Catalina prep

Hey everyone,
I’m booked for a Catalina crossing and would like to familiarise myself with the lay of the land (water) a few months ahead. If I come to the area, can I swim a bit off of Catalina island somewhere, ie is there a swim beach on Catalina? And...same question for the usual landing spot.

Thanks, Mike


  • Hi Mike,

    I'm not all that familiar with swim spots on Catalina itself (most swims start at Doctor's Cove) and you can always visit and swim the usual landing spots (Terranea Beach, Sacred/Smugglers Cove), but one of the best ways of preparing for Catalina (other than the actual swim training, of course) is to play a part
    in someone else's Catalina crossing, either crewing/kayaking or observing.

    Let me know if you need a local kayaker for Catalina; the offer I made after you observed my Mercer Island swim still stands. :-)

  • Thanks :), I appreciate that.

  • GlobalSwimmerGlobalSwimmer New York NYMember

    More than familiarizing yourself with the water and landing spots - which can be pretty much the same - I’d make sure I’m comfortable swimming in pitch black waters, which is a common reason among DNFs. In my case I prepared by swimming the 22K annual night race in Acapulco and by practicing with my kayaker in the fourth stage of SCAR - I know, not too many hours in the dark but good to have the kayaker practice if he’s not too experienced. Cheers

  • Thanks, appreciate that! I've done a number of open water swims at night, though, so I'm OK on that front. I have other challenges :).

  • WaterloggedWaterlogged United StatesMember

    Hey there @MikeH

    I am trying to establish a date this summer (ideally August) for Catalina, working with my support crew at our New Year's Eve Celebration tomorrow to nail down a date that is good for all of us. When is your swim scheduled? Is there a way to connect with other swimmers prior to Catalina? I am on the opposite coast, in NC. I would be happy to crew for someone prior to my swim, within the week prior- Happy to pace a little too if there is someone of the right speed (or if faster could fin pace).

    I wasn't originally planning on the Catalina Channel, just focused on the English Channel (and have been for 32 years to date). I was thwarted by the English Channel as a teen ($$$) and I am so glad to come back to this now. I have done some long swims (20k) and just got the bug from there. I have decided to do the Catalina while I wait on my English Channel slot scheduled for Late June 2021 (not ideal, but an opportunity no less)- this kind of swimming makes me tick and I am so looking forward to it!

    Words of wisdom now being accepted, of course.

    @MikeH said:
    Thanks, appreciate that! I've done a number of open water swims at night, though, so I'm OK on that front. I have other challenges :).

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