Three solo swimmers have attempted the notorious Kaieiewaho Channel between the islands of Oahu and Kauai in Hawaii between 1976 and yesterday.
With the channel’s depth up to 10,890 feet (3,319 meters), the shortest point between the two island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean is a nearly impossibly long 72 miles (115.8 km) in warm, tropical waters.
“The Kaieiewaho Channel has never been successfully crossed…and perhaps it never will be,” predicted Steven Munatones. “It is not necessarily the sheer distance or the strong currents that are the barriers of success that previously defeated Jonathan Ezer and Penny Palfrey. Neither are the massive ocean swells nor the abundant sharks that are the deal-killers for swimmers like Jonathan and Penny. Rather the ocean swimmer’s greatest obstacles to success is smaller much smaller and largely unseen.
55-year-old Chris Shoup, a former Pearl Harbor Marine from Atlanta, Georgia, started his solo attempt from Kaena Point on Oahu to Nawiliwili Harbor on Kauai on Friday. According to Mahealani Richardson of Hawaii News Network, Shoup used a makeshift 7-foot net put together with shower curtains and PVC piping dragging from a kayak, created to avoid debilitating stings of the man o war.
Shoup was escorted by Matt Buckman for 8 hours before the venom of the stings was too much to bear. “He hoped to finish around midnight Sunday morning [after starting on Friday].”
“I figure that [the net] should eliminate 95% of the sting,” said Shoup.
It was not enough. Shoup’s swim was a valiant effort without a doubt, but another DNF in the Kaieiewaho Channel.
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