Harriet Grant - Green Island to Yorkeys Knob

Green Island to Yorkeys Knob

26.8 km (16.7 miles)

11 hours, 52 minutes on 17 September 2022

Observed and documented by Edwy Bunt



  • Name: Harriet Grant
  • Gender: female
  • Age on swim date: 21
  • Nationality: Australia
  • Resides: Cairns, Queensland

Support Personnel


Edwy Bunt

  • Vice President North Queensland masters Swimming
  • Observer/kayaker – Chris PALFREY (Australian Marathon Swimmer Green Island to Cairns swim, not ratified) – Cameron KEITH (Green Island to Cairns swim, not ratified) – Jesse OHARA and Marijn KERKHOVEN (Green Island to Cairns Swim, not ratified)
  • Competitor Rottnest Swim – Duo 2 years, Relay 1 year
  • Organiser ‘Big Barrine Bash’ Cairns 10 kilometres Lake Swim

Escort Vessel

Name Type Port
unnamed Boston Whaler 240 Outrage Yorkeys Knob

Swim Parameters

  • Category: Solo, nonstop, unassisted.
  • Rules: MSF Rules of Marathon Swimming, without exception or modification.
  • Equipment used: Textile swimsuit (Engine Malibu one-piece), Vorgee goggles, Zoggs silicone swim cap, SharkBanz 2 shark deterrent.

Route Definition

  • Body of Water: Coral Sea
  • Route Type: one-way channel swim
  • Start Location: Green Island, northern side of main jetty (-16.758632, 145.971636)
  • Finish Location: Yorkeys Knob beach, just south of lifeguards’ hut (-16.805395, 145.725533)
  • Minimum Route Distance: 26.8 km (16.7 miles) (map)

Historical Swims

  • Eddie Lovelock - 1977 Green Isl to Cairns
  • Eddie Lovelock - 1978 Cairns to Green Isl
  • Chris Palfrey - 2010 Green Isl to Cairns
  • Cameron Keith - 2014 Green Isl to Cairns
  • Finnian Weaver - 2016 Green Isl to Cairns
  • Jesse O’Hara and Marijn Kerkhoven - 2021 Green Isl to Cairns

Swim Data

  • Start: 17 September 2022, 06:23 (Australian Eastern Standard, Australia/Brisbane, UTC10).
  • Finish: 17 September 2022, 18:15
  • Elapsed: 11 hours, 52 minutes, 11 seconds.

Summary of Conditions

Feature Min Max
Water Temp (C) 25 28
Air Temp (C) 25 34
Wind (knots) 0 5

GPS Track

Trackpoint frequency: 20 minutes. Download raw data (CSV).

Click to expand map.

Speed Plot

Nutrition / Feed Plan

First feed was after the first hour. Sandwich was always 1/3 of a honey or strawberry jam sandwich on white bread. Types of gels included: SIS – Apple flavour, Endura – Citrus flavour and Winners- Berry Burst Flavour. Electrolyte powder used in drink included 2 scoops of SIS Orange flavour Go Electrolyte powder in water.

Observer Log

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Swimmer Statement

What inspired you to do this swim?

I was inspired to do this swim by Jesse O’Hara who completed the swim last year and founded the ‘Swimming the Gap’ Movement. The idea is to bring attention to the gap in education and employment between Indigenous and non-indigenous children amongst remote communities in FNQ by swimming the gap between Green Island and Yorkeys Knob. I was also personally motivated by the fact that no female has ever swum this body water before.

Describe how you planned for the swim.

Leading up to the swim I tried to ensure I was training at least 4 times a week with a longer swim in the weekend. Also practiced swimming and eating gels/sandwiches in the middle of my sessions to see how it sits in my stomach. Also spoke to previous swimmers on their own experiences and any tips they had leading up the event. Also looked at upcoming tides and wind leading up to the day.

How did the swim go, generally? Did you face any unanticipated challenges?

The swim went well, however, was a lot longer than anticipated. Despite low winds which resulted in very flat conditions there was a very strong current that resulted in me swimming around 33km instead of the previously estimated 27km. I set off from Green Island just before 6:30am, feeling strong and ready for the day ahead. Not long after I left the beach I swam into a swarm of sea lice which resulted in stinging pain on numerous locations of my body. Before the first feed the water changed from a light blue to a very dark blue which was amazing to swim in. I had my first feed an hour into the swim which was a 1/3 of a honey sandwich with water. The first few hours went past quite quickly, however, I was unaware of the strong current that had managed to push me quite far south which resulted in the longer than anticipated swim. I also saw a small black tipped reef shark between the 3.5 hr and 4 hr mark. The wind continued to drop and the water was like glass, I felt as if I was making good pace and thought I would be finished in 8 hours without any problems. As the boat then reorientated itself and we started heading North I then realised we were swimming along the length of Green Island and it wasn’t getting any smaller, which was when I first realised things maybe weren’t going as smoothly as I thought. After 6.5 hours in the water and still feeling strong I assumed that I would have under 10km to go. I asked my crew if this was the case and there was clear hesitation, and instead informed me there were dolphins up ahead. After roughly 9 hours my shoulders began to fatigue and I was desperate to reach the shore. I asked how much further I had to go and was told around 7km, my heart sank and I quickly fed and swam on. The last 5km felt never-ending, I could see the slowly begin to set. Finally after just under 12 hours with the sun slowly beginning to set I reached the shore of Yorkeys Knob and was greeted by a number of people.


Click to enlarge.



Weather & Tides