On Monday, Helen and I fly out to California for her Catalina Channel Crossing! This is her first major swim since the Rottnest Channel Swim in February. In the meantime she has been training hard since March, including The Cork Distance Camp, and a long season in Dover Harbour. Regular readers will also know that she was there as my crew chief for my English Channel crossing in July. Relentlessly organised and efficient, an ever smiling presence on Sea Satin as I loped my way towards France.
Now it is her turn! And my turn to be crew chief!!
Helen is booked on Outrider, one of only two boats escorting swimmers on this swim, between Santa Catalina and the mainland near Los Angeles. We are expecting to start swimming around midnight on Saturday 11th October. ‘All very precise’, I hear you cry!! Indeed. Unlike the English Channel which is the epitome of uncertainty due to the flaky weather, you nearly always go at the day and time you book for Catalina, as the weather is much more predictable. Typically the conditions are relatively flat when you set off from the Island, and stay that way until you land, typically around lunchtime the next day. And then, almost regular as clockwork, the wind gets up in the late afternoon.
Typically the wildlife is more amusing as well. A swimmer might expect mad phosphorescence for the first few hours, a visit from dolphins along the way, and kelp to swim through on the way in. Whales, sharks, turtles, rays, and various fish also abound in these waters. In the English Channel, however, you are almost certain to get jellyfish, and that’s probably your lot, unless you are very lucky and get dolphins!
I have expressly booked dolphins for Helen. She will be very cross with me if they don’t show……..
Here is her tracker link to follow her swim:
Here also is the link to her fundraising site:
Good luck Helen, not that you will need it. You’re not just super, you’re awesome.