….explains why the water alone the Californian coast was so cold this season. http://www.dailynewsofopenwaterswimming.com/2010/09/challenge-of-pacific-decadal.html
Penny Palfrey joined exclusive company with her Catalina crossing in 10 hours and 36 minutes. She’s one of fewer than 200 swimmers to accomplish this Channel. Plus, Penny became the first Australian woman to swim the “Triple Crown” (Catalina, English Channel and Manhattan Island Marathon Swim). In addition, Penny is the first woman to swim solo from 3 of the 8 Channel Islands of Southern California. Last year, she swam 40-miles from Santa Barbara Island and a year earlier she did a 26-mile crossing which started at San Miguel Island. The only other swimmer to have made 3 Channel Island solo crossings is David Yudovin, who in the 1980s made swims from Anacapa and Santa Cruz. Also, David’s crossed the Catalina Channel 4 times over 3 different decades.
After training in Australia in one of the warmest winters on record, the Palfreys took to the Catalina Channel in the coldest ocean temperatures in recent and distant memories. Cold, rough, warm, calm, they accept what Mother Nature offers them.
Renowned Catalina Channel escort pilot John Pittman who was out on the water when his father escorted Lynne Cox back in the early 1970s said he has never seen a summer like this.
Chris, who earlier set the Molokai Channel record in 12:53 this year, made all the right moves. “We checked the water at Point Vicente for the currents, said waterman Forrest Nelson. “We discovered the currents were pretty nil, so went for a Palos Verdes start in 54°F (12°C) and aimed throughout the night for warmer water. Unfortunately, he cramped at the 90-minute mark. He chose a difficult week in a challenging summer. Chris and Penny never got to train in open water any colder than 75°F (24°C), so getting dumped into 12°C had to hurt.”