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Tuesday, January 17, 2012
The Potato Patch Stands In The Way Of Farallons Swimmers
On rough days, the wide expanse of relatively shallow reef looks like white frosting on a cake that has fallen on the floor - a venerable mess of aquatic hell.
The Potato Patch sits menacingly waiting for all those who challenge it with water depths ranging between 7-11 meters (23-36 feet). Its turbulence is renowned in the area.
Surfline describes the area as "creepy - a minefield of shifting, throwing peaks, extending from a couple of hundred yards offshore all the way to the horizon. During a giant swell in the Potato Patch, you will stare at nature in all its beautiful evil."
Santa Cruz adventurers Perry Miller and Doug Hansen had a tow-in surfing session in the Potato Patch using their Jet Ski. "It was the devil's playground out there."
The Potato Patch was named for the potato farms in the 19th century that shipped its products to markets in San Francisco. "Occasionally a potato boat would capsize on the sand bar, spilling its load," described Doris Sloan of Geology of the San Francisco Bay Region.
Open Water Source had the opportunity to observe a Farallon Islands Swimming Federation-sanctioned relay in 2011. We had never experienced as turbulent and difficult in Hawaii, the Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea, the Caribbean Sea, the Sea of Japan, the Indian Ocean or the South Pacific Ocean as what we faced in the angry, unforgiving Potato Patch. Only the expert mariner skills of sailing veteran Vito Bialla were the saving grace on that ferocious day beyond the banks of northern California.
Photo by JR Hussey.
Copyright © 2012 by World Open Water Swimming Association
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Open Water Swimming MagazineThe Open Water Swimming Magazine is the monthly magazine entirely focused on open water swimming heroes and heroines of every age, ability, and background. Published by the World Open Water Swimming Association, the Open Water Swimming Magazine is a free benefit to WOWSA members.
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The Other Shore
The Other Shore follows world record holder and legendary swimmer Diana Nyad as she comes out of a thirty-year retirement to re-attempt an elusive dream: swimming 103 miles non-stop from Cuba to Florida without the use of a shark cage. Her past and present collide in her obsession with a feat that nobody has ever accomplished. At the edge of The Devil’s Triangle, tropical storms, sharks, venomous jellyfish, and one of the strongest ocean currents in the world, all prove to be life-threatening realities. Timothy Wheeler’s documentary brings Diana Nyad’s extraordinary adventure to life as Diana sets out to prove that will and determination are all you need to make the unimaginable possible.
2014 Open Water Swimming Almanac
An Almanac for Open Water SwimmingAn almanac is essentially a body of knowledge which is so complete that it enables people in different fields to make predictions about the future of their respective industries.
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