Katie Benoit Started her Ka'iwi swim at 11:09pm on 10/5/13 from Papohaku Beach on Molokai and finished at Sandy Beach, Oahu 18:00:21 later.
She stood up all the way out of the water on Molokai and swam unassisted all the way to Oahu. She did not touch the boat or kayak and did not use a Shark Shield or any other swim aid.
Husband Destin Benoit was in charge of feedings
Captain Matt Buckman piloted the boat
Steve Haumschild and Jeff Kozlovich kayaked next to her
National Weather Service says for October 6, 2013: 20 knot (23 mph) NE winds for the Ka'iwi Channel. 7 foot seas.
"What was supposed to start with a cozy sunset boat ride turned into a crushing 4 hours of seasickness on our way over to Molokai. I had never been seasick before but had also never been on a boat in such swells before. I could not keep anything down. I also quickly learned what great sports my kayakers, Jeff Kozlovich, and Steve Haumschild were - after choosing the wrong side of the boat to get sick on...Let's just say they did not get discouraged and remained positive under"very nasty" conditions. Nothing made my seasickness better and I finally decided to just start swimming. We started the swim just after 11pm. As soon as I was in "my water" the seasickness went away. We had to time our start pretty well to not get hit by the incoming waves...I barely made it but Steve was not so lucky and got to empty the water out of the kayak before plunging back in. That goes to show that even a highly experienced kayaker will face some challenges in this channel...Both Steve and Jeff were my lifelines out there and I think it was their experience that made the swim possible. I'd encourage anybody to get in touch with these two if you wanna do the Kaiwi channel. We swam through a night full of white caps and the windbreak I had hoped for when I finally had some daylight never came. The swells and the lateral water movement didn't help me much and became really taxing over the hours. Around 12 hours I could see the beach....It was just a matter of making it there. A matter of another 6 hours. Finally, about 1.5 miles away from home, roughly 25.5 miles already behind me, I got hit by a man o war. Pretty intense burning sensation but too close to home to give up. I got hit in the left shoulder first and only minutes later took another one to the other side followed by one to the neck and finally to the face. I remember telling Steve to just get me out of the water...He kept a watchful eye on me and finally Jeff swam next to me and helped me to land safely on Sandy Beach. Where one final big wave face planted me in the Sand...A last slap from the Kaiwi channel . I could not help but feel like this channel just wanted to let me know I underestimated it. Assuming that everything in warm water would be easy I learned a rough lesson out there. I am not saying the English channel is easy but this was my roughest swim to date...Now a few weeks of taking it easy and then we'll start cold training for Ireland next July...This seven oceans adventure has been a great journey so far and I feel pretty grateful I get to do this stuff...Thanks Jeff, Steve, Matt, and of course Destin Benoit ! One hell of a crew " - Katie Benoit