February 12, 2009

Swim the Atlantic? Proof 10% Is Now Good Enough

The great human interest piece over the weekend was that cougar Jennifer Figge became the first person to swim the Atlantic Ocean. Ok, obviously she didn't stray too far from the beach in Portugal and end up in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. She swam MOST of the ocean, or so we were told.

Ok, she only swam from the Cape Verde Islands, well off the west African coast, to Trinidad, well off the South American coast.

Ok, she really only swam 10% of the way, according to her own people. That's 250 miles, or roughly 40% of the distance from Cape Hatteras to Bermuda.

In related news:

Orlando Cabrera of the Chicago White Sox has claimed the single season home run crowd after hitting a mind-boggling 8 or 80 homers last season.

Everyone who finished the Skokie, Illinois, 5K to Fight Lawyer Insensitivity is being credited with having completed the Boston Marathon.

I walked from Baltimore to Washington, D.C., today.

This blog is in the top 800 in traffic.

5 Responses:

Jeremy said...

Yesterday at the gym to burn off stress I biked 12 miles in 30 minutes over hills. Therefore, I biked from Washington, D.C. to Nashville (576 miles) in just 24 hours.

Russell said...

Wow, we should put you in the Guinness book of world records!

Oh, there are too many forms to fill out, or at least that was her excuse. Couldn't have been that she didn't actually do it.

Steven Munatones said...

I believe Jennifer made her intentions very clear BEFORE she started and she never intended to swim under the established rules of marathon or English Channel swimming.

From the very beginning, Jennifer's plan was to swim a certain amount of time per day under the approval of her escort boat captain. If the conditions were unsafe, then she was not allowed to swim. These were the pre-stated terms of her adventure.

This is why she did not swim some days and swam as few as 21 minutes on other days. With waves as large as 30 feet in the early part of her swim, it must have been extremely dangerous to swim. One crest of one wave could have easily dashed Jennifer against the boat or against her shark cage and either severely wounded or killed her. Even with waves of 9 feet as she faced in the later parts of her swim, Jennifer was placing herself in a very dangerous condition to swim near her escort boat and shark cage. Smashing into anything under those conditions could have caused broken ribs, caused deep lacerations or punctured her skin and vital organs. In the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, such injuries would have presented a very serious condition indeed. As is, her swim was delayed several weeks due to the weather and her boat recently sank.

From our understanding and frequent communications with her team before, during and after the adventure, Jennifer never once planned or professed to swim the entire distance across the Atlantic Ocean.

Although the captain has yet to confirm what exactly he did when Jennifer was on board, we cannot imagine he dropped anchor or killed the engines and simply floated with the currents, especially when he was facing 30-foot seas in much of the first half of the swim. Under those conditions, any experienced captain would have had to navigate his/her boat with the engines on.

At the end of the day, Jennifer kept to the rules that she originally set forth. In this limited case, we are supportive of a swimmer who wore a wetsuit and jumped on her escort boat during a swim. It was a personal adventure - it was not a race or solo swim that fell under specific rules of any governing organization.

Reasonable people can disagree on the purpose or validity of her adventure - but it is clear that Jennifer's swim will provide her and her support team with a lifetime of memories and, hopefully, the sting of the public’s outcry over her adventure and the loss of their escort boat will diminish over time.

"ben" said...

I don't believe J-Red said Jennifer (or Jen as I call her) personally claimed to have swam the length of the ocean, or that she claimed to have done anything that she didn't. He claimed the media (damn you, media!) exaggerated her accomplishment.

So your really long post that you have copied and pasted into every comment section relating to Jen's swim that you found through your Google Reader or whatever is really misplaced here, I think.

J-Red said...

The AP ran with the story. Whether or not Jennifer did enough to make sure they got right isn't the point. They made the headline a derivative of "woman swam the Atlantic Ocean". It's a good human endurance/money-wasting trek story that has been made into a national joke due to the press' need to make it special.

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