The Night Train Calls It A Day

The Night Train Calls It A Day

The Night Train Swimmers called off their Farallons Island relay attempt ten miles from shore when it was obvious the 20-foot seas were too rough for the safety of the team.

A video of the rough seas is shown here – and the video was taken before the worse was about to hit the 43-foot escort boat.

The team was surprised by the viciousness of the ocean.  Mother Nature most definitely had the upper hand today.  “The Potato Patch – outside the Golden Gate Bridge – was just the beginning.  It was too much for a safe swim,” said swimmer and knowledgeable local expert David Holscher.

The fog was a surprise for this time of year, but it was not unusual considering the approaching weather which had caused numerous flight delays. During spring in this area, there are fewer Great White Sharks, but there are eiither storms causing wind and swell from the northwest or a pressure gradient bringing some fierce winds, often to 50 knots in March and April.

Summer and fall bring better weather in this area.  When there is an ebb tide with a swell running, it causes waves to increase to up to twice the swell size.

Given those conditions, safety was always paramount with captain Vito Bialla and it led him and his team to make a prudent decision today.  Ted Erikson, the last man to successfully cross from the Farallons Islands to the California mainland, took three attempts before succeeding in 1967.  The Night Train Swimmers will regroup and make another assault for their third time too.

Photo of lead-off swimmer Phil Cutti by Jim Hughes Photography.

Copyright © 2011 by Open Water Source
Steven Munatones