An Wholly Unique Experience

An Wholly Unique Experience

Swimmers and the media talk about currents, jellyfish, waves, extreme water temperatures, and rough conditions when they discuss open water swimming.

The inherent risks in the open water, whether during a short 1-mile swim or during a longer marathon swim, are well-known and well-documented. Of all the world’s open water swimmers, Michael Spalding of Maui and Linda Kaiser of Oahu have arguably faced more dangerous obstacles than any other swimmers in the world over the course of their open water swimming careers.

The courageous duo who have carved their own unique channel swimming niche in the Hawaiian Islands, have had numerous encounters with sharks, box jellyfish, Portuguese man o war, currents, huge ocean swells and crushing waves during their two-decade history of crossing nine Hawaiian Island channels. Their stories surprise many who listen and learn of their swims.

The photo above shows the cookie cutter shark wound on Spalding’s calf – a remnant of the world’s only contemporary attack of such a shark on a marathon swimmer. During Spalding‘s Big Island to Maui solo crossing, he was attacked at night by a cookie cutter shark that came up from 1000 meters. With Kaiser on his escort boat, he survived to tell a shocking tale of survival in the dark at night in rough seas in the middle of the Pacific Ocean

Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source