Mariel Hawley Dávila Crossing The Colorful Cozumel Channel
Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.
Mariel Hawley Dávila completed a crossing of the Cozumel Channel, known as the Mexican English Channel, between the Island of Cozumel and Mexican mainland in the Gulf of Mexico along the Yucatán Peninsula.
Hawley recalls, “After almost 8 months of not being able to swim in the ocean, living in a very complicated situation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I finally got a chance to get vaccinated, and then, I faced a situation at work, but finally on June 10th, I was able to put all that aside and just enjoyed the swim. I started at 6:06 am from Cozumel on the beach of Hotel Presidente and ended at Punta Maroma Riviera Maya, after swimming 7 hours 23 minutes.
It was a magical swim. I faced every kind of weather conditions. There was glassy water at the start, then the wind picked up and the rock and roll started with the current taking me northward and with winds coming from the northeast. The wind brought the rain and after that, a beautiful rainbow.
While swimming, I thought about all the difficulties we all had to struggle with this last year due to COVID-19, but I also thought about all the changes, lessons, and in some cases, opportunities that COVID brought to our lives. The surf, waves and wind lasted through the swim, but above that and much stronger, I fought against the current that comes all the way from South America and travels north.
My crew for this swim, the captain of the boat was Rodrigo Torres and his first assistant, Diego Ponce de Leon, are both from Blue Compass Charters. They both did a great job, guiding me from the boat. Mirza Ortega, a local open water swimmer who lives in Playa del Carmen, acted as observer and record keeper. A swimmer friend Alonso and my boyfriend Gerardo, were also on the boat, helping with my hydration and cheering me all the time.
About two kilometers from land, I ended up swimming over a coral reef. It was the most beautiful sea garden I have ever seen. I wanted to stay there and just enjoy the sight, but I had to finish the swim. I kept swimming until I came out of the water at Punta Maroma, almost 30 kilometers away from where I started swimming in Cozumel – even though a straight line would have been of approximately 19 km. Today, I’m still enjoying and celebrating not only the swim but also life. Also, I would like to invite the international swimming community to come to Riviera Maya in Mexico.
Anyone could just fly to Cancun, and try the swim and also visit the impressive archeological sites around the area.”
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