Monterey Bay crossing, 26.5 miles, done yesterday in 5h46, closing the back-to-back challenge of Take Tahoe + Monterey Bay.
I had wanted to paddle both bodies of water in a single day, but the conditions were not favorable, so I did it one day after the other.
I was joined by my paddling brother Roman Kristl on his OC1. Thanks Dave Loustalot, organizer of the Monterey Bay Crossing - MBX to meet us at the start in Santa Cruz for the latest tips and words of encouragement. Thanks Claire Kristl for driving us to Santa Cruz at 5am to get us on the line!
We started under the beautiful sun in Santa Cruz harbor, around 6h30am, but soon headed straight into thick fog that lasted for for 4 hours of our crossing. Luckily we had a GPS with our way point towards Del Monte beach (Kayak shop) so we had no issue whatsoever for navigation. We had another one for back up, as well as a VHF and our cellphones in waterproof bags.
Succeeded in doing a pretty straight line! Pretty proud of that! haha.
The general conditions were very favorable, with low winds most of the way until it got stronger the last hour. Didn't see any whale or dolphins but did see many pelicans and one albatross as well as other species of birds I didn't know.
NOW LISTEN TO THIS!!: The rolling seas (3/4 on our back right) and the lack of visibility made me sea sick!! It started as we moved into the fog, one hour into the crossing. Right in the middle of the crossing, at 2h30 from the start, I vomited my breakfast and started to feel weak. Felt a bit better right after throwing up but never could feel at my best for the rest of the trip. I vomited again 2 hours later, with 1 hour to go. Arghh. Felt terrible and had not expected this to happen.
For the rest of the crossing, I had to keep sipping little amount of electrolyte water as nothing was going down. I was afraid to bunk as I normally never go with an empty stomach more than 45 minutes when I paddle long distances.
Our cruising speed went down from 6mph to 5mph because of me, but I kept paddling and we still made quite good progress. I was glad to have Roman by my side, for sure!
It was a great lesson, so made for a great training day. Great reminder that I need to find a solution for my sea sickness as I was also a victim of this for the first 3 days of my first ocean crossing in 2016. I can't afford to feel sick when I'm starting my next ocean crossing in a solo kayak in 2021. Not only is it debilitating, but the risk of dehydration could be severe which would mean having to get rescued. I'll do my homework and make sure I am ready on that end.