On June 25, 1987, 36-year-old Ed Gillet launched from California’s Monterey Bay in a sea kayak to paddle solo across the Pacific. He spent the next 64 days alone, subsisting on dabs of toothpaste near his journey’s end. When he finally landed at Maui’s Kahului Harbor, he became the first person to complete an unsupported solo kayak crossing of the Pacific, an endeavor that hasn’t been matched since.


Although reluctant to speak of his experience, Gillet found a kindred spirit in Dave Shively ’95, a fellow kayaker, and spoke to him at length. Their continued correspondence resulted in a 6,000-word piece for Canoe & Kayak, and eventually, a book, The Pacific Alone, recently published last year.

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