UPDATE: Sean just txted us from Catalina - too windy out there so he's headed back to the mainland tomorrow. DARN IT!
When I first put together the Channel Islands Expedition I rounded up a team of five paddlers. In the planning stages two of the members dropped out for various reasons. So three of us launched from Gaviota last week on the attempt. After three days of paddling it became clear that two of us would not be making the record attempts on San Nicolas or San Clemente Islands so we headed back to the mainland while it was nearby. So now it is just Sean Morley out there on the water attempting to complete a circumnavigation of all eight Channel Islands solo. You can follow his progress on his SPOT page.
Personally, while I am disappointed not to complete the trip I feel that it was the smart decision to bail out when we did. Our pace was slower than planned over the first few days and the distances were only getting longer. Pedro was having some trouble with his back and that could have turned into a real nightmare on the big crossings if the weather were to deteriorate and force several hours of hard paddling. And while I felt that I was physically strong enough to make the attempt I was not going to be able to keep up with Sean's pace and if he had to slow down for me it would have been a grueling trip for him - it is essential on such long paddles that each paddler be able to go at their fastest comfortable pace. So I returned home with Pedro having gotten in four days of paddling in a beautiful setting, seeing islands that I hadn't visited in years. And I'm certain I'll be back out there paddling some more and quite possibly make an attempt on visiting all eight islands sometime in the future. But for now join me in wishing Sean all the best of luck - fair weather and fast paddling.
I'll have more pictures and video to add in a day or two...