Lengthwise Crossing of the Sea of Galilee, December 2013

heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member
edited January 2014 in Cheering Section
Hi, Folks!

On December 21, 2013 (or earlier that week, depending on weather), I'll swim the length of the Sea of Galilee (21km/13mi), from Amnon Beach in the north to Tzemach Beach in the south. I'm swimming under EC rules and accompanied by a motorboat (no kayaks.) Looking forward to freshwater, hopefully reasonable temperatures, and good company crewing on the boat (family and friends.) I'm slow, so I expect this'll take me 8-9 hours.

I'm fundraising for Beth Dror, a shelter and refuge for LGBT youth in Israel (100% of donations go to them; swim expenses come out of my personal pocket). Your support and kindness appreciated, and if anyone finds him/herself in Israel at the time and wants to come aboard as observer, I'd appreciate that very much.

http://www.youcaring.com/nonprofits/crossingforyouth
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Comments

  • JBirrrdJBirrrd MarylandSenior Member
    Good luck!
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited October 2013
    Awesome, @heart! I've added it to the MSF Upcoming Solo Swim Calendar:

    http://www.marathonswimmers.org/upcoming-solo-swims/

    (click "Look for more" for events more than a few weeks out)
  • heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member
    I'm excited about the upcoming swim! My brand new SPOT tracker should be on its way here; it'll be nice for folks to follow up on the swim from the U.S. I'm very much hoping my shoulders hold up!
  • heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member
    I'm here. It's COLD! Israel is seeing the worst weather it's had in decades. Snow (!!!) and ice everywhere. If the lake freezes, I suppose I could cross it Jesus-style, by walking.
    dpm50
  • mjstaplesmjstaples Atlanta, GA, USMember
    Keeping my fingers crossed for warmer weather your way!
  • JBirrrdJBirrrd MarylandSenior Member
    How cold is it @heart?
    Sorry about the unexpected conditions. I'm sure you have trained hard for this and to find your water unswimmable must be very disappointing. :-(
  • heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member
    Thanks, guys! The worst of the storm seems to be behind us. The lake is colder than I expected, but not freezing, and things may look up toward the second half of the week. I'll be talking to my pilot later today, and I think our best bet is to keep the original date of the swim, Saturday. I'll keep everyone posted!
  • heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member
    The reports of water temp vary wildly between 60 and 70. I was banking on closer to 70 before the storm started. But the other problem is air temp, which is close to freezing right now, and we're told will warm up toward the end of the week. I'm worried not only about my own comfort, but about my boat crew as well. Nine hours is a long time to be on a small boat in freezing air.
  • heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member
    Just talked to my pilot. Weather is looking up for the rest of the week and swim is ON for the original date - Dec. 21, the shortest day of the year. Stay tuned for GPS tracking link and other news!
  • heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member
    edited December 2013
  • JBirrrdJBirrrd MarylandSenior Member
    Best wishes heart! You will do this :-)
  • mjstaplesmjstaples Atlanta, GA, USMember
    Good luck!!!
  • IronMikeIronMike BostonCharter Member
    Good luck, @heart! I'll be watching.

    Please join the Lake Issyk Kul Swimming Federation on FB!

  • @heart I'll be following as well.
    I wish you a smooth and efficient crossing.
  • Good luck - I will be following with interest.
  • heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member
    Thanks, you guys!

    I just talked to the pilot. We'll be leaving at approximately 5am Israel time. That's 3am on Sat Dover time, 7pm on Fri Alcatraz time.
  • IronMikeIronMike BostonCharter Member
    Sweet! Something to watch tonight!

    Please join the Lake Issyk Kul Swimming Federation on FB!

  • molly1205molly1205 Lincoln, NebraskaMember
    Looks like you made it @Heart! Well done!

    Molly Nance, Lincoln, Nebraska

  • JBirrrdJBirrrd MarylandSenior Member
    edited December 2013
    Yay @heart!
    WTG!
    (*) (*) (*)
  • heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member
    Thanks, you guys! I'm thrilled. Thrilled and wiped out. Race report tomorrow. Now going to SLEEP. :)
  • Congratulations!
  • jcmalickjcmalick Wilmington, DEMember
    What a pioneering Spirit and Congratulations! Rest Well and Lots of Wine upon your awakening as both are well deserved!
  • heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member
    Thanks, guys!

    @Niek, we had some winds that skewed us a bit, and a bit of chop in the middle, but nothing too crazy. I was cold and almost gave up at Hour Six; my pace swimmer went in the water with me and buoyed my spirits. I'm very proud and happy and immensely grateful to my awesome crew.
  • heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member
  • Kol HaKavod!
    Congratulations
  • IronMikeIronMike BostonCharter Member
    Awesome race report, @heart. And awesome swim. Wow.

    Please join the Lake Issyk Kul Swimming Federation on FB!

  • Wonderful
    You must be very proud of your achievement.
    I loved your race report its inspirational.
    Well done.
  • heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member
    Shvoong Magazine, the Israeli endurance magazine, did a lovely feature on my swim, for those of you who read Hebrew or are willing to suffer through particularly awful Google Translate language. :)
  • Awesome swim!
  • heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member
    edited December 2013
    Inspired by @roncollins ' post after his Catalina swim, in which he contrasted his DNF image when chiseled to his amazing success with a few pounds on, I used an image from the beginning of the race to combat the idiotic "strong is the new skinny" meme. I really think that marathon swimmers are uniquely positioned to combat fat-shaming and the looks-over-function approach to fitness.
  • IronMikeIronMike BostonCharter Member
    I think this is my favorite Google translation so far:

    Such a story last Saturday snort quietly and somewhat modestly

    Please join the Lake Issyk Kul Swimming Federation on FB!

  • heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member
    Hilarious! Yeah, the florid language at the beginning was sort of begging for it. :)
  • IronMikeIronMike BostonCharter Member
    I was premature:

    Have resume more interesting browns

    Please join the Lake Issyk Kul Swimming Federation on FB!

  • IronMikeIronMike BostonCharter Member

    and thought violinist winter will be a good idea.

    Please join the Lake Issyk Kul Swimming Federation on FB!

  • IronMikeIronMike BostonCharter Member
    edited December 2013
    You swam with binoculars?!?!

    You gotta love Google translate. Proof that we still need human interpreters/translators!
    dpm50

    Please join the Lake Issyk Kul Swimming Federation on FB!

  • heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member
    edited December 2013
    I have a friend who is a certified courtroom translator/interpreter. He can rant about this for days, and clearly, justifiably so!
  • IronMikeIronMike BostonCharter Member
    @heart, so what is the Hebrew word that keeps coming up translated as "brown"

    all athletes are wonderful swimming browned amazing

    Nice article all around, and incredible swim!

    Please join the Lake Issyk Kul Swimming Federation on FB!

  • IronMikeIronMike BostonCharter Member
    heart said:

    I have a friend who is a certified courtroom translator/interpreter. He can rant about this for days, and clearly, justifiably so!

    I used to do work along those lines Russian-to-English and I don't know how many times senior leaders ranted about the future when they wouldn't need us and they'd just use computers. Then when some of that software came online we'd show them the difference between what the Russian really said and what the computer translated. Hell, humans aren't immune to this, e.g. the whole "bury you" vs. "outlive you" from Khrushchev.

    Please join the Lake Issyk Kul Swimming Federation on FB!

  • heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member
    I think it's "משחה", which is the noun "swim" (as in, a race.) First time it came up, the dude was asking me if I'd done other interesting swims. Second time I was saying nice things about y'all and your great accomplishments and how in order to win respect in such august company I wanted to swim sans suit.
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    here's the meme:

    image

    love it!
  • heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member
    edited December 2013
    Happy New Year! May we swim happily and safely!
  • heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member
    edited January 2014
    Wow! Turns out I was not the first person to swim the Sea of Galilee north to south. Steve Munatones sent me a race report by Bill Welzien, who swam pretty much the same route in September 2009 (there are no exact markers or GPS but the entry and exit points of the Jordan are very close to my entry and exit points). Bill, who seems from his race report to be a lovely gentleman, benefited from temperatures 20 degrees warmer than the ones I had, but suffered from the nasty Easterly wind that blows across the lake in the summer, and finished in 10:25. I had no idea I broke Bill's record, and Steve kindly promises to put us in touch so we can compare notes and talk about this awesome swim.

    So, let's tip our hat to Bill: Credit where credit's due!
  • heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member
    @Niek, I don't think Bill was out there to get some sort of official credit, but to achieve something personally challenging and in tune with his religious convictions and to have fun.
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited January 2014
    Steve asked me what I thought over email, presumably for a DNOWS article. Here was my reply:
    I would say that Hadar is the first to swim according to standard rules of marathon swimming. Which is equivalent, in the context of marathon swimming, to "the first."

    Bill does not appear to be seeking recognition or "first person" status, but rather, the gratification of his own personal accomplishment. That is a perfectly fine reason to swim. So, I don't feel it's my place to judge what his swim was or wasn't -- he isn't asking for my judgment.

    But I would say that Hadar did the first standard marathon swim across the Sea of Galilee.
  • heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member
    Either way, I sent Bill a nice email (got his contact info from Brian Lanahan) and I really hope he'll be in touch. He seems like a great guy.
  • heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member
    Heh! I doubt that after Tampa Bay, Kingdom Swim, Catalina, and Swim the Suck, I'll have any shoulders left. :)
  • heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member
    There's a guy training to break my record in July. He invited me to be his observer! I would have gladly agreed, except I get terribly seasick (remember the Tampa fiasco?) and I'll be of no use to him, or anyone for that matter, on the motorboat. But I'm so glad the lengthwise crossing is becoming A Thing! Several people did it as a group (some with suits, some without) a month ago.
  • Hi. I am swimming the north to south route on 4 Sept to EC rules. Any tips please. I will be starting at 4am to try and avoid the midday heat as much as possible.
  • heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member
    Hi, Theodore! Best of luck to you! Who is piloting for you?

    Starting at 4am is an excellent idea.
    You're probably starting at Amnon Beach (swimming to shore from the boat and climbing out to start your swim). Beware of the rocks as you descend into the water! And, keep a glowstick in your cap and/or swimsuit so the boat can see you coming in. The sun comes up earlier in the summer, but at least for the first hour and a half it'll be good for you to have it.
    If you're thirsty, it's okay to take a gulp of the lake once in a while.
    The fish that occasionally nibble your feet are very small and harmless.
    Since it's summer in Israel, in the afternoon you'll be facing the infamous Easterly wind, the Sharqqiyeh, so the sooner you end the swim, the less wind you'll have to face and the less you'll swim overall. I swam in the winter, when it's at its quietest, and even my route is not razorsharp straight. And the guy who preceded me, Bill, swam two extra kms because of it.

    Please keep us posted!
  • heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member

    I haven't posted here in a while, but an update is overdue. My record has been shattered! The one and only Avishag Turek swam the same course in July in a little longer than six hours, and proceeded to also swim the English Channel. Kudos and a big applause to Avishag!

    SoloKatieBunKarenTdpm50
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