Planning Expedition by Joseph Mullin
There is much more than just planning a trip. For one thing an expedition last longer. There is more to consider, safety logistics, food, water, clothing, shelter, communications, and charts.
I am looking to paddle 2,000 miles next year solo so far. I figure it will take 8 months. I welcome any expert sea kayakers to join me if not for the whole distance then whatever you feel comfortable doing.
I have charts for the whole trip and I am plotting courses noting compass bearing and notating danger zones and tide checks. I am stockpiling freeze dried food and other necessities. I have made modifications to my kayak to improve integrity and increase hatch integrity. I have added navionics and tide apps to my phone. I also have the Coast Guard app so I can do daily float plans and email them to my family and a friend.
One must have a great understanding of tides and currents as well as the rules to navigation. One must also realize that most boaters either ignore the rules or do not know them so always give right away for your safety and those with you.
Another thing of major importance is that the plans you make are not written in stone. Conditions can change in a moment’s notice out on the water. One must be ready to make assessments and revise or scrap and make whole new plans. What I call adapt and improvise. I have 20 years of emergency management experience where we were good at risk/benefit analysis and making rapid decisions based on that assessment.
I am frequently asked if I will be in sight of land at all. times. The answer is most of the time but there are areas where I will not be in sight of land but will have to rely on my compass bearings to get me to the next land mass. The other question is will I follow along the shoreline. The answer is not right on the shoreline but within 3 miles of it. I have found in my experience that the water is calmer out about ½ to ¾ of a mile from shore. If you are crossing harbors or island hoping that distance could easily reach 3 to 5 miles. If you are not comfortable with these distances then this trip is not for you. What seas will you paddle in? The answer is, up to 6 foot swells is what I am comfortable in with up to 20 mph winds gusting to 30. These are conditions that I train in for this expedition.
I think that the things I have going for me is that I don’t panic in any situation. I clearly assess the situation and find the best solution. I do not quit. There is always a better path to take if you know how to read the water. Do not focus on how your body feels focus on the end of the destination the goal and you will get there. Keep focused and keep your head straight.
It is also good to have a purpose a cause for what you are doing. Mine for this expedition is Mission 22 to raise awareness that 22 of my brother and sister vets are committing suicide and I find this unacceptable.
If you would like to follow my progress I have a website set up already, ACSKE2017.org
Leave questions and comments on the sight and I will answer them.