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Friday, September 11, 2015
Six Feet Deep Sixes Harry Huffaker's Dream
Jim Cotton, one of the founders of the Waikiki Swim Club, Waikiki Roughwater Swim and Maui Channel Swim, knows high surf and rough water conditions. Living on Oahu, where some of the largest paddle-in waves exist, Cotton has seen his share of towering waves and massive ocean swells.
This week on Oahu after the cancelled Waikiki Roughwater Swim, Cotton talked turbulence with Harry Huffaker about Huffaker's planned Molokai Channel swim. With Huffaker's window about to begin, Mother Nature dished out 20-knot winds and 6-8 foot wind waves across the Kaiwi Channel with numerous heavy showers and a slight chance of thunderstorms.
Needless to say, Huffaker will not be swimming under these conditions over the next few days or this season.
"I arrived in Hawaii one week ago. It has proven to be quite a tumultuous week beginning last Saturday when the Waikiki Roughwater Swim was cancelled due to high surf and safety concerns with some 900 swimmers poised for the 8:30 am start. Since then the daily temperature has been a stifling 90°F with matching 89-90% humidity. Relief and comfort was provided by intermittent periods of air conditioning. The combination resulted in a head cold, congestion and difficult sleep conditions. For the most part I laid low in the hopes of recovering and maintaining strength. The weather was quite unstable and confused with three Category 4 hurricanes hovering about.
Dreams and plans for making an attempt at another crossing of the Molokai Channel ended this afternoon.
As of yesterday, based on semi-favorable weather report from NWS of 1-2 foot waves with light variable winds from the south of 5-10 knots, it seemed like it was all systems go. Spirits soared. Support boat and crew were organized and at the ready at the Waikiki Yacht Club for a 6 pm departure to Molokai on Saturday.
I was to fly to Molokai in the afternoon with Bill and Lynn Vogt to await the arrival of the boat for an 11 pm start. This morning I enjoyed a very pleasant easy 1.2-mile swim at Ala Moana Beach Park. I felt great physically and mentally. Upon returning to the vehicle after the swim, my cell phone was ringing. A call from Bob Rocheleau reported another updated weather forecast that is a dramatic contrast in both wind speed, wind direction and wave height up to 8 feet on Tuesday. A few minutes later, a weather alert appeared on my cell phone about a flash flood warning in effect until early evening. The extended forecast did not indicate any improvement during the coming week.
As a result, tomorrow’s to-do list includes making flight reservations to return to Idaho. Time to lick wounds, heal, and contemplate about future direction. Many thanks for your interest, encouragement and support during the past 9 months!"
Jim Cotton is shown on left with Harry Huffaker on the right.
Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association
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Open Water Swimming Magazine
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.
WOWSA Member Benefits include 12 issues of the Open Water Swimming Magazine, the annual 276-page Open Water Swimming Almanac, a free listing in Sponsor My Swim, outstanding product discounts from FINIS, an entry in Openwaterpedia and more...
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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