Success! 7/13/2010

Success!  7/13/2010
Europe to Africa.

Friday, July 16, 2010

I Still Can't Believe it!

It's Friday now, and I am sitting in the Continental Hotel in Morocco (it must have been something in it's heyday, but it's a bit shop worn now).  I hear a roster crowing and a bulldozer working even though it is nine o'clock at night.  It doesn't feel like it will ever get dark or cool off.

It's three days since my crossing, and it's still hard to believe that I made it.  I keep trying to explain the feeling that this swim was at the very edge of my ability, and I don't know how I got through.  That thing that people talk about, that inner strength or untapped reservoir, I have never been there before.  I'm not sure I'll ever go back either.  It was scary.  I thought I would quit, and I was already sad about it, and yet I didn't stop moving my arms.  I don't know what was doing that.  It didn't feel like me.  I have never thought of open water swimming as dangerous because I love being in the water so much that I have rarely felt afraid.  And I wasn't afraid this time, but I did feel like this body of water was too big, or too powerful for me to be doing this.  Crossing over on the ferry today was very interesting.  Of course the waves look smaller from so high up, and nothing looks like it does from the swimmer's vantage point, but I also could see waves crashing on themselves.  Not the sort of white caps I associated with wind, but white caps because the waves were so big, I guess.  The ferry was a huge Catamaran and is was rocking to and fro all the way over.  So the Straits are rough.  Then there were the places that looked like eddys, or rip tides or what have you.  I kept thinking of a silly TV movie of Homer's Odyssey where there is a whirlpool that is the mouth of an angry child of Poseidon's.  These looked a bit like that.  But there was no rhyme or reason to them.  The ocean is powerful and mysterious.  I guess I was a bit naive before I came, and I feel lucky not to have had to pay some hedious price for my stupidity.
But I don't think I'll be signing up for anything else soon.  I think I have gained a new respect for our sport, and I won't be quite so cavalier.  Or I just might convince myself that it's different in the Bay ;-)
I am having fun.  I didn't get to go to the desert like I had hoped.  It is just too far away.  But I went to Gibraltar (must have a t-shirt that actually says Gibraltar even if there is nothing with the Straits).  And I am having Kite Surfing lessons now that I don't have to worry about my shoulders.  All is well, it's a million degrees in Morocco.  I head to Asilah tomorrow, a beach town just down the Moroccan coast.  And then back to Spain to meet with the people who have the next swim window.  Kind of cool, we met on the Channel chat line.
Home Tuesday, sad to go, happy to be returning home.
This has been bigger, better, and more wondrous that I could have imagined.
Keep in touch, I am dying to hear about Eddie?  Anyone???


  1. You are one studette woman Rainie. I'm so proud of you following your dreams. You are definitely "Younger Next Year"!!!!!! Congratulations on an admirably awesome feat. ~ Patty (and Ted)

  2. Crying reading about your big, big adventure, thank you for sharing it. Rip roaring, and not just the tide. Sue


The Gibraltar Straits