My swim to Horn Island

edited December 2013 in Event Announcements
I am planning my assault on Horn Island in the Mississippi sound. The swim will start in Gautier at the mouth of the west river and go to the ranger station on Horn Island. Crow flies 12.5 miles. My sister will pilot me as she is a captain and very familiar with the drift in these waters. I have an observer that will also swim with me at times and I plan on doing this in 9-11 hours. I am beginning the planning and hope to have some yakkers in place soon.

Rules will be EC so I don't have to reinvent the wheel. This will be a low key event to build my confidence.

I think this is a first attempt.
Anyway, wish me luck.



  • heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member
    Yay, Karl! Have a fabulous time! When are you planning the swim?
  • timsroottimsroot Spring, TXCharter Member
    edited December 2013
    When I swam to Cat Island, on the way back, we had a heavy east current push us back toward Gulfport. There were also some jellies out in October, but it wasn't terrible. I'm in Baton Rouge, so feel free to contact me with questions, or if you would like a companion to swim with you.
  • @heart
    My plan is for the weekend of 5-24-14. If the weather behaves I will go on that Saturday at daybreak.

    I knew you did a round trip to Cat Island. Very impressive. The sound can get grumpy. I was concerned about the jellies but I swam the Alligator Reef Lighthouse swim this year and saw 1,000,000 moon jellies. Nettles are bad too but the bragging rights will be greater. Thanks for your offer. I will pick your brain.
  • timsroottimsroot Spring, TXCharter Member
    The water will be pretty warm that late in May.

    I stopped a few miles short of finishing the round trip. It was a training swim for something else, and with the current passing us away from the truck we drive in with, I decided to bail. But, I made it all the way out and about 6 of the 8 miles back. I learned from both that and my Pontchartrain attempt this year.
  • IronMikeIronMike Northern VirginiaCharter Member
    You should put this on the Upcoming Solo Swims calendar.

    Good luck, @Leprechaunturd!

    We're all just carbon, water, starlight, oxygen and dreams

  • Sounds like a cool swim - best of luck!
  • Thanks @Mike_H123. The fun begins 1-2-14 with this years training. :)
  • My daughter set up a nice Facebook page. Search: Horn Island Swim, Karl Stine

    She will post text and video on the day of the swim. I had to change the date to the 25th of May.
  • Thanks @Niek
  • edited May 2014
    Thanks, Niek, for the link, and thanks to Leprechaunturd for the link to SwimSmooth on your FB page.

    As a clarification, for me. This is a round trip swim, I assume you're not doing a flip turn off the island, Rules for a one way would be that you must arrive on dry land under your own power, i.e. walk on shore. For a two way must you leave shore, walk on the island then leave off the island and walk on the shore again? (Makes sense.)

    Are there rules about how long you can linger on the island? Can you sit and catch your breath, eat drink and be merry before you're on your way? Or must you walk on shore and pull a U ey ASAP?

    This guy from near Bath, ME wishes a guy leaving from near Pascagoula, MS all good.
  • My mistake, I thought it was round trip. Sorry.

    But, as I am considering Island Round trip swims, I'm still interested. Niek, does French "policy" translate into EC "Rules"? Is it still considered "Marathon" if the island is 5K out and 5K back with a rest period between legs?
  • @Dredpiraterobts
    Thanks for your good wishes. I am able to take 10 minutes on the beach according to the marathon swimmers rules. I could do a flip turn but I will get sand in my eyes. :-)
  • I have to say that this has been a wonderful experience for me. I started with a brag in September 2013 which lead to a commitment in October and serious training in January. So far everything is going well. My shoulders are holding up from the training, I have my team in place, and best of all I found a swim mate that is as interested in my success as I am.
    He has given me some great advice on the mental part and I am passing this on to my team.
  • Tomorrow's the day? Tomorrow's the day!

    Knock it dead, Leprechaunturd!
  • flystormsflystorms Memphis, TNSenior Member
    Following him on FB right now. Hree's the last post from about 1/2 hour ago...
    3rd feed, 16 oz of water, 1:35 in, strike rate a very consistent 60. We are a little over 1/2 way to the island!
  • Congrats Leprechaunturd! Sleep the sleep of gladiators! For you have surely shorn the horn!
  • flystormsflystorms Memphis, TNSenior Member
    Saw he finished in just seconds over 8 hours. Greatjob!
  • Thanks. It easy when the team is great. :-)
  • Well the news people called it a world record. Whoohoo! Did get a plug in for the swim being the first done under MSF rules.
  • IronMikeIronMike Northern VirginiaCharter Member
    What news people? Any links?

    We're all just carbon, water, starlight, oxygen and dreams

  • Ok I meant the first to Horn Island to go under MSF rules. :)
    Above is my facebook. Sorry I don't know how to post the vid.
  • Thanks @evmo
  • This is my last FB post. Thanks for allowing me to share.:

    Well a few days have past and I feel more like myself. This has been a truly blessed event for me. I have learned some things about myself and am pleased to have been able to confront demons and be victorious. I truly believe I did something special and am so proud of my sister Kathy, her husband Jeff, and my wonderful daughter Erin for their commitment and professional manner they handled their assigned duties. Could not have done this without them! Jeff's unyielding approach to staying on course, keeping me safe from barge traffic, and managing to adjust the boat speed to mine which was not as easy as you may think. The boat was towing a rig that made us look like we were illegally shrimping. this caused the marine patrol to question him on two occasions during the swim. I will recommend an interview with Jeff to any of my cohorts attempting a long swim. He has an uncanny way of understanding the basic needs of the swimmer. Thanks Jeff.
    My beautiful sister Kathy dutifully took up the post of official observer. Her records are spot on and without her the event would not have been. (If it's not documented it didn't happen) when I called her for information last year her first statement was can I help? That was music to my ears. She put her business on hold and set out to make this as stress free as possible for me. Her catch phrase is "tell me what to do we'll get it done".
    Thanks Kathy.
    Now my daughter was on board as soon as I mentioned my intentions. "I want to help" she said and she did. The feedings were spot on every 30 minutes. I had her alternate between Carbopro and water. She had a great smile all day and read encouraging remarks from all of posts. Also, she posted my progress to Facebook which was great for those that tuned in. The team each had a hand in getting news coverage. It's always nice to see my bald spot on TV.
    The last two miles were particularly difficult mentally. That is where you tend to ponder things and start doubting yourself. I came to the realization that this swim is not as heroic as my sweet wife's tenacious mother/grandmother lot in life. She had to stay home for work. Drudge along doing the mundane, dropped in on the grand kids, she is so strong mentally and fixed on the prize. That being a solid person of honest integrity unwilling to compromise the safety and mental health of the people she loves of which I am so proud to be in that number. Thank you Beryl.
    Thank you all who "liked and commented", it means a lot to me. Let's close this chapter and endeavor to step out of our respective comfort zones. There are some wonderful experiences waiting for each of us.
    Good luck and happy travels.

    I'm not a data junky so the swim recap may be lame to some but...

    Started at 0700 5-25-14. Crew was in place an quivering with anticipation of the epicness of this swim. (not really, they were yawning and questioning their motives)
    I set out for the island and immediately stepped on some barnacles and cut my foot. My friend Robert Mog told me to swim the first portion as a warmup so I did. No problems, no anxiety. Almost to the island I noticed a shadow in the water. -Dramatic pause-

    I sped up it sped up. I swam away from the boat and it followed me. For one minute I was screaming in my head until I realized it was my shadow.
    Got to the island and as per the rules stepped out onto dry land and waited for family members and friends to crowd around me. I had planned on what I was going to say to thank them but please don't touch me. No one was there. Maybe they didn't get the coordinates right. Yes that must be it.

    Got back in and swam back. I changed to 4 stroke breathing to the left for the return. It felt good to get an extra stroke in. My stroke rate stayed 60/min the entire way and my pace was 37 minutes per mile. 32 if you remove the feeds. I'm told that the closest encounter with marine life was a blue crab that swam within inches of my hand. I can only imagine what I would have done had that thing decided to grab me.
    Anyway, I began cramping in my feet, back, and neck the last three miles. When we got to the finish I once again stumbled on sharp rocks and exited.
    Thank you MSF for being a place for us to ramble about these kind of things.
  • Mike_GemelliMike_Gemelli Rutherford, NJMember
    Congratulations @Leprechaunturd! Very cool report, thanks for sharing. Your "shadow" incident hits close to home with me and therefore had me laughing out loud as I read it.
  • Leonard_JansenLeonard_Jansen Charter Member
    Congrats! Sounds like fun.


    “Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess.” - Oscar Wilde

  • Thanks @Mike_Gemelli I laughed myself when I saw what it was.
    @Leonard_Jansen it was great.
  • Awesome job. This really inspires me to do bigger and better!

    Excellence is born of preparation, dedication, focus and tenacity; compromise on any of these and you become average.

  • Yay @OnceaRunner. Go for it! I'm sure you will learn something about yourself similar to going on a vision quest. :-)
  • Well done, very well done.
  • suziedodssuziedods Mem​ber
    Can we sign up to do it next year???
  • @suziedods of course you can do this next year. I'm sure we can get the band (crew) back together for this. Actually, I thought it would make a good annual event. The casinos and good seafood are there to make a weekend of it. My sister owns Eco-Tours of South Mississippi and has at least 4 powered boats and several kayaks. She will give us a good deal. The local media will make us stars and there will probably be a parade. Well maybe not a parade but we could wake behind each other to the beach.
  • suziedodssuziedods Mem​ber
    ON IT!! i am SERIOUS!! Whoo hoo!! THANK YOU!
    ( if I survive END WET :)
  • timsroottimsroot Spring, TXCharter Member
    @Leprechaunturd - I've taken two trips out to Cat Island, a few islands to the west, and thought that a swim back to either Long Beach or Gulfport from the island would be a pretty good swim. (8 miles one way). It would require a lot of support from the coast guard and other agencies, especially since the Intracoastal Waterway runs through the Mississippi Sound between the mainland and the barrier islands out there. There is a charter company that has some houses somewhere on the island that might be able to offer some help, too.

    If you turned it into some kind of event, I'm sure I'd drive over from Baton Rouge for it.
  • Ugh! OK. May 24th 2015. 30nmi may be a bit crazy but a round the island would be 26ish miles. For that matter I can get us setup on the island for a camping weekend. Get out there Saturday start the swim Sunday a.m. back on Monday a.m. Just an idea. Ideas? Interest?
  • @timsroot I hoped you would chime in. :-)
  • timsroottimsroot Spring, TXCharter Member

    Less interest if it's that late. The buoy in Bay St. Louis already is almost 83 degrees, although I'm not sure if the Bay tends to be warmer or cooler than the gulf. If you did it in March or April, when the water was still cooler, I'd be all over it.

  • @timsroot I wouldn't be opposed to early-mid April say 11th or 18th.
  • timsroottimsroot Spring, TXCharter Member
    @Neik - Regardless of which Mississippi Barrier Island you choose to swim (or paddle) to, you are crossing the Intracoastal Waterway. The Intracoastal exits Mobile Bay, stays between the islands and the mainland in the Mississippi Sound, and then heads into the lower Mississippi River.

    Tides in this area exits, but are pretty small. At the entrance to Bay St. Louis, the tide heights today are 2.0 ft and 0.0 ft. The maximum high tide recorded in the tide tables for St. Louis Bay Entrance which is of 2.6 ft and a minimum height of -1.3 ft.

    I swam out to Cat Island last year, escorted by two kayaks. I have kayaked out there as well as part of a group. There is shipping traffic, but I did not find it to be dense enough to present much of a hazard. Out kayak trip was in July last year, and there were a lot of pleasure boats out, but none of them gave us any big problems, although one boat never let off the throttle, thankfully passing well in front of us.

    There are certainly hazards that would require planning, regardless of which island you were going to swim to down there. If you swam to Ship Island, there are permanent navigation marks, but you would be swimming immediately next to a dredged channel that has a ferry route along it. With that said, I think that with proper planning, a good event could be run down there.

  • suziedodssuziedods Mem​ber
  • @suziedods there are no sharks! Zero! Not one. Well maybe one. Or two.
  • Shadows?! Yeah, heck yeah,

    But sharks? Nah... :ar!
  • timsroottimsroot Spring, TXCharter Member
    suziedods wrote:

    There are sharks and jellies. I've hit the jellies. Seen and heard dolphins. Never seen any sharks.
  • I swam with two pods of dolphins Sunday so my crew says.
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