The Sun Is Shining From Oahu To Kauai

The Sun Is Shining From Oahu To Kauai

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Penny Palfrey is no longer under the radar in Hawaii as she wowed the local media with her humble nature and quiet confidence. The lead-up to any unprecedented marathon swim is always a time for worry – and relaxation. “I’ve loved my training swims in front of the Waikiki Parc Hotel just a few seconds walk to a sandy beach and into the warm, clear Pacific Ocean.”

“[In my training swims] I’ve swum with turtles and tropical fish. Yesterday the sun was shining and there was a very light sun shower, a beautiful colored rainbow arched above the Waikiki Beach Hotel as I finished my training swim.”

She and her crew are monitoring the conditions daily and trying to pick the optimal time for her to set off on her 72-mile solo swim from Oahu to Kauai – a feat that has never been done.

Unlike stepping off of Dover or Catalina for English Channel or Catalina Channel swims, Penny’s swim will face hazards right from the start. During the winter, Oahu’s shore, including Kaena Point, receives the wrath of the Pacific Ocean. Although Penny will select a time when the swells are small, Kaena Point is hit with large, powerful waves (up to 15 meters or 49 feet in height), larger than nearby Waimea Bay, one of the world’s most famous surfing spots. Her launching point is in a very remote area without rescue capabilities where she will also face dangerous rip currents.

People can follow Palfrey’s progress via texts or tweets. In mid-channel, however, her crew is going to be disconnected to the Internet so the entire 116K swim will not be covered. Similar to the 1960s when the Apollo capsules went behind the moon and NASA lost communications temporarily with the astronauts, there will be a period of time when real-time communications will be temporarily suspended between Penny’s escort boat and the global open water swimming community.

Copyright © 2010 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Steven Munatones