Thursday, 27 September 2012

The Molokai Channel

The Molokai Channel is a 26mile stretch of water between the Hawaiian Islands of Molokai and Oahu. It is a deep stretch of pacific ocean at it's deepest over 2000m which is a hell of a lot deeper than the English Channel for example which barely reaches 50m. It is filled with seriously stingy jellyfish and seriously big sharks. Makes you wonder why you would want to attempt swimming it!
But it has been swum and conquered a total of 25 times to date. It is my ambition to make the 26th successful crossing early next month.
It will most likely be my longest swim to date, and unless I am extremely lucky with quite possibly the most challenging swimming conditions also. Although cold is not an issue, hyperthermia and dehydration is and this stretch of water can get seriously rough. Take a look at this video of an outrigger race in the channel.
As with several of my previous swims I am fund raising for two very worthy charities - Pancreatic Cancer UK and The Shark Trust. Anyone who has had someone close to them diagnosed with pancreatic cancer will know just how lethal a form of cancer this is. With only a 20% survival rate 1 year after diagnosis and 5% after 5 years, my father-in-law is one of the few lucky ones. Hopefully with time and research new treatments and possibly cures will become available.
The Shark Trust is a small UK based environmental charity that raises awareness about the conservation of sharks and their marine habitat. Did you know over 100 million sharks are killed each year by shark finning - the cruel practice of cutting the fin off a shark while it is still alive and then letting it drown. At this rate in 10 years many species of sharks will be threatened with extinction.
There is a link to my fundraising page here.