This event will be a consecutive series of three established swim routes, each recognized by the SBCSA (Santa Barbara Channel Swim Association):

  1. Santa Catalina Island to Santa Barbara Island (24.4 statute miles)
  2. Circumnavigation of Santa Barbara Island (5.0 statute miles
  3. Santa Barbara Island to Santa Catalina Island (24.4 statute miles)

The total distance of the three routes combined is 53.8 statute miles.

We have hired The Outrider, captained by John Pittman, to escort us on this swim.   The Outrider is a 50 foot sport fisher, built in 1976, and fully refurbished in 2005.

We will depart from the 22nd Street Landing in San Pedro at approximately 12:00 noon on July 14. For an outing of this duration, John will have another captain on board, and two crew members.

Our relay swim will be comprised of six swimmers, each swimming alone for a single hour.  After each member of the swim roster has swum, we will repeat the swim order, going through the roster as many  times  as necessary to complete a given  swim.  At the start of each subsequent swim, we may restack the order of the swim roster if we so choose.

There will be two observers from the SBCSA that will  be coming along,  to ensure our team  follows the rules, and to authenticate and record evidence of the swims.

The start time of the first swim has been selected so that we will reach Santa  Barbara Island in daylight. We are not certain where we will land on the island, and John Pittman  is much less familiar with this island, so we want to make contact with it in the daytime.

The first swim will start on the (barely) leeward side of the northwestern end of Catalina Island (“West End”), under the marginal protection of the very tip of Catalina Island. The map below shows the northern portion of  Catalina Island (above the Isthmus / Twin Harbors).

cat north 2

Approximate  location of the swim start is [33.478001°, -118.601967°]. west end 1

We anticipate a jump time of 15:00 on Thursday,  July 14.  This should put us at Santa Barbara Island before dawn on July 15, perhaps at around 04:00 or 5:00.

We aren’t yet certain of precisely where we will be touching down  on Santa Barbara Island.   Most likely we will touch at a cliff, rather than a beach, so we can get on and off the island with minimal effort, not having to  contend with stony beaches.  We anticipate a significant seal population on the island, so a cliff touchdown will minimize interactions with the local citizens.

Potential touchdown spots on Santa Barbara Island are shown on the map below.   The upper pin is  at Arch Rock [33.487687°, -119.028871°].  The  lower pin is at Landing  Cove [33.482490°, -119.030659°].  John  Pittman  may have other ideas on where the touchdown should  be, and as to whether we execute  the circumnavigation in a clockwise or a counterclockwise direction.

SBI pins 1

The circumnavigation of Santa Barbara Island shouldn’t take  more than three hours,  and we will touch back down on the island at the same point we started from.  The assumption is that by late morning we will begin the third swim, namely our return trip from Santa  Barbara Island to Santa  Catalina Island.  Anticipated arrival at West End on Catalina Island is at around 21:00 on Friday, July 15.

So, assuming that we do not encounter too much wind or swell or currents that will hinder us, we could complete this swim in  30 or so hours.