Up The River Downtown

Jim Alabiso has been using open water swimming as an advocacy for the local waterways in northeast Florida, specifically the St. Johns River.

We also raise money for the Special Olympics Swim team so they can go to the Nationals. Most of our swims range from 10 km to 12 miles, timed with the ebb/flood tide since we are an estuary with much guidance coming from Captain Tim Johnson.”

He has been more successful than ever. “We have completed over 60 swims in this body of water. This year we are doing another 10 km event.

We are usually accompanied by a community flotilla of dragon boats, fire boats, kayakers, and SUP’s. The popularity of the event is striking. There are crowds as far as the eye can see, greeting the swimmers as they arrive. We swim 5 bridges from Jacksonville University to the Fuller Warren Bridge.

Our ocean temperatures bottomed out at 50.5ºF, but we were hoping for high 40ºF’s this year because we rarely get to experience that in this region. We are still mid 50ºF’s so we have a few more weeks of cold water left
.”



Photography is provided by Fran Ruchalski.

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association