ColmBreathnach Charter Member
edited August 2014 in General Discussion
Warm showers for inmates to keep them out of the water.
You can swim Alcatraz on pretty much any tide, you just have to pick your landing spot.
For most people the biggest problem is when they realize they have to jump 8-10 feet off a boat, into dark green water... and that there are anywhere from 200-1900 people behind them , that ALSO want to jump. It's only about 2k or 2.5 k depending on where you finish.
It slays me when I see Aquatic Park PACKED w swimmers the DAY BEFORE an event, swimming for 30 m in or so and thinking they are acclimated. Or when they ask me what "the weather will be like tomorrow , or the next day or next week". Honestly? I don't know! It is an iconic swim, w fab views and it can be challenging but sharks are not the issue.
Parking is. It's SF.
If you define an "Alcatraz" as the rock to/from anywhere on the SF cityfront, then potentially you could just ride the ebb from Pier 20-30-ish to the rock (or do the opposite on a flood), which is a very short swim, and call it an "Alcatraz." (The swim in the video above posted by @loneswimmer finished at Crissy Field on a strong ebb).
@ForeverSwim and I recently did a quote-unquote "real" Alcatraz (finishing at SERC) across a 3+knot ebb tide, and it was a thrilling challenge of a swim. Despite our best efforts, we got pushed west all the way to Ft Mason and had to crab our way back along the shoreline to Aquatic Park. It was awesome.
That last sentence there is the essence of "the spirit of marathon swimming." That's why I love this sport and its adherents.
[edit: bold and italics in Evan's post mine]
We're all just carbon, water, starlight, oxygen and dreams
"""Always good to remember the 2013 Escape from Alcatraz video of hundreds of triathletes literally lost at sea."" the same day Cathe Delneo was blissfully swimming oh, about 3 hours.. It's all relative..
Anyone remember Bill Cosby's "Why is there air ' album? He does a riff on the hills of SF
" Look Martha! We caught another one"!!
The Sharkfest & South End Invitational Alcatraz swims are also Rock-to-AP.
Don't expect to actually touch land at the start on a mass public swim, though. Technically I think you can get ticketed.
"I never met a shark I didn't like"
Wow, that's all the way west by the GG bridge, (as I recall from having just been there for the first time the other day), right?
How far is that...2-3 miles?
That's a factor to contend with!
After this past weekend, (with my first visit to AP and foray into swimming in the Bay), I've said this to people about the "thrilling challenge" and "added factor of the tides/currents", both in planning and execution, that swimming there includes! It really does add an exciting aspect that I enjoyed.
And not to take it lightly, since this past weekend was relatively weak tidal flow...still, it was fun to have to think about it and manage it (even though I wasn't alone either on the Sharkfest Alcatraz swim on Sat or Sunday SERC Sunrise swim plus a couple more hours with a few others) and could presumably rely on the event support (Sharkfest) and, more confidently, the pilots (SERC swim) to steer us right!
I liken the feeling to going out with big waves around La Jolla Cove...it's a whole different kind of swim! ;-)
Challenging and Exciting, but ever vigilant...
Certainly, for me, my Sunday swim was more to my liking than the Sharkfest swim, because it wasn't with a mass of people (and rubber) zig zigging all over the place (and my first priority and focus was on the group of young swimmers I trained and took up there for their first event). Still, I really enjoyed the "Alcatraz" swim and look forward to doing it again...though preferably without the masses.
And although our original Sunday plan of going around Alcatraz was thwarted by the fog (disappointing!) I did then get to experience a bit of the "challenge" and excitement of heading back to AP from the West as the ebb tide was starting!
It's interesting what info sticks in your mind when you don't think at the time that you'll ever need it...but I remembered Evan saying about his swim he referenced above with @ForeverSwim that while Darren and their other friend tried to take the straighter line back to AP, he snuck along closer to the shoreline, Ft Mason and AP pier, (home field advantage!) to squeeze back into AP! Although the flow wasn't as heavy on our day as their's, it was a tip I'll always remember now that I was at least mildly faced with that similar situation of managing the extraneous conditions and added factors of an open water swim in SF Bay!
Thanks @evmo! :-)
I hope to follow my first fun and thoroughly enjoyable trip to AP with many more to come...love the friends I've made and friendships that continued to be nurtured in wet, salty/silty, wind/choppy, ebb/flow conditions of SF Bay!