I have always wanted to do a long open water swim. Over the years this has come to mean different things. At first I was excited to swim an "Escape from Alcatraz" island in San Francisco Bay. It is 1.25 miles in cold, often rough water. Then it was a two mile "Rough Water Swim" in Santa Cruz which was to swim one mile straight out from the beach turn around a buoy and swim back. Cold, wavy fun. Next I set my sights on swimming across Donner Lake in Tahoe. This is almost a three mile swim in cold water at high altitude. The cool thing here is that you step in at one end of the lake and walk out on the other side. It is beautiful and often very difficult due to high winds. As time went on I did these swims every year along with many many others. Then I met a woman from Australia (Penny Palfrey and her husband Chris) and she had swum so many exciting sounding channel crossings and swims that I was captivated and motivated to follow her example. Well now I have my dream swim in sight and I am hear to tell everyone about it.
During the week of July 12th - 18th, 2010 I will be sitting in Tarifa Spain waiting for acceptable weather conditions to attempt to swim across the Gibraltar Straits. Yes I plan to swim from Europe to Africa and I can't wait. It's not the longest swim around, the English Channel is almost twice as long, or the coldest, those people swimming the Strait of Magellan in Chile are crazy, but it will be challenging for me. The crossing is from Tarifa, Spain to Punta Cires, Morocco a distance of about 10-12 nautical miles. I just found out that nautical miles are longer than land miles so this means about 11 - 13 miles. Aside from the fact that Gibraltar is the second busiest shipping channel in the world, and the huge tides between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean the real challenges are fog and wind. Tarifa is the windsurfing / kite boarding capitol of the world. which does not make it the best place to swim, but my mind is made up and my heart is set on Gibraltar. The mystery of swimming from one continent to another has a big hold on me.
I hope that you will follow along as I set out to train for and accomplish my dream.