Europe to Africa - Strait of Gibraltar Swim - Congratulations to Dave N, Gaylord S and Kevin
Congratulations to friends and teammates Dave Neilan & Gaylord Shilling and their friend Kevin who completed the 9-mile Strait of Gibraltar Swim today! Less than 500 swimmers have completed the Strait without a wetsuit since 1928. They finished in 4 hrs 27 mins on a rocky jetty in Morocco. So proud of you, friends!
An email chain from Dave is below:
At the ‘bottom’ is his email yesterday with details about the swim, timing, etc. Then what is ‘above’ that is his email from this afternoon (our time) with the details that they completed the swim! Read on and enjoy… CONGRATULATIONS to Dave, Gaylord and Kevin!!
Also attached is a pdf of the ‘ship tracker’ from their journey, along with some photos.
Well, we made it.
We had good luck, so thanks to all of you who wished that for us.
We had beautiful conditions and a great day. We saw an incredibly big super-cargo container ship come by. We saw a lot of jelly fish about 4-6 feet below us. I got stung by one about 1.5 hours into the swim. Gaylord got some stings also. We saw no dolphins or whales (which is usually very common on this swim.)
We finished in 4 hrs 27 mins on a rocky jetti in Morocco. We climbed up on it, which was no easy feat. Gaylord got a sea urchin spine in his hand, and Kevin and I also had some cuts. We did find some small souvenir rocks, which was pretty lucky also. After a few photos, we jumped back into the water, swam to the boat, and rode back to Spain.
We had a celebratory beer toast in the parking, then grabbed lunch and did some grocery shopping. We did not get back to the house until about 9 PM Spanish time which would be noon in LA.
It looks like we are somewhere between 471st to ~500th swimmers to have completed the Strait without a wetsuit since 1928. The lists get updated about once per year. The first swimmer was the woman Mercedes Gleitze, who is covered in the book The Great Swim, a good read.
I will reply to your individual emails later as I am pretty wiped out now. But happy. It was a great day.
I am including a screenshot of our path on the ship tracker that a friend sent me if you did not get to see it.
Subject: Europe to Africa - Strait of Gibraltar Swim
Date: Wed, 29 Apr 2015 14:42:48 -0700
I and my 2 friends Kevin and Gaylord will be attempting to swim the Strait of Gibraltar tomorrow on Thursday April 30th, 2015. We were supposed to do the swim starting Friday, but the swim director said the weather was good for tomorrow, so we should try then.
The Strait is about 9 miles from starting in Europe (of the Spanish town of Tarifa) to Africa (somewhere along the coast of Morocco. It will probably be a rocky coast.) It should take us about 5 hours.
We should start about 9:30 AM Spanish time, so about 12:30 AM Los Angeles time. You should be able to see the tracking of our boat Columba Uno on this website:
1. Type in: Columba Uno, press button
2. Click on the green link "Track on Map" in the center of this page
On this page v
3. It should show the historical tracking for the last day. Even if you don't watch it in real time, it should show our path across the Strait.
The swim is about 9 miles. We will have 2 support boats and our crew of Mona (Gaylord's wife) and Laura (Kevin's wife) will be feeding us a liquid powder drink every 30 minutes.
I am off to get some sleep, and hopefully, the weather holds up, and we are successful tomorrow.