James White - Kiawanda Rock

Pacific City - Kiawanda Rock - return

2.1 km (1.3 miles)

0 hours, 48 minutes on 11 May 2019

Observed and documented by Jacob Hunter



  • Name: James White
  • Gender: male
  • Age on swim date: 60
  • Nationality: New Zealand
  • Resides: Pacific City, Oregon

Support Personnel

  • Dennis McKay (DJ) - boat pilot
  • Reuben - land support
  • Jacob Hunter - observer, medic

Escort Vessel: Bombard inflatable boat

Swim Parameters

  • Category: Solo, nonstop, unassisted.
  • Rules: MSF Rules of Marathon Swimming, without exception or modification.
  • Equipment used: Speedo Vanquisher 2.0 clear googles, TYR race brief, Mack’s Aquablock silicone ear plugs, silicone cap

Route Definition

Pacific City Beach to Kiawanda Rock, return to Pacific City Beach

Swim Data

  • Start: 11 May 2019, 07:59:30 (America/Los_Angeles, UTC-7).
  • Finish: 11 May 2019, 08:47:45
  • Elapsed: 0 hours, 48 minutes, 15 seconds.

Summary of Conditions

  • Water Temp: 10C
  • Air Temp: 14C
  • Wind: Force 1 (3-5 mph)

GPS Track

Trackpoint frequency: 1 minute. Download raw data (CSV).

Speed Plot

Nutrition: Did not feed.

Observer Report

Download PDF

by Jacob Hunter

Observer Info

  • Jacob Hunter
  • Ph: 4193075093
  • Profession. ER Nurse
  • Personal. Athlete: competitive swimmer, water polo team member. Age: 27

Swim Notes

Cold water transition

  • Cold water transition went as planned. James immersed and gradually started moving from sculling to swimming. Swimming initially was a mix of backstroke and freestyle.
  • James reported transition was going well. He said “back of head and above eyes hurts but its normal”. He started regular uninterrupted freestyle after about 7 minutes at which time the GPX Tracker was started.
  • GPX Tracker was started after about 7 minutes in water and about 300 meters offshore.


  • Chosen route was from beach inline with end of the Meridian Resort Complex buildings directly toward buoy in outer ocean. That follows the Cape out. This gave shelter from incoming ocean currents and waves which gave James time to warm up and get into a routine. From the end of the Cape he went directly across toward the Rock. There was a swell of about 3 feet, otherwise it was minimal chop and quite easy conditions. We had to navigate between some fishing boats and kayaks. We alerted them of a swimmer in the water. People were curious and courteous.

Swim and Stroke

  • Stroke was between 52 and 58 strokes per minute. James looked very comfortable. Not breathing hard. Slower than when we do sets together in pool. He stopped occasionally to discuss route. He did bi-lateral breathing occasionally mostly when crossing from Cape to Rock. He didn’t appear concerned about sharks which was his main concern prior to the swim.
  • After touching Rock we started directly back to beach. He asked us to change from left to right side to maintain down wind position (He said fumes were causing issues). We asked a fishing boat to cut its engine momentarily till we passed.
  • At the end of his swim we stopped the GPX Tracker once the Zodiac slowed due to breaker waves. James did about 200 meters more swimming from that point. After we all assembled on the beach, James exhibited no signs of coldness. During trials we both became much colder and did experience post swim coldness symptoms. Conclusion is James was generating considerable body heat during the swim.
  • GPXTracker was stopped about 200meters offshore



  1. James: athlete
  2. Jake: emergency
  3. Reuben. Emergency

Zodiac crew

  1. Jake: Observer
  2. DJ: navigation, weather, currents, sharks, Zodiac owner


  1. Better after April when great whites aren’t so common. Before 10am when the wind starts. 7am onwards best.
  2. Ideal when CA Gray Whales present
  3. Rock shelf out by the rock; ideal for great whites to hide against before attacking upwards
  4. Seals and killer whales are out there. They can suddenly appear behind you. Don’t panic


  1. Practice getting on/off Zodiac from water.
  2. Location of Zodiac eg downwind means left side going to rock, right side coming back.
  3. Consider Dory Boats. Look for trailers on beach before any swim
  4. Conversation with Jake during swim to test cognitive function e.g. what’s your name, where are you going, how’s your stroke.
  5. Base fitness doing 3K sets in YMCA pool, endurance, technique
  6. Weather: www.magicseaweed.com


  1. Epipen for jellyfish sting
  2. Dory boats avoid their path
  3. Buoy, boogey board, life jacket, flair in Zodiac
  4. Warm clothing, blanket, wool hat, gloves, slippers
  5. Tourniquet (limb blood loss)
  6. Mobile phone
  7. Tell Park Ranger beforehand


  1. Sharks September to March (not all sightings are reported)
  2. Dory Boats
  3. Lions mane, Sea nettle jellyfish
  4. Currents (ask DJ)


Click to enlarge.