Friday, 19 August 2011


The day after the B2B swim, I rejoined Leslie Thomas and a group of Swim-Art swimmers to swim from Alcatraz to Aquatic Park. Fantastically, this was the swim that I won in the raffle at the CS&PF dinner last year, and which Leslie had kindly donated, so it was an extra special treat.

The 15 Swim-Art swimmers were joined by 45 triathletes from a local club - they travelled out on a different boat, but we shared the corridor of safety kayaks and ribs that led us into through the entrance to the sheltered waters of Aquatic Park and the beach finish.

The jump-off at the start showed the differences between the two groups - we jumped in in an orderly manner, one at a time, before starting to swim, while the triathletes piled overboard, lemming-like, forming a churning mass of swimmers. But eventually we all straggled out anyway, paddling our way through the very rough conditions, aiming to the left of the cove mouth in order to account for the ebbing tide flowing out under the Golden Gate Bridge. I was quite relaxed for the first half of the swim, enjoying great views of the GG Bridge when I breathed to the right, and the Bay Bridge to my left. But at some point I found myself with a couple of swimmers around me who were obviously racing, and try as I might to ignore them, I ended up joining in and really pushing for the last 15 mins or so. It's not a long swim (about 1.5 miles), but it's iconic and fun.

Interesting fact of the day....according to my guide book, they used to make the prisoners have hot showers so that they would not be acclimatised to cold water and be tempted to swim for it.

And with that, my San Francisco trip comes to an end and it's back to the UK I go.

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