After taking part in an incredible & humbling blessing ceremony on the 9th of October on Sunset with Chief Mati & the Chumash Indigenous Indian Tribe (Chumash people of Malibu to Paso Robles, California) we set off at 11pm on what was planned to be a 7 mile full moon night journey to Point Dume...
What eventuated was a 37miles (60km) voyage through the night with the Orion star constellation guiding the crew through the night & into the next day, light winds for only 3hrs of the journey, marathon style pedaling because of on wind, 17hrs out to sea, no land in sight for 12 hrs in the Santa Monica Bay because of a freak thick fog bank that swallowed the crew like a 50m high tidal wave, the crew splitting up because of the extreme conditions with all communication of phone & 2 way radio batteries power being lost.. 2 kayaks made it to shore in the bay & the other 3 kayaks, 15 miles out to sea, pressed on with a compass the size of a 1/4 (dollar coin) & a well-educated local waterman by the name of Chadd Konig leading the way on a paddle board...
Between the 5 Kayaks on this particular voyage, the crew also experienced a blue whale sighting, multiple dolphin & seal encounters that always seemed to show up when the team were getting weary & tired needing a lift in spirits, a spectacular orange moon set & sun rise over LA, the fog bank with visibility of less than 20m (which lasted for 25 miles of the voyage) spurred hallucinations & delirium in constant waves, strong currents, shipping container ships & finally... euphoria when land & the cliffs of Palos Verdes which the crew thought they would never see peaking through the fog when only 1 mile from them...
This part of the voyage has been recorded as the longest & most testing trip of the TransparentSea's voyages to date. In Australia & the USA for both the water & land crews.
This 7.36min song called 'Willing the fog to burn' really does capture the story & feelings of this epic voyage through words & sound.. Along with documentation from stories captured from the 11 crew (5 Kayaks), 4 members of the band that performed & wrote this song Oj Newcomb, Catherine Clark, Will Conner & Dave Rastovich, with help from Shannon Sol Carroll (Land crew) collecting the stories & helping write the song, were 4 of that 11 out at sea for 17hrs..
4 Kayaks finally made the destination of Palos Verdes with 1 Kayak making it safely to the shore at Redondo Beach, 5 miles from Palos Verdes.
"We started our mission at 11:30 or so, launched out to sea and into a new realm. The stars consumed the sky, forced to be slow, I became lost in them. Running around in daily life, I forget to take moments to truly experience the beauty of the moment. It was amazing to create a space for full appreciation.
The night carried on at the pace of the northern winds, pushed along by a pedal here and there. We approached Point Dume and came to a point of decision: to wake up on the beach, or continue southward, lost into the sea with the setting moon, and the rising sun. As we traveled on, the wind grew colder, harsher. The stars still shone so bright though, guiding us along in humble brilliance. The night was long, but beautiful in its distress. The orange moon set, and the sky went dark, with the lights of our ancestors shining brighter than ever.
For the first time, I yearned for the sun. I realized how thankful I was to be warm. How lucky I was to experience such daily comfort. And as the sky went dark, it again lit into another day. The sun brought a day I had never seen. A day upon the sea, mind streaked by rays of slight delirium and unknown euphoria. We praised the sun. The night was dark, but in the light, we were set free. The day carried on, sun following along, feet peddling, wind not as strong as the night, but we were content. And in the distance, the sky broke into the ocean, painted into a wall of mist, it pulled us in by the will of our compass.
We were on the brink of what I now see to be among my most testing moments. We entered, and immediately a breeze hit our backs, Relief! Momentarily. The fog consumed us. We were lost, tired, broken, and delirious. And blips of voices whispered in our ears. Hallucinations of mountains, trees and buildings slipped into our subconscious, assuring false hopes and dipping beneath the horizon as soon as they came. Cruel jokes well played by the mastermind of mist. And as soon as I broke, the dolphins came in hundreds, jumping and playing, reminding me of the majesty of trust, the beauty of the world in which we live, reminding me that there is hope, but I must allow myself to feel it. And in every moment of feeling like I couldn't go on, I let myself fall into hope, let it hold me, let it shield me from the chains of my weakening body, set free into the expanse of my mind. And at one point, I felt so light that I could have drifted from my body all together, so I came down from there, fearful of my momentary mental detachment. And at points, I even accepted my fate of discontinuation. Let the thought of drifting to sea be the truth of my fate. And I cried. But then a voice came from behind me from my good friend Hilton, reassuring me that I must go on. And so we did.
Parched, done, and finally accepting the fact that we had to do it, accepting in a state of delirium, 17 hours at sea, deprived of water, entering new states of the untapped suffering mind. There was freedom here amid the chaos. And a part of me enjoyed it, and I found a part of myself here that had never been. It was like howling at the moon, mind lost within the chaos of the uncontrollable. It was beautiful in a way. The sense of freedom through complete obliteration of physical condition. What a strange place to be! And the fog continued on, until it couldn't anymore, and that was when the land broke through. Freeing us into the new realm of opportunity. The bliss of being found again. Mentally and physically.
We touched the land, in a way I had never before. I was thankful, forever indebted to the majesty and power of the unknown, for that was what truly brought me home. " - Cathrine Clark
To read some other stories from the crew go to: