Sunday, August 16, 2009


Today was a day of facing some old fears that I think may not be fears any longer. I'll just have to wait and see. As you know I have, or had, a fear of deep, dark water, but after swimming and kayaking through 6 miles of it today at the Alii Challenge I think I'm cured. Emerson said it best: “Be not the slave of your own past. Plunge into the sublime seas, dive deep and swim far, so you shall come back with self-respect, with new power, with an advanced experience that shall explain and overlook the old.”

Swimming in the deep blue.

Rob paddling and me swimming.

Another fear is jellies. Although we spotted a few, no one was stung. Only a few sea nettles, which only sting for a few seconds. No monsters from the abyss and no jellies. Now that's a confidence builder.

Near the start of the race. Rob paddling, me swimming.

Rob swimming.

We swam from Keauhou Bay to Kailua Pier -- 6 miles of open ocean. Deep open ocean. But I have to admit it was beautiful. An amazing blue you just have to see. It's like lying on your back and looking up at the darkest blue sky you've ever seen. At the Alii Challnege you can swim the entire 6 miles solo or team up with a partner and trade off at whatever intervals you want. One person swims and one kayaks. My partner was Rob "the Extreme" Van Geen.

When we swam by the Coast Guard buoy, which is about 1.2 miles from the finish, we had a pod of dolphins swim past us. What a way to welcome us into Kailua Bay...

Rob and I finished the 6 miles in 2:58. Like Ironman, the goal wasn't time but to just finish.

Me swimming in Kailua Bay.

Rob celebrating our finish.

We did it!!!

The gang. Me, Karen, Rob and Giovanni.

Karen after the race. Her and Giovanni were water safety during the race.

Giovanni paddling.

Kym Kiser finishing the race.

Wendy Deweese, Kym's partner, paddling into the finish. Kym is swimming just behind her.

Me swimming my last leg in Kailua Bay. The hotel up ahead is the finish.


Blain said...

Last month my wife, daughter, and I visited the Big Island for the first time. We all are triathletes from Florida and the first day we were there we did the Kings swim. On day 2 we rode down and my wife and I swam Kealakekua Bay to the Captain Cook monument and back while our daughter kayaked nexted to us. I vividly recall the dark blue abyss and the unknown lerking just out of sight. I grew up on the Atlantic and was taught the ocean is your friend as long as you show her respect. The beauty and power of the Pacific and the Big Island is something I will remember and look forward to experiencing again soon.


debbie said...

Great team work guys Congratulations on finishing with no stings or monsters from the deep blue.


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