Paddler treks from Big Island to Kauai all alone

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Maui's Bart de Zwart, not only has a cool name, he's a big time charger. He's gone from kite-surfing Jaws, all the way to Zambia to stand up paddle.

Friday night, he floated in the dark, somewhere north of Oahu. This time, he's trying something no one has done before. He's on night three of his non-stop, unsupported, stand-up paddle trip from the Big Island to Kauai.

300 miles, all by himself. De Zwart left Keokea on the Big Island early Wednesday morning, stocked up with water, food, and a GPS for the five day trek. De Zwart championed the first leg of the journey in the dark. His good friend, Jimmie Hepp said, "The wind blew him so hard he thought he was going to end up in Lahaina!" Plus, he got seasick, and his paddle board flipped over several times; he only lost his camera to the ocean.

His wife, Dagmar, and his daughter, Soleil, along with Hepp rented a plane to look for de Zwart on Thursday, off the coast of Maui. You can check out the photos in the video on this page.

De Zwart passed through the Kaiwi Channel around 2:30 p.m. Friday, then passed the North Shore of Oahu later that evening.

But, how does he sleep? Hepp told me de Zwart sleeps in a wet suit on top of a blow up mattress. He explained, "It's some sort of a specially made air mattress with sides and stuff to it to help keep him dry. It's attached to this board, which is 14 feet by 28 inches. And he sleeps in it and he stays dry."

But, why would de Zwart try this? He posted this on his blog: "The answer is simple. I think, sometimes it is good to do something difficult and hard, in order to appreciate life, people, food and all the things around we often take for granted."

De Zwart should reach Kauai by Sunday. His wife will be waiting with fresh food and a change of clothes.

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