April 13th 2011
We arrive at the Farallones in the early evening. The plan is to spend the night on the boat, wake up early the next morning and make the 3rd attempt to swim from the Farallon Islands to the Golden Gate Bridge.
I’m the back-up swimmer supporting a team of six amazing guys and I can’t believe I’m part of this, watching history.
In case you didn’t know, the Farallones, or Devil’s Teeth, as its known, is a cluster of jagged islands 30 miles off the coast of California; a spectacular marine mammal sanctuary and home to the largest Great White Sharks in the world.
Many people think the idea of swimming anywhere remotely near these islands is absolutely crazy. And it is. It IS crazy. And that’s exactly why it should be done.
One of the many amazing blessings from being part of Night Train Swimmers is being surrounded by people who constantly push the envelope, who continually feel compelled to do something different and show the rest of us what is possible when you dream big.
This is going to be an incredible experience and I can’t wait. I’m not nervous. I’m so excited I feel like a kid waiting for Christmas.
I marvel at the islands. We’re here. We’re really here!
The Farallones are beautiful. Eerily beautiful and completely captivating.
We take the boat for a loop around the islands and finally arrive at the buoy in Fisherman’s Bay. The official starting point for tomorrow’s swim.
I’m speechless. Because, right there in front of us… around us… are hundreds of seals and sea lions. Hundreds. Literally frolicking in the water without a care in the world.
I can’t believe what I’m seeing! It looks just like Sea World. Only this is REAL. And all I want to do is jump in the water.
“I’m jumping in. “ I declare. “What?!!” The guys ask in disbelief.
“Yeah, I’m jumping in.”
Standing on the edge of the boat, the only thing I’m nervous about is hitting my head on something as I dive in.
“Is it okay to dive?” I ask… I dive.
My head comes up through the surface and suddenly I notice that all the frolicking above the water has stopped. I put my face in the water and gasp.
Swirling, dancing, frolicking below me in 30 feet of visibility are my pinniped buddies, looking up at me in disbelief, as if to say, “who is this crazy lady, and why is she in our pool?”