Elite Waterman Jamie Mitchell Embarks On 170 Mile Paddle of The Channel Islands Just One Day After Tragedy
Los Angeles, Calif. (September 2019) — On Sept 2nd professional big wave surfer and 10-time paddle champion Jamie Mitchell awoke to the news of the MV Conception tragedy off Santa Cruz island. Later that day Jamie and a film crew of 10 would prepare to board a boat to document “Seven Crossings”, a 170-mile paddle of the Channel Islands to raise money and promote solutions towards a sustainable planet.
Just two days later Jamie completed the second of the planned seven crossings, landing on Santa Cruz island just a short distance from where the Conception caught fire and emergency crews were working in the aftermath. With many members of the team having a personal relationship with the Conception it was a heartfelt reminder that we are not only connected by the ocean, but also in triumph as much as we are in tragedy. Over 5 days and with a heavy heart, Mitchell paddled by hand the seven crossings of all eight of the Channel Islands located just off the Los Angeles, California coast. In total Mitchell paddled nearly 170 miles through some of the most biodiverse and shark populated regions in the world. To put this into perspective a typical long-distance paddle is about 30 miles. Jamie completed the first three crossings in one day, followed by paddles with distances of 44, 30, 55 and 28 miles back to back, at times dealing with adverse conditions, mechanical problems and winds up to 30 knots. Finishing at Cat Harbor on the backside of Catalina Island, Jamie was greeted by family and friends to help celebrate this unprecedented accomplishment. No doubt the first of it’s kind.
The Seven Crossings Project was borne out of the idea that our oceans connect us all and the paddle is just the beginning of the projects plans. Over the coming months, Jamie and his team will build upon this idea to spark global action to collectively commit to facing impending environmental challenges in order to create a sustainable future. In partner with USC’s Wrigley Institute of Environmental Studies whose campus is on Catalina Island, Jamie intends to shed light on the biggest threats facing our oceans due to climate change and human impact, and promote the scientific progress being made towards finding sustainable solutions. Says Mitchell, “the ocean has given us so much, and now it’s time to give back. I want to make sure my daughters can see live, colorful coral, eat healthy seafood, and swim in a clean ocean. None of that will happen unless we make significant changes to address climate change, ocean acidification, waste and sustainable sources for food and water. We need more help in getting solutions out to the world and educating people of all ages about the science—so that we can enact good policy, homes and businesses become more sustainable, and we can make better choices for ourselves and our planet.” The Project’s plans include a worldwide release of an episodic documentary series sometime in 2020.