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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

SF to SC to SB

After an initial mechanical hiccup between San Francisco (SF) and Santa Barbara (SB) that caused the lead escort boat Sequel to stop in Santa Cruz (SC), the Night Train Swimmers re-grouped and decided to carry on with their mission.

So unexpectedly haunted by a broken throttle, the Night Train Swimmers had to limp into shore in Santa Cruz.

But, like the men who they raised US$1.2 million for, they are soldiering on. The mission must continue and they are fighting their way down the California coast along the remaining 275 miles from Santa Cruz to Santa Barbara.

The walls of water are growing larger by the hour, but they are almost across Monterey Bay where they encountered walls of jellyfish. They are swimming about 3.5 miles off the coastline, swimming according to Channel Swimming Association rules towards Pacific Grove.

As the afternoon turned to evening, the first shark fin appeared while Phil Cutti was doing his 1-hour leg in the 59 degree F water. "It was just a curious 5-footer that was curious and approached the boat," said Captain Vito Bialla. "He circled and then went about his way when Phil swam towards him."

As night fell, the water temperature dropped from 59 to 55 degrees as the elements are testing the swimmers one-by-one. "Dave was very, very cold but he is smiling by the heater now. Kim is in now and Joe will get us around the point where things should get better although hundreds of jellyfish means stings," explained Captain Bialla.

Copyright © 2012 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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