Abigail Fairman - Malibu Pier to Santa Monica Pier

Malibu Pier to Santa Monica Pier

17 km (10.6 miles)

5 hours, 56 minutes on 4 November 2023

Observed and documented by Diane Caliva



  • Name: Abigail Fairman
  • Gender: female
  • Age on swim date: 46
  • Nationality: United States
  • Resides: Santa Monica, California

Support Personnel

  • Michelle Marquez - kayaker
  • Jax Tatro - land crew


Diane Caliva

Diane has observed Catalina Channel swims as an official CCSF observer. She is CPR/AED certified and has been doing swim support since 2018. She is a member of the South End Rowing Club in San Francisco, and was the rowing commissioner in 2021, prior to moving to Los Angeles. She has provided kayak support for the Escape from Alcatraz swims, the Ironman Tri Alcatraz swims, Alcatraz Invitationals, privately organized Northern CA swims and various SERC club swims. She has also supported swims governed by the Santa Barbara Channel Swimming Association.

Escort Vessels: two kayaks

Swim Parameters

  • Category: Solo, nonstop, unassisted.
  • Rules: MSF Rules of Marathon Swimming, without exception or modification.
  • Equipment used: Textile swimsuit (Funkita Trihard single strap one-piece), silicone cap, Blueseventy goggles.

Route Definition

  • Body of Water: Santa Monica Bay, Pacific Ocean
  • Route Type: one-way
  • Start Location: Beach north of Malibu Pier (34.035178, -118.677470)
  • Finish Location: Beach south of Santa Monica Pier (34.006985, -118.497535)
  • Minimum Route Distance: 17 km (10.6 miles) (map)


LongSwimsDB: Santa Monica Bay.

Swim Data

  • Start: 4 November 2023, 07:01:20 (Pacific Standard, America/Los_Angeles, UTC-8).
  • Finish: 4 November 2023, 12:58:15
  • Elapsed: 5 hours, 56 minutes, 55 seconds.

Summary of Conditions

Feature Min Max
Water Temp (F) 63 64
Air Temp (F) 59 65
Wind (knots) 1.2 7

Buoy data from NOAA station 46268 (Topanga Nearshore) - PDF

GPS Track

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

Click to expand map.

Speed Plot


  • First feed is at 60 mins, and then every 30 mins after.
  • Feeds are predominantly in liquid form and delivered from the kayak via 20 oz Rubbermaid chug bottles numbered 1-6.
  • Each bottle equals 2 feeds of approximately 100 calories each, or 200 calories per hour.
  • Bottles 1,2,4 and 5 contain a CytoMax/Tailwind blend mixed with water.
  • Bottles 3 and 6 are a single Nuun tablet (Fruit Punch) mixed with water.
  • At hour 3, I also ate a banana.
  • A flask of mint tea was available on request to alleviate salt-mouth, and was used at hour 4.5.

Observer Log

Download PDF

Swimmer Statement

by Abigail Fairman

Malibu Pier to Santa Monica Pier - November 4, 2023

I moved to Southern California in November 2021 after nearly 15 years living in New York City. I had a new home, a new job and even a new ocean to learn. To say I had some adjustments to make would be a great understatement. But I am fortunate to participate in this special sport that allows so many opportunities to forge new relationships and explore new areas - two things that ultimately led to this swim.

Through a friend, I quickly met a group of local swimmers that regularly swim along the coastline of the Santa Monica Bay. During the summer months, the group covers the entire stretch between Malibu and Santa Monica via shorter 3-4 mile swims. During these weekend outings, several of us noted that the distance between the Pier would be a great long swim, and even started discussing how to make it happen. In early October, we did an abbreviated version (Malibu Pier to Will Rogers State Park) and the seed for a formal swim from Malibu Pier to Santa Monica Pier was firmly planted. Once I realized that I could do the swim on the exact two year anniversary of my arrival in Los Angeles, all that was left to do was to figure out the logistics.

I immediately asked Diane Caliva and Michelle Marquez to provide kayak support so the swim could be officially ratified. I met both of them through the Santa Barbara Channel Swimming Association, as they had previously provided swim support for the organization. Jax Tatro, one of the women who did the abbreviated early swim in October, served as land crew. We planned to park at the finish and transport the kayaks, paddlers and swimmers to the start so there would be less movement of equipment and people once we were done. We anticipated that the swim would take around six hours, and we were spot on that estimate. (The one thing we did not take into consideration was how wide the beach is at Santa Monica, which made for a long trek with two heavy kayaks at the end. Anybody who is planning to do this swim should make sure they bring a kayak trolley to the finish!)

The swim itself was simply lovely. The route is gorgeous, providing scenic views of the Santa Monica Mountains, as well as Malibu, Topanga and Santa Monica beaches. The straight line distance is 10.3 miles, but an offshore fog bank kept us a little tighter to shore than we planned and pushed the recorded distance up over 11 miles, so it’s important to stay the course! Otherwise conditions were great: low wind, water temp of 63-64F, and air of 59-64F. It was a great marathon swim in my own backyard - and the perfect way to celebrate two years as a California girl.


Click to enlarge.