Andrew Swims!

For the about week or so I was in or around Seattle and the Olympic Peninsula preparing for my friend Andrew’s swim across the Strait of Juan de Fuca. In summary, Andrew attempted to swim 12 miles from Canada to the U.S. across major shipping lanes and serious current in water where the expected temperature was in the low 50s. This feat has not been attempted since 1999 nor successfully completed by anyone since 1989 due to the unusually frigid water and incredibly rough conditions of the Strait.

Andrew right before jumping off the support boat and climbing onto Canadian shores to start the race

Andrew right before jumping off the support boat and climbing onto Canadian shores to start the race

Andrew swimming in the Strait of Juan de Fuca with kayaker Steve Goodsen nearby

Andrew swimming in the Strait of Juan de Fuca with kayaker Steve Goodsen nearby

I was on his support craft and was in charge of preparing the drink mixes for his 15 minute feedings as well as watching for hypothermia or other potential dangers during the swim. Unfortunately, Andrew fell just short in his historic swim due to water temperatures that mostly stayed in the 46-47 degree range, coupled with stronger than expected currents which were partially due to a delayed start time. He did however swim about 11 miles over the six hours and ten minutes he was in the water, battling freezing temperatures that were 5-7 degrees colder than expected and swift currents that pulled him towards sea. I cannot emphasize enough how incredible it was that he was able to fight the current as long as he did in waters that were so cold.

It doesn’t need to be said because it’s obvious, but he’s awesome. I hope I can be there to witness his next amazing achievement!

Finally, I spent a few days before and after Andrew’s swim in Olympic National Park but those pictures will have to wait as I’m currently headed south to Mount Rainier National Park. I will be posting pictures of the incredible beaches and temperate rainforest of Olympic when I get back to civilization in a few days.

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