After months of prep and training, I completed the 20.5mi Catalina Channel in 11h04m26s, and it felt great.
I signed up to swim the Catalina Channel last December—9 months ago! Pretty much this entire year has been preparation for this swim: the Potomac River, the width of Lake Tahoe and the nights in the Belvedere Lagoon in addition to all the other training swims.
Jumping in was a bit hectic—at 11pm there were 8ft swells and the boat and kayaker rolled around a ton. The water temperature was great, but the wind and swells made it a bear to move through. Once we got closer to daybreak the next day, the swells were gone but there was definitely some wind. Apparently I am one of very few “negative split” channel crossers, where my second half was faster than my first half (the weather was a big part of it).
I had a great crew who provided a ton of help: Kelley and Julie were my CCSF observers, Robin and Ryan kayaked, my parents rode along too, as well as the Outrider’s very professional crew of 3. Because of the inclement weather, they were worried they might have to pull me, and we’re all very glad they did not.
I’m writing this hours after getting home, I’m not sure it’s all sunk in yet—but I’m really pleased to have been able to complete the Catalina Channel crossing and cross this item off my bucket list.