Cindy Werhane - Around Coronado Island

Glorietta Bay Park, counter-clockwise around Coronado Island and Zuniga Jetty, to Gator Beach.

18.6 km (11.6 miles)

5 hours, 19 minutes on 16 December 2018

Observed and documented by Dan Simonelli



  • Name: Cindy Werhane
  • Gender: female
  • Age on swim date: 49
  • Nationality: United States
  • Resides: Portland, Oregon

Support Personnel

  • Stephen Rouch - navigator, feeder
  • Dan Simonelli - observer
  • Amber Honeybaker - on-shore support & finish video

Swim Parameters

  • Category: Solo, nonstop, unassisted.
  • Rules: MSF Rules of Marathon Swimming, without exception or modification.
  • Equipment used: One porous swim suit, one silcone swim cap, goggles.

Route Definition

Starting at Glorietta Bay Park inside San Diego Harbor proceeding counter-clockwise around Coronado Island and Zuniga Shoals Jetty, and finishing at Coronado Shores Beach (Gator Beach) @ Lunar Avenue on the Pacific Ocean.

  • Body of Water: San Diego Bay and Pacific Ocean
  • Route Type: one-way
  • Start Location: Glorietta Bay Park (32.675060, -117.167979)
  • Finish Location: Coronado Shores Beach (Gator Beach) @ Lunar Avenue (32.673774, -117.172072)
  • Minimum Route Distance: 18.6 km (11.6 miles)

San Diego Bay segment: Following Scott Zornig and Tiffany McQueen’s solo swims in 2016, Cindy swam along the inside channel markers around the north and west parts of the island to avoid unswimmable obstacles such as the boat anchorage area just north of the Coronado Bridge, the security zone and netting around the Naval Air Station North Island port, and the security zone around the large Naval fuel dock on the far west side of the island.

Pacific Ocean segment: Following the original Around-the-Island Swim course, Cindy swam to the end of Zuniga Shoals Jetty, and then to Gator Beach (differing from Zornig’s course, which finished at the Hotel del Coronado, and McQueen’s course, which turned the corner at Zuniga Point, the base of the jetty). See illustration below.

Refer to NOAA Nautical Chart 18733 for higher-resolution detail.


Support & Safety Plan

Two kayakers in two kayaks – one to observe and log facts of the swim as well as record GPS waypoints (Dan Simonelli), and one to tend to the swimmer with feeds, and navigate (Stephen Rouch). Beach support included Amber Honeybaker who documented the finish, warmed and tended to the swimmer post swim.

The Swim was planned to begin at high tide, which was forecast at 04:35, taking advantage of current, calm wind, and light boat traffic in the San Diego Bay. Kayakers each had a cell phone and a marine radios. Midmorning predictions suggested potential high surf with short sets at Coronado Shores Beach so kayakers planned for a challenging surf landing. If the kayak beach landing was unadvisable, the kayakers would paddle back to the start by kayak while shore support tended to the swimmer who landed.

Swim Data

  • Start: 16 December 2018, 04:38 (America/Los_Angeles, UTC-8).
  • Finish: 16 December 2018, 09:57:27
  • Elapsed: 5 hours, 19 minutes, 25 seconds.

Summary of Conditions

Feature Min Max
Water Temp (F) 62 62
Air Temp (F) 52 70
Wind (knots) 0 5

Other notable events: pleasant morning with minimal wind, little to no boat traffic until after sunrise, which was spectacular.

GPS Track

Trackpoint frequency: 10 minutes. Download raw data (CSV).

Speed Plot

Nutrition: A 1:1 ratio of TANG to Carbo Pro was added to warm water and divided into (10) 200mL bottles equaling approximately 185 calories per bottle. At a 30 minute interval, the feeding kayaker would alert the swimmer by holding up the bottle, at which point the swimmer would nod acknowledgement of being prepared to take the feed. The feeding kayaker would take three fast strokes forward and glide, holding out the bottle as the swimmer approached to grab it. The swimmer would tread water during the feed than release the bottle upon completion. It was then towed into the kayak by its line. Water and ginger chews were also available but unused.

Observer Log

Download PDF


by Cindy Werhane

My inspiration for this swim was born out of convenience (we would be in town for a conference) and recourse (for previous failed swims in La Jolla, at Apache and Anacapa). In 2016, I first voyaged to La Jolla as a training weekend for SCAR and met Dan Simonelli. Despite his excellent guidance, I aborted two 5 hr La Jolla training swim due to cold intolerance and a weak mental attitude. As 2016 continued, I DNFed two more swims within the 60-62F range and in the presence of Dan. I learned. I acclimated. I trained. I considered this attempt at circumnavigating Coronado as a chance to showcase my growth and new found appreciation for cold water, with Dan as my witness.

For me this swim had all the right elements. I love swimming under bridges and past military boats. I love to see the city lights reflected in the water, watch the sunrise, and follow a shoreline. To look to the right and see the vast endless ocean and then the left to see the San Diego skyline, is eye candy for the bilateral breather like myself. I loved the simplicity of only using kayak support and accepted the inherent risk of not having a power boat along side us.