Monday, April 14, 2014

Expedition: 8 Catalina Islands

Expedition: 8 Catalina Islands



Through the fall and winter I've been asked what the next big adventure is.  While I always have a few in mind it has always been in the back of my mind to get to the west coast. The Catalina Channel islands consist of 8 islands somewhat clumped together in clusters.  To paddle continuously and touch down on all of them is something that no SUP paddler has been able to complete.
      I'm looking to start at Oxnard, Ca and touchdown on all 8 islands while covering 270+ miles to finish at Dana Point, Ca.
   So what makes this expedition different?  Well, I had to create Stand Up Guy standards for the expedition:
-Paddle the entire trip self-supported:
      I'll have no support boat. No way to refuel supplies, specifically water. I'll have to carry everything I'll need and be completely self reliant.  This created a ton of logistics to figure out. First it was what board will hold all the gear I need to sustain and survive 5-6 days of paddling 265+ miles.  Easy answer- such a board doesn't exist.  There really is no expedition board out there that can hold all the necessary gear needed for a trip of this magnitude to handle open ocean. So I went to the board wizard, Ken Driscoll, Head shaper at Glide Paddle Boards. What has emerged is the first of it's kind, the 15' Perrin Expeditioner. I'm working with Ken to build a board that has gear storage in all the right places (not just in back of your feet) and also physically can take a beating (Glide's patented GSS technology). The board is based off the existing Glide Quest, a 12'6" touring that is perfect to cruise on through rivers, lakes, and exploring.
(12'6" Quest)

Next is the Why?
     Over 800 million people in the world still don't have access to clean drinking water.
As an ambassador for Live Love Sup I'm honored to be part of a team that is making change happen in the world. The team has  raised $7,881 as of December 31st, 2013 and has helped build clean water well projects in Ethiopia, Kenya and Peru. 100% of donations go directly these clean water efforts. 
      The creative minds behind the fundraising for this expedition came from Nick and Jen Yates, founders of Live Love Sup, and it came together in a very cool way.  Going outside of their normal apparel items they use to raise funds they came up wit the idea of a stainless steel water bottle. 

  What's creative about a water bottle?  As 800 million people don't have access to clean drinking water, you and I do.  This doesn't mean we can neglect other areas of how we can make an impact. So forget that plastic water bottle that you'll use once and throw away. Purchasing this bottle gives more than others clean drinking water, it lessens our footprint and gives future generations a cleaner earth. 
   How's the bottle connected to the expedition?
The bottle sells for $16.  Live Love Sup is also donating one of their bracelets with the bottle. $8 of the sale goes towards to manufacturing costs. The other $8 goes towards Charity;Water.  My goal is to sell 100 of these bottles. and the math on that is $800 total to raise. 
 So the connection - 8 channel islands, $8 raised per bottle, $800 goal (100bottles).  There is also an option for straight donations as well. 

(Live Love Sup wristband)

  This will be the scariest expedition to date for me.  As most of you know I'm a river guy. You see they have these big fish out in the ocean. And these fish have lots of teeth. They scare the crap out of me.  If something goes wrong It will be a while before help can get to me. With one of the stretches being 70 miles island to island there's a lot that can happen.  I did loads of research on sharks and found only one true human made deterrent by an Australian based company called Shark Shield. It's an electronic unit proven to deter sharks.. The unit will be my only safety against these monsters of the sea. The science is fascinating behind it.

  So what could make this expedition more difficult besides paddling 5 days straight, day and night, sleeping an hour a night while being self-sufficient?
       May 10-11 I will attempt to set the men's Guinness World Record for "greatest distance by paddle board in 24 hours."  This means I will paddle for 24 hours straight here in my hometown of St. Louis, Missouri from 7am may 10th to 7am may 11th. Then board a plane at 9am and fly out to California. The next morning on May 12th I will begin the Catalina islands expedition.

                                                   Your support is greatly appreciated!

And as always, if there are companies out there looking to help out through sponsorships, please contact me.


  1. I don't really need a water bottle or bracelet, but would like to donate, how do i do it without a purchase?

  2. Awesome expedition....more inspiration for mine. Be careful out there. I've spent a lot of time amongst those islands, usually underwater (diving) and they are beautiful, but the seas can get dangerous. Don't worry about the sharks...they are just like big puppy dogs, or at least thats what I would just keep telling myself...