Posts from Aug 2011

Crewing for Cliff

Aug 20 2011

This past week I had the timely opportunity to crew (as a pace swimmer) for fellow MIMSer Cliff Crozier on his Catalina Channel crossing. Timely because my own Catalina swim is scheduled for exactly a week after Cliff’s (August 24-25). A chance to help a fellow marathon swimmer, and also conduct a “dry run” for my own swim a week later? Where do I sign up?

Kevin the Kayaker at Doctor's Cove

It was a valuable experience. Unlike Tampa or MIMS (my two other big swims this year), Catalina is a full-blown channel swim – in the open ocean, with volatile, unpredictable conditions; in 3,000 feet of water that’s home to all manner of marine life, including white sharks. Catalina swims also generally take place in the middle of the night – starting around midnight and finishing mid- to late-morning. It’s tough to swim 21 miles when your body wants to be sleeping. Swimming at night can be unnerving.

I got to experience all these things without the pressure of having to swim the full 21 miles myself. And I got to observe the process of a Catalina swim from a crew-member’s perspective - which, I hope, will help things go smoothly for my own crew next week.

And Cliff actually thanked me for it!

Cliff on shore at Doctor's Cove

Jumping in for pace swim #3. Such grace! Photo credit: