My Escape from Alcatraz

I woke up this morning at 5:30am with a sense of suspense, anticipating the swim ahead of me.

I walked from my hotel in Ghirardelli Square to Hyde St Pier to meet my guide Pedro Ordenes of Water World Swim at 7:00am.  We met the boat captain and were off to Alcatraz.  I was excited.  The conditions were perfect: calm wind, flat seas, and the sun was just starting to come out.  I was ready to jump in.

I plunged off the side of the boat and when I surfaced I was infused with excitement and began to swim.  The excitement quickly turned to anxiety.  All my fears, coupled with the frigid water temperature, consumed me and my breathing got out of control.  I felt like I was about to start hyperventilating.  I decided to stop swimming and float for a minute to catch my breath and calm myself down.  After doing that I felt great and was ready to continue swimming.

About midway through my swim I thought about what I was doing - swimming from Alcatraz - and I started to get pretty pumped.  Every time I breathed to my right I could see the Golden Gate Bridge in the distance which just added to my excitement and I really started to enjoy myself.

I got a little confused with the landing spot and aimed for the wrong location.  I ended up about 200m down current of where I wanted to be and had to swim straight against the current next to the pier.  I wasn't moving fast as the waves were fighting against me.  They were rolling up and down and I started to get a little dizzy.  Seeing people on the pier looking down at me and probably thinking I was crazy gave me all the fuel I needed to push through it.

I eventually made it to the beach and when I got out I could not stand up straight.  I stumbled around for a while trying to reach equilibrium and fight off the spins until I couldn't fight it anymore and leaned over to vomit.  Luckily I only had a banana to eat and there wasn't much to come out.  After that I felt great.

By then the boat had docked and Pedro came over to present me with a certificate and give me a t-shirt.

So I did it; I survived; I escaped from Alcatraz.


Winstonian said...

Nice work Andrew! The backdrop looks amazing. Would you do it again?

Vincent said...


Awesome buddy. I'm jealous I couldn't be there do to it as well. Can't wait to hear about it in person!

Vincent said...

PS, my camchaka or whatever they are called was aweusome, close enough! AWESOME!

awight said...

I would totally do it again. Next Tri Club social? Vince, what the heck is a camchaka?

Vincent said...

what I meant to say was Captcha

but was a little drunk and couldn't remember the word...

Debi said...

That is AWESOME !!! It's great when people think you are crazy isn't it? I especially liked the vomit part.

awight said...

What an aweusome coincidence Vince. And yes, I love it when people tell me I'm crazy.

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