sandwiches. The important thing is eating even when you don’t feel like it. If you don’t keep your body fueled and your energy levels drop, you’re in trouble.
Q: What do you think about when you’re paddling for that long?
A: Mostly, I try not to think about too much. I listen to music to stay focused and calm. My playlist is filled with mellow music – Jack Johnson, Coldplay, Tracy Chapman.
Q: Will you sit down at all or take a break?
A: It can be pretty rough in the middle of the channel and trying to eat and stand isn’t always possible – so we will have to sit occasionally as we go but we won’t sit for long. Once you sit down it’s REALLY hard to want to stand back up!
Q: Will you be paddling at night?
A: Yup. In order to successfully cross the Oahu to Kauai channel we have to paddle during the night. The key is to start out at night when your body (and mind) are fresh. The plan is to start at 10pm and hopefully end before sunset the next day!
Q: How long will you paddle for each day?
A: It depends on each channel, the conditions and how we feel. I’m guessing that our shortest day will be 6 hours and our longest, well, it could take us 20hrs or more!
Q: Where will you sleep?
A: Aside from the nights that we will be camping on Lanai and the Na Pali coast on Kauai, we will be spending our nights on the islands we land at. No sleeping on boats for us! We figured that with all the paddling we’d be doing during the day it would be important to get a good nights sleep.
Q: On the Oahu to Kauai channel, which is over 65 miles, will you ever take a break from paddling?
A: Only to eat, stretch and switch out our water packs. Since this will be our longest paddle and we don’t know how our bodies will react it’s likely that we will need some breaks… but again, it will be important to keep moving.
Q: What kind of gear will you need for this adventure?
A: Lots of gear! Aside from clothes, we will need safety equipment (PLB/Epirbs), waterproof cases and bags, sunscreen, sunglasses, hats, paddling tops and bottoms, paddles, boards, music, gloves, shoes, swimsuits… the list goes on.
Q: How do you eat/drink?
A: We will each have a Dakine hydration pack, Morgan prefers the backpack while I like the waistpack. I like to fill mine with a mix of water and cytomax, while Morgan drinks a custom mixture from Infinit Nutrition. It’s important to replace your electrolytes and stay hydrated! The packs have pockets where we can store snacks, sandwiches etc. Every 45 minutes or so we’ll nibble on something and then keep paddling. We will probably have to switch out our packs every hour and a half for a full one.
Q: Will you take days off between paddles?
A: Absolutely!! We have given ourselves days of between each crossing in order to rest and recover and because you never know what the conditions will be like. One day the winds could be favorable and another, they could be directly against you. Having the extra days in between allows us to be flexible in choosing when to cross. It also gives us a chance to explore each island and have fun!
Q: Will you talk to people along the way about what you’re doing?
A: Yes. We our planning on having landing parties and lectures on each island which will give us an opportunity to share with others our cause, what we have seen along the way, what we are hoping to accomplish and why we are doing all of this.
Q: Why are you doing this?!
A: Why not? This is a once in a lifetime adventure – an opportunity to set out and explore. We don’t know what we will find along and that is what makes it so exciting. This is also a chance for us to raise awareness about the impact that plastics have on our oceans. We have been blessed by the water and we want to help protect it any way we can. For more information about our cause check out Algalita Marine Reseach Foundation.
Q: How can we follow the adventure?
A: You can follow along on our website, facebook page and twitter account. We will be sharing our stories, posting photos and video clips. You can also track us as we go using our super cool map, thanks Chris!
Q: What will be the hardest part?
A: Paddling at night across the Kauai channel knowing that our friends are fast asleep on the boat and having to deal with the fact that we don’t have that option!