Atlantic Crossing 4 - You Can't See Where You Are Going

Atlantic Crossing 4 – You Can’t See Where You Are Going

Jennifer Figge and her crew on the Atlantic Crossing 4 are getting ready to shove off Cape Verde off the coast of western Africa to attempt a continuous stage swim across the Atlantic Ocean.

The winds are too high today and tomorrow so no one has left the harbor on Cape Verde. Her plan is to sail to the Island of Brava on Saturday or Sunday and finally dive in slack tide on Monday, April 8th morning to start her Atlantic Crossing 4.

With the aim of swimming daily, Figge has assembled the following crew members:

Captain Tamas Hamor, First Mate Sara Hajdu, Engineer Zoltan Hamor, Filmmaker Zoltan Vad-Horvath, Dr. Ewa Gorszczyk, Weather Specialist Nick Bilinski, and PR Specialist Alison Margo (located in Colorado).

We asked Figge who will not touch land for several weeks questions about how she gathered her crew:

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: How did you select your crew?
Figge: It was by chance here in Mindelo Harbor in 2009 when a diver from the United States decided that he could not cross the Atlantic Ocean. I posted a sign and Tamas Hamor from Hungary came to the boat. He was my rescue diver in 30 foot seas. Surrendering to fate is the first step you take toward the water’s edge.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Have the crew known each other before?
Figge: Oh yes, we know one another. Five ocean crossings, over 12,000 miles drifting for 150 days, celebrating birthdays, New Year’s Eve, and adventure on the high seas are our common ties. The longest sail with my family ever was 2 weeks [in comparison]. But we have one new member, Ewa, a pediatrician from Poland which is perfect since my mental age is 8!

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Any problems that you foresee?
Figge: This sport is a bit like life itself. You can’t see where you are going, but you must just keep going. It is about loving the sea and yielding to her whims and power. All on board seem to understand that and all goes well.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: How do you keep it all together,yourself?
Figge: It is harder to keep everything together on land. Life is simpler without trappings of the modern world. It is the way it was. The real question is how does Tamas keep it together? The worst thing that can happen to a captain is a man-overboard situation in the middle of an ocean. He has a woman overboard every day, all day. His answer would be….the Friday night crew poker games help. That is when I take the helm.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What is the estimated duration of the swim?
Figge: The last Atlantic Crossing was 31 days. I cannot say for sure as it depends on the wind and current.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Will you report your daily progress and distance traveled?
Figge: Aspen Times writer Alison Margo will post the data daily or almost daily, depending on our satellite phone and time zones on my website.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What is the cost of this adventure?,br/> Figge: Swim cap and goggles are $35, savings on airfare is about $3,000, and swimming across the Atlantic is priceless.

Her Atlantic Crossing 3 data is as follows:

Day 1 (April 21) swam 4.12 nm from Brava at 5:00 am, drifted 67.7 nm in 78ºF (25.5ºC) water in 15-18 knot winds and a counter current and jellyfish
Day 2 (April 22) swam 2.98 nm at 2:00 am, drifted 73.6 nm in 79ºF (26ºC) water in 8-10 foot choppy seas with 18-20 knot winds and a huge white tip shark
Day 3 (April 23) swam 4.0 nm at 5:15 am, drifted 62.2 nm in 80ºF (26.6ºC) water in 10-14 foot choppy seas with 20-22 knot winds
Day 4 (April 24) swam 6.03 nm at 5:35 am, drifted 70.6 nm in 81ºF (27ºC) water in 6-8 foot seas with 14-16 knot winds
Day 5 (April 25) swam 6.35 nm at 6:00 am, drifted 56.4 nm in 81ºF (27ºC) water in 6-8 foot seas with 14-16 knot winds and bad visibility due to very cloudy conditions
Day 6 (April 26) swam 6.6 nm at 6:00 am, drifted 57.7 nm in 81ºF (27ºC) water in 6-8 foot seas with 14-16 knot winds
Day 7 (April 27) swam 8.27 nm at 5:25 am, drifted 69.1 nm in 82ºF (27.7ºC) water in 6-8 foot seas with 14-16 knot winds with jellyfish stings to face and giant, aggressive pilot whale
Day 8 (April 28) swam 8.42 nm at 5:15 am, drifted 63.4 nm in 82ºF (27.7ºC) water in 6-8 foot seas with 14-16 knot winds with a big shark under the boat
Day 9 (April 29) swam 8.85 nm at 5:30 am, drifted 68.4 nm in 82ºF (27.7ºC) water in 4-6 foot seas with 10-12 knot winds with 3 huge fins, probably pilot whales, 1st fuel transfer from pillow tanks
Day 10 (April 30) swam 7.45 nm at 4:45 am, drifted 58.7 nm in 81ºF (27ºC) water in 5-7 foot seas with 12-14 knot winds with a a bunch of pilot whales
Day 11 (May 1) swam 6.16 nm at 4:00 am, drifted 63.2 nm in 81ºF (27ºC) water in 8-10 foot seas with 12-14 knot winds with jellyfish and avoiding a long line
Day 12 (May 2) swam 9.24 nm at 5:30 am, drifted 61.3 nm in 82ºF (27.7ºC) water in 8-10 foot seas with 12-14 knot winds with a pod of dolphins
Day 13 (May 3) swam 8.65 nm at 4:15 am, drifted 80.1 nm in 82ºF (27.7ºC) water in 6-8 foot seas with 12-14 knot winds with a curious shark and Portuguese man o war stings
Day 14 (May 4) swam 7.62 nm at 4:35 am, drifted 64.5 nm in 82ºF (27.7ºC) water in 10-12 foot seas with 14-16 knot winds with jellyfish and Portuguese man o war stings
Day 15 (May 5) swam 11.45 nm at 5:50 am, drifted 61.9 nm in 81ºF (27ºC) water in 12-16 foot seas with 20-22 knot winds, huge rollers
Day 6 (May 6) swam 11.93 nm at 5:55 am, drifted 72.1 nm in 82ºF (27.7ºC) water in 6-8 foot seas with 14-16 knot winds
Day 17 (May 7) swam 11.33 nm at 5:10 am, drifted 76.4 nm in 82ºF (27.7ºC) water in 12-18 foot seas with 18-22 knot winds and huge rollers
Day 18 (May 8) swam 11.32 nm at 4:50 am, drifted 74.6 nm at 83ºF (28.3ºC) water in 10-12 foot seas with 18-20 knot winds and strong current
Day 19 (May 9) swam 8.21 nm at 5:00 am, drifted 74.8 nm in 83ºF (28.3ºC) water in 10-12 foot seas with 20-22 knot winds
Day 20 (May 10) swam 9.66 nm at 5:40 am, drifted 69.4 nm in 83ºF (28.3ºC) water in 8-10 foot seas and 16-20 knot winds, 2nd fuel transfer from pillow tanks
Day 21 (May 11) swam 7.98 nm at 4:00 am, drifted 80.6 nm in 84ºF (28.8ºC) water in 6-8 foot seas and 14-16 knot winds
Day 22 (May 12) swam 4.46 nm at 2:10 am, drifted 85.3 nm in 84ºF (28.8ºC) water in 6-8 foot seas and 16-18 knot winds with Portuguese man o war stings
Day 23 (May 13) swam 10.43 nm at 4:40 am, drifted 77.3 nm in 84ºF (28.8ºC) water in 10-12 foot seas and 18-22 knot winds with Portuguese man o war stings
Day 24 (May 14) swam 8.25 nm at 4:20 am, drifted 83.1 nm in 84ºF (28.8ºC) water in 12-16 foot seas and 20-24 knot winds and constant Portuguese man o war stings
Day 25 (May 15) swam 11.31 nm at 3:45 am, drifted 91.5 nm in 84ºF (28.8ºC) water in 10-12 foot seas and 16-18 knot winds with constant Portuguese man o war stings
Day 26 (May 16) did not swim due to heavy rain and no visibility. Too risky to swim in 14-18 knot winds
Day 27 (May 17) swam 8.59 nm at 5:35 am, drifted 73.1 nm in 84ºF (28.8ºC) water in 6-8 foot seas and 16-20 knot winds and very green water from the Amazon
Day 28 (May 18) swam 14.22 nm at 5:25 am, drifted 84.4 nm in 84ºF (28.8ºC) water in 4-6 foot seas and 12-16 knot winds and very green water from the Amazon,br/> Day 29 (May 19) swam 12.29 nm at 4:10 am, drifted 87.3 nm in 84ºF (28.8ºC) water in 6-8 foot seas and 12-16 knot windds with big unidentified fish jumping and strong currents
Day 30 (May 20) swam 7.47 nm at 3:00 am, drifted 104.2 nm in 84ºF (28.8ºC) water in 4-6 foot seas and 10-14 knot winds with rain and clouds
Day 31 (May 21) swam 7.08 nm at 1:30 am and arrived at Gran Riviere in Trinidad in 84ºF (28.8ºC) water and 4-6 foot seas and 10-14 knot winds under a very strong current

The total stage swim took 31 days from Brava to Trinidad with 250.72 nm of swimming and 2,186.8 nm of drifting

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