Strait of Juan de Fuca (Détroit de Juan de Fuca)

This July, I'll be attempting to cross the Strait of Juan de Fuca. In brief, the swim is a cross from Vancouver Island, BC to Washington state with a minimum straight-line distance of 11.6 miles (18.7km), water temperatures rarely above 52F (11C), ships, orcas, ocean swells, an international crossing, and and some strong currents. I'll be following the SBCSA Rules for an unassisted swim.

This is the first big swim I've planned on my own and wow has it been an experience. There is a long-winded write up coming in installments at http://forums.usms.org/blog.php?36101-andrewmalinak, where I'll attempt to cover the historical, technical, and legal aspects of the swim, and occasionally talk about my feelings.
I don't wear a wetsuit; it gives the ocean a sporting chance.
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Comments

  • Flippin Sweet Andrew! I've always thought this sounded like one of the best swims from "Wind Waves and Sunburns!"
  • Good read. Sounds like a fun swim and good place to train. I'm a little jealous about people not dismissing you as insane when you talk about setting that far.
  • I've put a summary of my research up on http://forums.usms.org/entry.php?28721-Strait-of-Juan-de-Fuca-a-brief-history-of-swimming

    If anyone out there knows of any other successful crosses I've missed, please let me know. Same goes for unsuccessful attempts. I just can't believe merely three people have tried this swim since 1958.

    Spreadsheet summary and primary sources available upon request.
    I don't wear a wetsuit; it gives the ocean a sporting chance.
  • Marilyn Bell currently resides in New Paltz. I'm trying to meet her for lunch some time.
    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.
  • edited May 2013
    said:

    I'll be following the SBCSA Rules for an unassisted swim.

    Andrew, this is a very interesting swim, and I'm excited to follow your progress! I also added your blog RSS to the Marathon Swimmers Feed.

    If I may ask, why did you decide on SBCSA rules for your swim?
  • There are four reasons I chose the SBCSA rules:
    1) I didn't want to write a set for scratch knowing that what I planned would fit into rules already established elsewhere
    2) SBCSA is the closest (geographically) major swim sanctioning body
    3) I like the provision about not drafting
    4) The rules were easy to find, read, and download from their website (very important)

    I found establishing the rules ahead of time has helped me focus on some of the smaller details, and also make sure the whole crew is on the same page with what I expect from the swim.

    I should note: no sanctioning body has approved this swim and there will be no official, sanctioned CBCSA observer on board. However the rules will be read on the boat ride out in the presence of the entire crew and adhered to in full. Take that for what it's worth.
    I don't wear a wetsuit; it gives the ocean a sporting chance.
  • edited May 2013

    and there will be no official, sanctioned CBCSA observer on board.

    Don't they want to send one or are the costs to high for you?

    I suggest that you might get an swimming official from Canada along for the swim.
    O.W. swimming ranking so high in Canada there should be one close by. Maybe the Canadian Swimming Federation is willing to sponsor an ow official. https://www.swimming.ca/ContactUs

    Or Tourism Vancouver Island
    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • You might want to talk to the nice folks at the Vancouver Open Water Swimming Association. http://vowsa.bc.ca/ they have done a Salish Sea swim a few years in a row now from the main land to VI. As well, I live on VI, so depending when you are doing it in July, I might be able to help out if you need it.
  • edited July 2013
    The forecasts are out for this weekend and I'll be making my attempt on Sunday, 28 July 2013, beginning at 6am PDT.

    There is a gale warning in effect for tonight, and high winds forecast to blow straight down the Strait every afternoon through Monday, so I'm expecting some lovely swells to be present. The weather has been gorgeous (if you like blue sky and sun) in Seattle for weeks now, and ironically that is driving this strong diurnal wind pattern.

    If you are interested in the planning process for this swim, there are 7,800 words for you to read on USMS Forums.

    Also, forum member @CaitlinRosen will be on board live-tweeting from @ andrewswims, and I'll be trackable by my fancy AIS unit (MMSI 367575160) on VesselFinder.com.

    Here's hoping the wind dies down.
    I don't wear a wetsuit; it gives the ocean a sporting chance.
  • Andrew, may the (gale) force be with you, sir! Have a great swim.
  • Best of luck, Andrew! Looking forward to hearing about your success...
  • edited July 2013
    Andrew I got all the confidence in you.
    I loved reading about the planing and thanks for sharing it all on http://forums.usms.org/blog.php?36101-Please-tap-on-the-glass
    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • Andrew, Thank you for enlightening us as to mountain of prep work this swim requires. Your detailed documentation is a great service to all who fall asleep with google earth on our screens.
    Wishing you great good luck! I will be following as I can though may be in transit for a good portion
    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.
  • Thanks everyone!

    This morning I was copied on an internal memo from the Sector Puget Sound VTS Director to his staff and the Canadain VTS staff saying the following: "Although this swim attempt is potentially dangerous, Mr. Malinak has complied with all requirements of USCG/CCG and has gained the approval of the District Commander for this event." I'm extremely excited to see this all come together so well. To get acknowledgement of the risk in the same sentence as approval for the swim makes me beyond happy.

    I hope you'll all find some of the planning useful in your future endeavours.

    Splash time is now 0800PDT to give the wind a chance to calm down.
    I don't wear a wetsuit; it gives the ocean a sporting chance.
  • 0800 PDT = 1500 UTC/GMT
    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
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