On October 26th, Simon and Louise Murie of SwimTrek and Margie and David (Egg) Sullivan fulfilled their long-held dream of swimming across the Tagus River in Portugal.

Under the guidance of Portuguese marathon swimmer Miguel Arrobas, they started to live their dream to cross the mouth of the largest river on the Iberian Peninsula soon after stepping off the airplane in Lisbon. Whisked from Lisbon by Arrobas, they began executing on their plans to relive and revive the initial swim completed 2 centuries ago by Lord Byron.

Lord Byron had presumably completed this swim prior to having completed his famous unprecedented swim across the Hellespont in 1810.

The Murie’s and Sullivan’s aimed to cross the mouth of the Tagus River from the south to north, a distance of 2 km.

The quartet were the first non-Portuguese to attempt and succeed in this swim since Lord Byron. But it was not easy, although the challenge was welcomed. They faced rather harsh conditions with strong winds whipping up irregular surface chop as they swam across strong currents and dodged shipping traffic in the 17°C water.

Starting from a small village called Porto Brandão, about 500 meters from the Atlantic Ocean, they had their choice of finishing at several possible landing points on the Lisbon side of the Tagus. Swimming largely in a group, they elected to finish at the famous Belém Tower, a monument created to mark the point from which the Portuguese caravels departed over 500 years ago to discover the world, amid a cluster of monuments and historical buildings.

How history repeats itself.

Footnote: Simon Murie finished in 1 hour 18 minutes; Margie Sullivan finished in 1 hours 21 minutes; and Louise Murie and David Sullivan finished in 1 hour 28 minutes.

 

 

Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source


 

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