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.
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.