Wanna know the best way to see the SF bay? No, it’s not by boat or by foot. Swimming the 10 km from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Bay Bridge gives you a unique view to the city– and as far as swims go, it might be one of the more exciting ones I’ve done. This morning, Mauricio and I got on our friend and Night Train Swimmer co-founder Vito Bialla‘s boat– together with some amazing swimmers– Kim Chambers, Phil Cutti, David Holscher and Patrick Horn. We headed out towards the foggy opening to the bay to jump in underneath the bridge. When we jumped in, I felt the sheer force of the bay’s ripping currents. The bridge overhead makes you feel insignificant. I’m a whimp when it comes to water temperature- so I wore a wetsuit to brave the 58 degree F water, but the others did not.
We swam past the Presidio and Crissy Field, past Pier 39, past Alcatraz….and then lo and behold, we swam right into the middle of the America’s Cup! The stands were filled with people waving NZ and USA flags and the Oracle Team USA and Emirates Team New Zealand boats were waiting to start the race 50 yards away from us. Our daughters were waving wildly to the crowd and apparently all the bystanders were cheering. Apparently Vito was being radioed by the America’s Cup organizers saying “What are you doing? Get out of there!” Vito replied: “I’ve got permission from the Coast Guard to get these swimmers through”
I say “apparently” a lot because these details are lost on you when your head is underwater. From my vantage point, I was thinking, “Geeeeeez, we are really close to those boats!” Swimming past the Ferry Building was cool, since it’s where I take the ferry every day to/from work.
And then before I knew it, the finish line was right there. The Bay Bridge was far less scary to be underneath, it was sunny and we were basically downtown, as opposed to being almost swept out to the Pacific. I guess in some macro way, that’s why people love it here– you’ve got all the elements sandwiched into one bay area. Our 10 km B2B swim- aided with some currents– was just under 1:45 very fun minutes.