Friday, September 17, 2010

the deep 6 relay (or, a real pleasant weekend frolic in the ocean)

i'm going to pause my usual posts for a current event news item that at the time of this writing is ongoing. it's the Deep 6 relay trying to set a world record for an open-water relay swim.

i won't go too far into the details. you can reference them in the LA Times article here:
there's also a video at Swimming World magazine that interviews the team:
for pictures, you can check out the gallery of photos (one of them above) taken by the Ventura County Star newspaper:
in short, Deep 6 is a team of (you guessed it) 6 swimmers from Ventura County, all middle-aged men with a fairly extensive background in swimming. they're trying to cover 202 miles of open ocean, with a route following the Southern California coastline starting from Ventura Harbor to Santa Barbara and then back down again to La Jolla. each man takes a 1-hour turn before taking a rest on an accompanying charter yacht.

apart from the fact that they're setting out to obliterate the old relay record of 78 miles (set in freshwater Lake Taupo in New Zealand), here's what i find amazing:

according to the requirements maintained by the Federation Internationale de Natation (in English: the International Federation of Swimming), the swim has to be done without wetsuits. meaning that the men are swimming completely exposed to the waters of Southern California. for those of you who don't know, the waters off California originate in Alaska, with the summer California water having been Alaska winter water 6 months before. currently, water temperatures off Los Angeles County are below 60 degrees F--and those kinds of temperatures are the kind of cold that you can feel penetrating your skull.

add to that the danger of stings from jellyfish, bites from sharks (including the breach attacks of great whites), and collisions with random pieces of human pollution from passing ships and Southern California cities, and you have yourself a real pleasant weekend frolic in the ocean.

they started this past Thursday and are supposedly set to finish by Monday. i hope to catch the news of their completion, since i want to know their condition and see the photos. it sounds like they're having an adventure, and they'll have definitely done something very, very few people can even think about doing.

that, and they'll have had a real pleasant weekend frolic in the ocean.


Bob Almighty said...

Dude these guys are hardcore doing it off the coast of Cali. In New England we're spoiled by the Gulf Stream granted loops of Lake Taupo sound fun...especailly because there are no sharks.

Ventura Deep Six said...

Thank you Jonathan for following our quest down the Cali coast. You could also add to your blog post under obstacles - mile long fishing traps, shipping lanes and blinding fog with a water temp reading low of 56 degrees - we believe we swam about 230 miles. The documentary is going to be epic!

The Ventura Deep Six

jonathan starlight said...

wow! awesome to have you guys post! thanks for the feedback. 230 miles...phenomenonal. must have been fun.