In less than two weeks, I’ll be heading down to La Paz, Baja California, where I’ll meet up with 5 other swimmers who will attempt a relay crossing of the Sea of Cortez. Yesterday, two of the swimmers and I got to swim some in the bay….please meet Luane (left) and Shannon (right), and behind me is Vito Bialla, the leader of the swim and RT Buich, the owner of the boat who will escort us. We’re just missing the male swimmers: Mauricio, Richard, Dave.
If we make it, it’ll be the first successful crossing in history- relay or solo. For those of you who know me, you might think this is”easy” because it’s a relay. If you followed my last year’s Gibraltar’s crossing, I was posting/sharing a lot. I haven’t this time. The only explanation I have is that I am more scared of this swim than anything I’ve ever done.
I don’t want to wax on to much here, but I’d like to share with you some advice given to our team from an esteemed swimmer, Paul Lundgren, who has attempted to cross Cortez many times. I’ve been struck with his notion that the Sea of Cortez won’t let you cross her unless you pay your respects. I just want to say: “I’m yours.”
Taken from an email from Paul:
The time leading up to the big swim is always my favorite. As the date draws near time passes at a slower rate, moments are intensified with excitement, anxiety and maybe even a little fear. For me what comes with the wishes of luck, strength and courage is the realization that everyone will be watching. I do love the intensity of the coming days and moments leading to launch when I walk into the water and start a journey across the Sea. Sitting here at my computer I feel in my belly the bubbling energy of excitement for you. I know how you feel. I love this time because it is now going forward that you know in every fiber, in every cell, in every unit of energy flowing through you that you are alive. You feel alive and I implore you to embrace that feeling and make it a celebration of life. Acceptance in this state will transform into the energy that will drive you to continue forward in your darkest hours and they will come, but like all things in life those too shall pass.
The Sea of Cortez is a beautiful body of water surrounded by a desolate shore. The contrast has a stirring effect on the senses in a way that reaches your soul. There is no body of water more populated with wildlife than the Sea of Cortez. I promise that if you go into the water with respect and reverence she will care for you in a way that will forever change your life. Her beauty will become a part of your thoughts and will flow through your blood. Sitting here reading this at a computer may sound a little exaggerated, but when you find yourself miles beyond the sight of shore, in the middle of the night, looking at the stars and hearing the waves splash against the Mariana you will know I speak the truth.
I remember the darkness of night, the bioluminescence cascade off my fingers flowing into trails of a dark abyss. The tempo of my strokes, the cadence of my breathing and star light shimmering off the surface together form a dance in my thoughts and alters my consciousness. If you find yourself traveling through the door into an altered state of reality, flow here freely and know this is exactly where you’re meant to be.
I could go on, in fact I could write a book, but I’ll save you the time and leave you with a quote from Helen Keller.
“Security is mostly a superstation. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.”