Victory through the Strait of Magellan!

Posted in Uncategorized by bowsprite on 2009/01/25

Warmest congratulations to NY water swimmers, Rachel and Cristian! for yesterday, with two other swimmers, they swam the fierce Strait of Magellan where they braved waters of 40°, storms and currents. Rachel writes:

La Prensa Austral

photo: La Prensa Austral

“our swim, assisted by the Armada de Punta Arenas and a wonderful armada of tonino– Magallanes dolphins– and penguins, was more than successful. it was positively magical, beginning with calm, then sandwiched between severe storms, ending in a tranquil sea with laughing dolphins accompanying the boats to shore.

Scott finished first in 1 hour, 18 minutes, Mark in 1 hour 38 minutes, Cristian in 1 hour 50 minutes after battling offshore currents, and I ended up last at 1 hour 53 minutes after an encounter with a whirlpool. Cristian and Mark arrived ashore just minutes before.”

Her fascinating account, Magellaniana, engages the senses, and might infect you, too, with the urge to commune with Nature in its rawest, most exhilarating form. An article about them from the NYTimes can be found here.

Below is a photo taken after the Coney Island Polar Bear’s New Year Plunge a few weeks ago. Rachel and Cristian are on the left. Center, is the ebullient and charismatic Lou of the Polar Bears, and to the right is Jonathan, who had been training for the Strait swim, but injured his shoulder. Rachel came in to take his place. They are among the hardy ones, who are out there in Coney Island every weekend.


If swimming our beautiful waters interest you, you can inquire at CIBBOWS — the Coney Island Brighton Beach Open Water Swimmers. You might have to wait until Cristian gets back from Chile, though!

As Lou likes to say: “Every day is a beach day!”

Congratulations, again! I am so thrilled for you, Swimmers


If you are interested in cold water swimming, please look at these observations made on my swimblog here. I’m not out there every weekend, but I will interview the more regular cold water swimmers and update the information…!

7 Responses

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  1. tugster said, on 2009/01/25 at 18:58

    interesting story and well chosen words there right at the beginning about WARMEST congratulations. if i swam for even 1/10th that time in 40-degree water, i’d want warm towels around me and warmer soup inside me.

    • bowsprite said, on 2009/01/25 at 19:49

      ok…steamy, hot, pore-cleansing congratulations!

  2. Rachel said, on 2009/01/26 at 13:43

    Thank you Christina! and what a beautiful blog you have! this has been an unexpected and amazing twist of life…

  3. Buck said, on 2009/01/27 at 10:00

    Congratulations! Excellent coverage – too bad more people don’t know of the achievements of this team!

    A little bit farther south, Rich Wilson was sailing round the Horn in the Vendée Globe round the world solo sailing race.

  4. Mage Bailey said, on 2009/01/27 at 11:12

    ………..Not me…….Oh my oh my………I swim almost every day…….but in a heated pool. I no longer do well in cold water. Once I get cold all the way through, and I do if the water is under 80, then it takes me days to get warm. You are soooooooooooooo brave.

    I’ll post this at your swimming blog too.

  5. Andrew said, on 2010/05/22 at 03:53

    I am interested in the logistics of doing the swim, I am south african and am keen to try it in feb 2011. thanks Andrew

  6. […] Cristian read the rules. […]

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