14 December 2009

the beagle has landed...

our swim dates aren't totally confirmed, but my travel plans are...southheading once again this january, arriving a month from today in Santiago, Chile, and with the incredible assistance of the intrepid Claudia Molkhembur Sapunar (of Chiledeportes, the Chilean ministry of sports) we have again enlisted the support of the Armada in Punta Arenas and Puerto Williams. We plan to swim from Puerto Williams, Chile, to Ushuaia, Argentina-- a distance of at least 3 miles in similar temperatures to the Strait of Magellan. We'd initially hoped to attempt a double crossing, but the distance doesn't seem short enough for that to be feasible (plus, getting out and back in to 38- or 39-degree water would be psychologically complex). Lynne Cox, my heroine in more ways than one, is the only woman who attempted and accomplished this swim. Lynne did the crossing in the early 90s, as a way to encourage co-operation between the Argentinian and Chilean Armadas (Coast Guard) at a time when the two countries were in bitter dispute over this remote southern area. Our goals are more personal, and have more to do with the challenge presented by the elements, the environment, and the joy of our ability to do these swims. We are also so thrilled to have Claudia on our team making this swim happen!

Sponsorship from Patagonia, the clothing company, is pending, and we are thankful to Kristo Torgersen for his help and support.

Water temperatures in NYC have reached the low 40s. It looks like we may be heading into the 30s by early 2010-- a rapid drop compared to last year. My body is ready for the challenge, but the initial cold days will test my endurance for pain in my hands. Luckily for my violin career, there doesn't seem to be any long-term damage from regular training in the 30s, as long as we don't stay in over 20 minutes. That's about a quarter-mile sprint, for those of you who might ask how far we swim when the water hits 32. We would swim longer, but we still have to get something on and make it up the beach! Even more pressing, i often have to rush off to play a concert somewhere.

I still haven't found my haute-couture bikini sponsor, sadly...

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