Ventura Deep Six Relay Somewhere Out Off The Coast

Ventura Deep Six Relay Somewhere Out Off The Coast

The Ventura Deep Six Relay is chugging along the California coast and is now heading southward to San Diego according to its GPS mapping.

The intrepid group started at the Ventura Harbor in Ventura on early Thursday morning and first headed 26 miles (42 km) northward to Santa Barbara.

After nearly 24 hours, Tom Ball, Kurtis Baron, John Chung, Jim McConica, Jim Neitz and Mike Shaffer appear to be at or past the Stearns Wharf in Santa Barbara and now heading southward for their 176-mile stretch finish to La Jolla Cove in San Diego. You can follow them via Twitter.

The first 26 hours were very difficult due to the water temp 56-60°F (13-16°C) with navigation difficult with fog as the team zig-zagged their way along th coast, adding distance to their world record attempt.

Due to the elements, the Ventura Deep Six Relay implemented a new logistical strategy with their Mother Ship leading the course with the swimmer and observer boat following behind. “Moral got a little low [last night], but it is back up to par now with water temperature rising to a good 60-61°F (16°C) as we are currently six miles off the Coast of Channel Islands Harbor,” said Mike.

According to the crew, “The current conditions are still brutal, cold and choppy. It was an amazing experience I observed yesterday with over 500 dolphins swimming with Jim [McConica]. Currently, the hot tub [on the Mother Ship] is out of commission and is desperately needed, but it will be back up in 12 hours. Swimmers are getting 1-2 hours sleep in between their legs and food consumption is all hands on deck.”

Despite the fog, cold and extended distance from the expected which has slowed their progress, the swim has captured the attention of the local populace. Over 200 people turned out in Santa Barbara standing and cheering from the pier last night when the team made their turn southward.

Stroke by stroke, hour by hour, the team makes its way to San Diego. “We are eating anything and everything that is available on the menu with the goal of [maintaining] a high carbohydrate intake. The macaroni and cheese was wonderful. The fact that it was warm made it even better.”

After each swimmer finishes his leg they take a hot shower (because the hot tub is temporarily down), then consume food (“lots of it“) and then wrap up in blankets and rest. “We are trying to sleep whenever we can and we are lucky to get three hours at a time.”

The journey continues.

For live coverage and photos, follow the Ventura Star.

Photo by Juan Carlo of the Ventura Star staff

Copyright © 2010 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Steven Munatones