To educate, entertain, and enthuse those who venture beyond the shore. Over 16,618 articles on solo swims, pro races, relays, charity events, ice swims, eco-swims, stage swims, marathon swims, trends, products, services, personalities, coaches, governing bodies, rules, demographics, books, films, blogs, conferences, camps, clinics and happenings in oceans, seas, lakes, rivers, dams, canals, channels, fjords, estuaries, lochs, coves, firths, straits, bays, and harbors. Sponsored by WOWSA.org.
2016 WOWSA AWARD WINNERS
2016 WOWSA Man of the Year – Nejib Belhedi
2016 WOWSA Woman of the Year – Jaimie Monahan
2016 WOWSA Performance of the Year – Sarah Thomas’ Lake Powell Swim
2016 WOWSA Offering of the Year – Samsung Bosphorus Cross Continental Swim
Saturday, April 15, 2017
Ranie Pearce's Description Of Her Shark Encounter
Ranie Pearce describes her shark encounter with an 8-foot and 10-foot tiger shark during her Molokai Channel attempt on July 2nd 2016.
"I had always heard the advice, 'Don't panic' and 'Punch them in the nose' when a shark encounters a shark.
I knew that the two sharks were circling me for about 20 minutes. I did not panic. I kept swimming, hoping that continuity would breed boredom and that they would leave.
My kayaker was nervous and hyper aware of the sharks so I let him be 'panicked' for me.
The boat tried to drive them away making several passes that I thought were much too close to me for comfort, but the sharks kept coming back. Once the larger of the two sharks swam directly under me close enough for me to feel his slipstream, my feelings changed. I could no longer keep swimming, hoping that they would go away."[Note: in the video above, the drone pilot did not have a monitor screen, so the part where Pearce is bumped by the shark is not shown on screen.]
"I stopped moving, frozen in fear. I now felt that if I didn’t even breathe maybe they would leave me alone. My kayaker again put himself between me and the shark (in his mind) which seemed ridiculous really since the shark was beneath me, and a wave from the boat’s charge swamped me.
The shark reacted at the same moment and bumped me in the back of the head.
It was quite a smack. I thought it was the kayak, but when I surfaced, the kayaker’s first words were, 'Did he hit you?'
The minute I saw those black lifeless eyes, the scenario changed. But once I was bumped, I knew that I was going to get out as fast as possible. There was never a moment in my mind that I could move aggressively towards them; I just wasn’t brave enough to try that.
These sharks were BIG!
We’ve all seen the way they move: silent, fast, black-eyed eating machines.
I had always heard that they circle, bump and then bite.
I believe, and have been told by many locals, that what saved me was that he hit my hard head on his exploratory bump. Bumping something hard, made him back off and circle again. If he’d hit my nice soft middle, he might have just opened up for a taste. Locals told me that I shouldn’t have been out there on that day, that the tuna were running, that the stormy weather stirred up more shark activity, that if I had been aggressive towards them, they might have gone away.
I could only follow the advice of the pilot, and I had waited seven days of an 8-day window, I should have come back on a different trip. But we all know how hard it is to walk away without even starting.
I know that I was incapable of moving toward the shark who touched me. I still have visions of those lifeless eyes beneath me in the water sometimes.
I tell myself that I want to go back and make that swim, but I don’t know if I will be able to swim through the night knowing what I know of what’s out there.
I never panicked. I had talked to my crew about the possibility of a shark and what we would do. I spoke to my crew throughout the experience, it was my decision to get out, but the captain wanted me out a good long time before I finally did get out. I thought a bit about the fact that I had spent more than US$7,000 to get to this swim, that I was well trained.
But then I thought, how would I explain to my daughters that I just wanted to try a bit longer to see if they would leave me alone...and explain being dead or maimed...so I got out.
There is no question in my mind that I made the right decision. Very few people have had this experience, I am happy to say. I hope to never experience a close encounter again, but I will keep swimming. I have mostly overcome the fear, but it sneaks back into my head at funny times. I’ll stick to cold water for a while and hope to let time reduce my fears.
If I do this swim again, I will engage a Shark Shield on the kayak. Not sure what it buys you other than peace of mind, but I’d like that."
Copyright © 2008-2017 by World Open Water Swimming Association
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1-Year Anniversary of the monthly Open Water Swimming Magazine
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Open Water Swimming Magazine Anniversary Issue
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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.
This, for example, was the purpose of the traditional farmers almanacs. It enabled farmers to determine as accurately as possible which crops to plant for the greatest harvests in a given year.
But the farmers almanac was just one example among many.
There are, of course, many different kinds of almanacs.
In fact, there is even one for open water swimming...
Preview the Open Water Swimming Almanac:
The trends are very clear.
The tide is rising for open water swimming.