After 91 days and 9 hours at sea, alone in his kayak, Cyril Derreumaux successfully landed at Hilo Bay, Hawaii, on September 20, 2022. He has become the first person to complete the 2400-nautical-mile Pacific crossing from Monterey, California, solo, unsupported and using only his own “human” power. His departure from Monterey in the early morning of June 21 marked his second attempt at completing the journey.
Through a thick beard that has not been trimmed since his leaving the California coast three months ago, Cyril smiled widely and expressed his great satisfaction at having completed this challenge. “It was a magnificent adventure, clearly also a spiritual journey. Before leaving I couldn’t really explain why I wanted to take on this challenge, but I finally found all the answers to my questions on the water. I loved sharing my trip with all those who followed me on the map or the social networks. I encountered all possible weather conditions during these three months. Very rough seas in which I had to stay locked inside my cabin, without even being able to sleep, it was so moving, but also an ocean that can be so calm that it transforms you deeply so much it fills you with tranquility. I experienced moments of pure magic when all the elements came together: calm of the sea, calm of the currents, calm of the winds, and the visit in the middle of nowhere of a bird. It was so simple and so beautiful… Now I just want to grab all my loved ones and hug them, especially all those who supported me during this crazy adventure: Dave, Ashley, Thiago and all the others. I could never have done this without your help!”
The voyage took four years to complete — from its inception, through an aborted attempt in 2020 due to COVID, a failed attempt in June 2021 due to bad weather and subsequent damage to the kayak, to this final and successful crossing.
Cyril made landfall on September 20, 2022, at 10 a.m., to be greeted by a gathering crowd and a welcoming escort from the local paddling community ushering him back to land. The expedition took 24 days longer than was initially estimated, forcing him to ration his food for much of the last part of his journey, and change his final destination from Honolulu to Hilo due to his dwindling rations. Cyril follows in the steps of legendary kayaker Ed Gillet, who in 1987 crossed the Pacific in an off-the-shelf kayak, and at times used a kite as a secondary propulsion method.
With his Pacific crossing complete. Cyril will continue working on a documentary of the solo-kayak-to- Hawaii project that he has been working on for the last four years as he prepared for this endeavor. He hopes to write a book about his experience and continue his work as a performance coach and motivational speaker, inspiring others with his own adventures of pushing the limits of what is possible.
You can learn more about Cyril’s journey at his website, Kayak to Hawaii.