Hi, I'm paddling for a friend who is swimming from Catalina to Pedro. Im not sure what level I'm classified as but I've been doing it for 23 years. I've done high surf entries, caves and lots of harbor and ocean with swell and wind. I paddle a Malibu double with my dog up front. I know that would be totally ridiculous so don't worry, the pooch is going in the motor boat. We have some sit on top singles also but I'm assuming a sit in would be best. The swimmer is to have to kayaks on each side. There are going to be four of us taking turns (unless I can go the whole way) and a motor support boat. What would be the best kayak (to buy or rent??) to paddle this? I've always wanted to kayak to Catalina and if I bought I'd also do a lot of touring so it's not just a one time thing.
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Posted by: Peter-CA on Jun-21-13 12:54 AM (EST)
I'd do the SOT that you know and are comfortable with.
Some prior experience|
Posted by: seadart on Jun-21-13 12:22 PM (EST)
If you go to the website www.sit-on-topkayaking.com, there is a story there by someone who used the name Calamari Chris about paddling to Catalina on an SOT. I've paddled with Chris and he made the trip several times. Chris used a tarpon 16.
Posted by: Seadddict on Jun-21-13 6:17 PM (EST)
is definitely the choice for your purpose of swimmer escort. The accompanying power boat will make it a breeze - swapping off paddling duties, meal break for you, adding or subtracting clothing layers, carrying swimmer sustenance, etc. I have a friend who did the Catalina swim paddler escort & enjoyed it.
Posted by: rjd9999 on Jun-22-13 9:51 AM (EST)
For those who don't know, this is a fairly significant crossing (22 miles, I do believe) with ships, changeable weather (it will take a few hours to cross), currents, fog (potentially), etc. Oh yeah, sharks are also a potential issue - I've seen blues and once a great white feeding among the islands on dive trips. The thing about sharks is that you usually don't see them, but they are definitely out there.
Thanks for replys|
Posted by: Mydogismyskipper on Jun-22-13 1:39 PM (EST)
Thanks for all your replys and recommendations. I'm going to stick with a SOT, a single. The swim starts at midnight. I've always wanted to go night kayaking. That should be interesting. I'm really looking forward to it. Hopefully we don't get run over by a boat or attacked by a shark. Luckily we've got a professional support boat whose done this before.
Posted by: seadart on Jun-22-13 11:14 PM (EST)
Man there is no way I would swim offshore at night off of Catalina. There are great white sharks out there, they definitely patrol around the island ... see the tagging/ tracker data websites. They probably have little interest in your kayak, although a kayak did get hit by one about 2 years ago near one of the harbors - but I think they had fish hanging off of it.
and Chris's article ....|
Posted by: seadart on Jun-22-13 11:36 PM (EST)
have done same support, SOT best|
Posted by: jcbikeski on Jun-23-13 2:32 PM (EST)
I helped support a woman a few years ago who swam from Palos Verdes to Catalina AND back! very impressive. While I did fine I did this in a sit inside and know now a SOT is better. Switching escort kayakers from the big boat is way easier with a SOT and sharing boats. Speed makes the paddle easy though mentally you focus a lot to keep speed and direction just right.
Posted by: rjd9999 on Jun-23-13 7:31 PM (EST)
The latest study of great whites is that they tend to dive deep at night and prowl mostly during the day. Note the "tend to" in that sentence :).
not worth worrying about sharks|
Posted by: jcbikeski on Jun-23-13 7:46 PM (EST)
Maybe if further north and more around August to September. Having a big boat handy makes it even safer. And of course with a swimmer in the water the kayaker needs to worry even less (not so much for the swimmer).
Posted by: rjd9999 on Jun-26-13 2:23 PM (EST)
I've met several people attacked by sharks, and none of them were attacked in the same month of the year. Great whites are in the waters off the coast year round and are active randomly. Since they have very slow metabolisms, it is really hard to predict when/where they will be hungry/active.
Certainly around more in the summer |
Posted by: seadart on Jun-26-13 3:23 PM (EST)
Last summer three were sighted at the beaches I surf at in San Diego on the same day I was surfing. At San Onofre now several white sharks hang out with surfers in the line up during the summer.
Posted by: Mydogismyskipper on Jun-27-13 4:04 AM (EST)
I'm not too worried about the great white during the night because I believe they are mostly active during the day. Dusk and dawn. Not to say a really hungry big one will pass by an easy meal, but with 2 kayaks and a swimmer all side by side will appear like bigger prey. I don't think its going to torpedo attack at 2 in the morning. It'll investigate first. But then you can't see much at night. I'm not sure why he's swimming at night..... It's calmer????
Posted by: rjd9999 on Jun-27-13 12:56 PM (EST)
that they dive deep at night and, probably, don't come up until dawn. Tracking devices on a handful of sharks show this behavior, but that is, again, very limited data and by no means a definitive pattern. As you can see:
Posted by: ppine on Jun-27-13 4:16 PM (EST)
I would paddle an ocean going boat at least 17 feet, 18 would be better. It would have a deck, a cockpit and a really good seat. A straight keel and rudder would be perfect. Maybe a Greenland style boat.