Another Epic Swim From The Farallons

Another Epic Swim From The Farallons

Karen Rogers, whose 21.5-mile crossing of California’s Lake Tahoe was nominated as one of the Great Open Water Swims of 2009 has even bigger, more audacious plans for 2010: she will attempt to the first person to swim from the rugged Farallons, a group of islands 43K (27 miles) west of the Golden Gate Bridge to Aquatic Park in San Francisco.

Besides the upsprings of frigid water that surround these isolated islands, a healthy community of a variety of seals and sea lions attract a large number of whales of various sorts and predatory Great White Sharks to the Farallon Islands. Their feeding frenzies in this extraordinary treacherous stretch of water have been captured on film (see below).

The Farallon Islands were once described by English Channel swimmer Leonore Melnick as ‘the coldest, windiest, bleakest, nastiest spot in the American Pacific.’

There are many who agree wholeheartedly. Which makes it a spectacular location for an open water swim of epic proportions.

From this isolated rocky point in the Pacific Ocean, Karen will follow in the footsteps of two pioneering swimmers from the 1960’s: calm conditions in August 1967, 41-year-old Lieutenant Colonel Colonel Stuart Evans and Ted Erikson.

Back before GPS and innovative training programs, these two hardy men raced each other during the summer of 1967 to become the first to cross swim from the Farallons. Ultimately, Colonel Evans was first in August when he swam in 13.3°C (56°F) water, starting at 10:17 pm at night, and finished at Point Bolinas, north of the Golden Gate Bridge, after an excruciating 13 hours and 46 minutes.

Later in September, Ted swam a slightly further route from the Farallons to the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge in 14 hours and 38 minutes after two previous attempts where sharks, cold water, engine failures, adverse tides, confusion, and hypothermia contributed to failure.

Karen‘s plan is to go beyond the Golden Gate Bridge and finish in the heart of the San Francisco Bay swimming community, Aquatic Park in San Francisco, where throngs of like-minded folks and the media are expected to greet her at the footsteps of the famed Dolphin Club and South End Rowing Club.

Karen recently did a 3 hour and 20 minute 14-mile practice swim in 50°F (10°C) water in the Bay, so we are confident that she is preparing herself well – and is ideally suited – to do this historic swim.

Note: Karen will be swimming through an extraordinary treacherous stretch of water (see below). Note: images may be too graphic for young children and some open water swimming enthusiasts. Click with care.

Copyright © 2010 by Open Water Source
Steven Munatones