Back in 2015, I was on a trip to America with my wife, her sister, brother, their partners and my wife's parents. This was before we had kids, so being adventurous was at the forefront of my mind. 

Towards the end of the USA trip we were in LA, where one of my best mates lives in Laguna Beach Southern California. I had planned to catch up with him, but what I didn't mentioned to my wife is that I had also planned to paddle 48km from Catalina Island to Manhattan Beach, CA. 



I called my mate Benny in California and said I have a hire car and tomorrow i'm driving down from LA to see him and do the Catalina Crossing. Benny had the boat ready and I was pumped!

Catalina Island has some cool history, like Mr William Wrigley, the chewing gum magnate, who with his wife Ada from 1919 - 1921, built the mansion on top of Mt Ada. It served as the family's summer cottage, allowing them an escape from Chicago's cold winters.

In 1916, Wrigley purchased the Chicago Cubs with a group of investors, wholly owning the team by 1925. The Cubs held their spring training on Catalina Island from 1921-1951 (with the exception of WWII years). Wrigley Field West was positioned in a spot where Wrigley could view the team's practice from high atop Mt Ada. He was known to watch the practice and call down to the manager to have the men run up the hill to Mt Ada if he didn't think they were practicing hard enough. 

3,2,1 we were off! a 48km journey back to the mainland of California. There was no wind, no swell to help, only a 600ml bottle of Gatorade and a local Californian paddler who gave me a super skinny Epic V14 surf ski as a stitch up. He thought, let's give this Aussie a real challenge. 

Just over 4 hours later I made it... it was hot and I was massively dehydrated. Some 10 hours later after I drove from our hotel in LA, I called my wife, she said "how is Benny, are you guys having fun?" I replied, yeah it's been a great day, we are currently having a beer catching up on old times and by the way "this morning, I paddled 48km from Catalina Island to California". 



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