1,000 Miles to Cabo

San Diego Bay is home to the world’s largest long-range sportfishing fleet, with boats up to 120 feet routinely cruising to fishing grounds hundreds of miles away. But the fleet is about to be trumped by a man in a kayak.
David Kalwick, a 48-year-old San Diego-based 3-D animator, plans to embark on a 1,000-mile solo fishing trip that will take him all the way to Mexico’s Cabo San Lucas, at the southern tip of Baja California. Kalwick plans to leave later this month from San Diego Harbor. He’ll stay within a few miles of land along a narrow ribbon of inshore waters where crashing surf meets rugged desert, where safe harbors are few and where civilization is often marked by primitive fish camps.
“I’ve fished and surfed many beaches in Baja,” Kalwick said. “But this is Pacific Ocean survival. Aside from a few protein bars, I’ll be living off what the ocean provides.”

Kalwick has talked with sailors who have made the same ocean journey and has decided not to venture too far offshore, except to visit islands along the way. In case a storm comes up, being near land will allow him to quickly paddle out of harm’s way.

Kalwick’s main fears are getting lost, being towed out to sea by a big fish and running out of water. To avoid getting lost, he’ll take along a bevy of electronics, including a GPS receiver and a personal locator beacon (PLB) to alert authorities via satellite in case of an emergency. A pocketknife to cut the line will be his only safeguard against being towed too far from land.

For drinking water, he’ll have to rely on a hand-operated water-maker, which he hopes will produce enough to meet his needs. Hand-operated water-makers have been around since the 1980s, when the Navy procured them to provide emergency fresh water for downed pilots. Kalwick said he might supplement his water supply with a homemade solar still.

While most open ocean rowers and kayakers would likely need to train for such an undertaking, Kalwick said he has all his muscle groups well aligned. The fitness buff is an avid ocean kayaker who works out, swims or surfs daily.

Kalwick recently — purposely — took his Trident kayak out in 16 mph winds to test his endurance. He paddled furiously against the wind for 18 miles.

During his 1,000-mile kayak trip, Kalwick hopes to enjoy some of the world’s finest fishing along Baja California’s western coast. Yellowtail, tuna, marlin, barracuda, bass and bonito are all top-notch fighters, and he expects they will give him a welcome break from the protein bars he’s packing for sustenance. Kalwick’s kayak fishing experience includes landing a 35-pound yellowfin tuna about 40 miles offshore.

Kalwick originally hatched his plan in 2009, and he began putting things together in early April. Since then, he’s picked up waterproof photo and high-definition video gear to document his journey. With no camera crew trailing behind, Kalwick summed up his adventure as “‘Survivorman’ meets Ernest Hemingway’s ‘The Old Man and the Sea.’”

Credits: The Log - California Boating and Fishing news