Strait of Juan de Fuca (Détroit de Juan de Fuca)

malinakamalinaka Seattle, WACharter Member
edited May 2013 in Event Announcements
This July, I'll be attempting to cross the Strait of Juan de Fuca. In brief, the swim is a cross from Vancouver Island, BC to Washington state with a minimum straight-line distance of 11.6 miles (18.7km), water temperatures rarely above 52F (11C), ships, orcas, ocean swells, an international crossing, and and some strong currents. I'll be following the SBCSA Rules for an unassisted swim.

This is the first big swim I've planned on my own and wow has it been an experience. There is a long-winded write up coming in installments at http://forums.usms.org/blog.php?36101-andrewmalinak, where I'll attempt to cover the historical, technical, and legal aspects of the swim, and occasionally talk about my feelings.
dpm50

I don't wear a wetsuit; it gives the ocean a sporting chance.

Tagged:

Comments

  • jcmalickjcmalick Wilmington, DECharter Member
    Flippin Sweet Andrew! I've always thought this sounded like one of the best swims from "Wind Waves and Sunburns!"
  • timsroottimsroot Charter Member
    Good read. Sounds like a fun swim and good place to train. I'm a little jealous about people not dismissing you as insane when you talk about setting that far.
  • malinakamalinaka Seattle, WACharter Member
    I've put a summary of my research up on http://forums.usms.org/entry.php?28721-Strait-of-Juan-de-Fuca-a-brief-history-of-swimming

    If anyone out there knows of any other successful crosses I've missed, please let me know. Same goes for unsuccessful attempts. I just can't believe merely three people have tried this swim since 1958.

    Spreadsheet summary and primary sources available upon request.

    I don't wear a wetsuit; it gives the ocean a sporting chance.

  • david_barradavid_barra NYCharter Member
    Marilyn Bell currently resides in New Paltz. I'm trying to meet her for lunch some time.

    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited May 2013
    malinaka said:

    I'll be following the SBCSA Rules for an unassisted swim.

    Andrew, this is a very interesting swim, and I'm excited to follow your progress! I also added your blog RSS to the Marathon Swimmers Feed.

    If I may ask, why did you decide on SBCSA rules for your swim?
  • malinakamalinaka Seattle, WACharter Member
    There are four reasons I chose the SBCSA rules:
    1) I didn't want to write a set for scratch knowing that what I planned would fit into rules already established elsewhere
    2) SBCSA is the closest (geographically) major swim sanctioning body
    3) I like the provision about not drafting
    4) The rules were easy to find, read, and download from their website (very important)

    I found establishing the rules ahead of time has helped me focus on some of the smaller details, and also make sure the whole crew is on the same page with what I expect from the swim.

    I should note: no sanctioning body has approved this swim and there will be no official, sanctioned CBCSA observer on board. However the rules will be read on the boat ride out in the presence of the entire crew and adhered to in full. Take that for what it's worth.

    I don't wear a wetsuit; it gives the ocean a sporting chance.

  • NiekNiek Heiloo, NetherlandsCharter Member
    edited May 2013

    and there will be no official, sanctioned CBCSA observer on board.

    Don't they want to send one or are the costs to high for you?

    I suggest that you might get an swimming official from Canada along for the swim.
    O.W. swimming ranking so high in Canada there should be one close by. Maybe the Canadian Swimming Federation is willing to sponsor an ow official. https://www.swimming.ca/ContactUs

    Or Tourism Vancouver Island

    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!

  • SalishSeaSalishSea Nanaimo, BC CanadaMember
    You might want to talk to the nice folks at the Vancouver Open Water Swimming Association. http://vowsa.bc.ca/ they have done a Salish Sea swim a few years in a row now from the main land to VI. As well, I live on VI, so depending when you are doing it in July, I might be able to help out if you need it.
  • malinakamalinaka Seattle, WACharter Member
    edited July 2013
    The forecasts are out for this weekend and I'll be making my attempt on Sunday, 28 July 2013, beginning at 6am PDT.

    There is a gale warning in effect for tonight, and high winds forecast to blow straight down the Strait every afternoon through Monday, so I'm expecting some lovely swells to be present. The weather has been gorgeous (if you like blue sky and sun) in Seattle for weeks now, and ironically that is driving this strong diurnal wind pattern.

    If you are interested in the planning process for this swim, there are 7,800 words for you to read on USMS Forums.

    Also, forum member @CaitlinRosen will be on board live-tweeting from @ andrewswims, and I'll be trackable by my fancy AIS unit (MMSI 367575160) on VesselFinder.com.

    Here's hoping the wind dies down.

    I don't wear a wetsuit; it gives the ocean a sporting chance.

  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    Andrew, may the (gale) force be with you, sir! Have a great swim.
  • MikeHMikeH Member
    Best of luck, Andrew! Looking forward to hearing about your success...
  • NiekNiek Heiloo, NetherlandsCharter Member
    edited July 2013
    Andrew I got all the confidence in you.
    I loved reading about the planing and thanks for sharing it all on http://forums.usms.org/blog.php?36101-Please-tap-on-the-glass

    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!

  • david_barradavid_barra NYCharter Member
    Andrew, Thank you for enlightening us as to mountain of prep work this swim requires. Your detailed documentation is a great service to all who fall asleep with google earth on our screens.
    Wishing you great good luck! I will be following as I can though may be in transit for a good portion

    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

  • malinakamalinaka Seattle, WACharter Member
    Thanks everyone!

    This morning I was copied on an internal memo from the Sector Puget Sound VTS Director to his staff and the Canadain VTS staff saying the following: "Although this swim attempt is potentially dangerous, Mr. Malinak has complied with all requirements of USCG/CCG and has gained the approval of the District Commander for this event." I'm extremely excited to see this all come together so well. To get acknowledgement of the risk in the same sentence as approval for the swim makes me beyond happy.

    I hope you'll all find some of the planning useful in your future endeavours.

    Splash time is now 0800PDT to give the wind a chance to calm down.

    I don't wear a wetsuit; it gives the ocean a sporting chance.

  • NiekNiek Heiloo, NetherlandsCharter Member
    0800 PDT = 1500 UTC/GMT

    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!

  • IronMikeIronMike Moscow, RussiaCharter Member
  • IronMikeIronMike Moscow, RussiaCharter Member

    According to his FB, looks like he did it! Congrats Andrew @malinaka !!!

    dpm50
  • dpm50dpm50 PA, U.S.Senior Member

    Absolutely, congrats! Sounds like a very challenging swim! Would love to hear from him how it went down!

    IronMike
  • wendyv34wendyv34 Vashon, WASenior Member

    NICE!! =D>

    It's always a bad hair day when you work at a pool.

  • malinakamalinaka Seattle, WACharter Member

    Above, my first public announcement of this swim. Below, the result of that announcement...

    My plan to wait until September for the water to warm up didn't pan out too well: the water was 48-49. My plan to pick a date from a window also didn't go as expected, since the captain wasn't available on the day I wanted and we all had work on Tuesday, so I instead I chose a morning with 25kt winds and light rain.

    In short, I loved learning from the mistakes I made the first time, not just in training and planning, but in immersion. By time this swim came around, the last minute details of a swim had become routine. Packing up a crew and getting everyone on the same page, from the Coast Guard to reporters, was something we'd done twice before this summer. Getting to the start, the big victory of my last attempt, went by in the blink of an eye. Once at the start, swimming through the kelp and climbing out on my starting rock was a breeze since I'd practiced it just the weekend before, only this time I was clothed.

    In the beginning, it was cold, obviously. The weather was grey. The waves were frightening on such a small boat (I was glad to be off it). One of the crew vomited 17 times. The Coast Guard said "you two work it out" after notifying us of an impending collision with the 574ft bulk carrier Honest Spring. The border crossing came an hour late, and I added another half hour to my mental countdown clock. And finally, the shivering started.

    Then the waves weren't as big, the sky lightened, and I could even see some blue. Then the water flattened out, and the water almost warmed as we neared the Elwha. The mountains still looked so far away, but then I remembered I wasn't swimming to the mountains. When I finally could see the ground, it occurred to me

    that the last three years of work would be done once a few more sea shells passed by, an adventure that began a week after I moved to Seattle ending on that delta of stones and driftwood just ahead. Preparing for this swim has been my life for longer than I've called this city home and has led me to more places and adventures and friends than I could have possibly imagined. After a few months rest, I'll begin a search for a new adventure.

    There is a thread on the forum about lessons learned from failed swims. I'm sure this is one of those lessons.

    JenAevmoloneswimmerIronMikewendyv34Spacemanspiffdpm50JustSwimKelliemsathlete

    I don't wear a wetsuit; it gives the ocean a sporting chance.

  • wendyv34wendyv34 Vashon, WASenior Member

    Yeah, the PNW weather wasn't very ideal...congrats! I knew you were going to make it this time.

    I had this crazy dream last night that you had invented an obstacle course swim, of sorts, along a (dreamland) water front. It involved jumping from heights, swimming with huge fish, sliding down spillways, running from place to place and swimming through huge fountains. I was following wet footprints to the next spillway, conferring with a couple other swimmers as to how we were going to safely climb to the top of it...then I woke up. Darn! I think I took too many trips down the water slide at Colman during the last week.

    dpm50malinakatimsroot

    It's always a bad hair day when you work at a pool.

  • dpm50dpm50 PA, U.S.Senior Member

    What a cool dream! I see a new swim / run challenge emerging! (Oh and throwing in Parkour ... brilliant!) :)

    wendyv34 said: Yeah, the PNW weather wasn't very ideal...congrats! I knew you were going to make it this time.

    I had this crazy dream last night that you had invented an obstacle course swim, of sorts, along a (dreamland) water front. It involved jumping from heights, swimming with huge fish, sliding down spillways, running from place to place and swimming through huge fountains. I was following wet footprints to the next spillway, conferring with a couple other swimmers as to how we were going to safely climb to the top of it...then I woke up. Darn! I think I took too many trips down the water slide at Colman during the last week.

  • dpm50dpm50 PA, U.S.Senior Member

    Congratulations, @malinaka ! Awesome swim!

  • IronMikeIronMike Moscow, RussiaCharter Member

    wendyv34 said: Yeah, the PNW weather wasn't very ideal...congrats! I knew you were going to make it this time.

    I had this crazy dream last night that you had invented an obstacle course swim, of sorts, along a (dreamland) water front. It involved jumping from heights, swimming with huge fish, sliding down spillways, running from place to place and swimming through huge fountains. I was following wet footprints to the next spillway, conferring with a couple other swimmers as to how we were going to safely climb to the top of it...then I woke up. Darn! I think I took too many trips down the water slide at Colman during the last week.

    @wendyv34, It's a wimpy short distance, but the swim portion [link youtube] of the Military Pentathlon might be right up your alley!

  • wendyv34wendyv34 Vashon, WASenior Member

    Yeah! Like that, only lots, lots longer!

    Reminds me of that time when the pool covers blew up and twisted into a big pile...

    IronMike

    It's always a bad hair day when you work at a pool.

  • msathletemsathlete Victoria, British Colubia, CanadaSenior Member

    fabulous swim @malinaka

  • IronMikeIronMike Moscow, RussiaCharter Member

    wendyv34 said: Yeah! Like that, only lots, lots longer!

    Reminds me of that time when the pool covers blew up and twisted into a big pile...

    Or SwimCross, @wendyv34

Sign In or Register to comment.