Just arrived in Lanzarote, Canary Islands, for the long awaited Bocaina marathon swim!
This is the final swim of the season for me. After months of training and preparation, this is it. I’ve really been looking forward to this event for months.
First, because it’s an “adventure” swim: from one island to another; in the middle of the open Atlantic Ocean. I’ve done other long swims this year, but this one is different: I will be literally ‘traveling’ through the Atlantic, from point A to point B. This is as exciting to me as thousand upon thousand of laps in the swimming pool are boring (and I’ve swum ca. 20,000 laps this year)
Second, because of the venue: the Canary Islands are simply breathtaking, and swimming Lanzarote to Fuerteventura will be amazing. When sighting ahead (i.e. looking up to make sure I don’t go off course), I’ll be aiming for a volcanic island that protrudes out of the water in the middle of the Atlantic – I will enjoy every moment. These waters are also special to me: although I am originally from a bit further north, this is the northeast Atlantic – my first ocean, my ‘home’ ocean. Moreover, like in Benidorm two weeks ago, we start swimming early in the morning, and head due south, so I expect to see another sunrise from the middle of the ocean.
Third, the distance: 15 km is the equivalent of running a marathon and a half. Depending on the conditions, I expect to finish in approx. 4 hours 30 mins. I know it will be challenging, but I’m ready. I’ve trained well throughout the year, and I’ve also gained experience with long swims in lakes and in the ocean. I’ve met the proverbial ‘man with the hammer’ (‘el hombre del martillo’, ‘der Mann mit dem Hammer’), and defeated him. Let’s hope weather respects us and provides calm seas…
And last but not least, because it’s a non-competitive event: it originated 18 years ago as a protest swim – local swimmers asking local authorities for better swimming pools – and it has grown into an annual event with swimmers from all over the world.
Being a non-competitive swim means that we will swim in groups, ‘schools of humans’ if you will, which will reinforce the sense of camaraderie and community that open water long distance swimmers share. After all, only we know how much and how hard we have trained to get here; we all are equally and uniquely crazy.
For all these reasons, I couldn’t think of a better event with which to end the season. I’m very excited about tomorrow. But for now, after a long flight, I’m going in for a swim in Playa Blanca. More to come soon!
As you know, I have been doing swims like this throughout the year so that I can raise funds for Red Cross Emergency Aid projects. If you’d like to support, please visit and/or share my fundraising page: bit.ly/SwimDonate. Of course, there’s no obligation, but it helps a lot if you at least share it, so others can discover my project.