Island Escape Swim. May 2023

As the sun began to peek through the misty sky, a group of determined swimmers gathered at Granger Bay in Cape Town, ready to embark on a thrilling adventure. Their mission? To swim from the infamous Robben Island to the picturesque Big Bay, in a test of endurance, resilience, and pure grit. it is known as the ‘Island Escape Swim. And let me tell you, it was quite the journey.

Island Escape Swim
Off they go, 7.2km away from the finish line.

It’s mid-autumn so the air was crisp and the water was chilly, but that didn’t stop this intrepid crew from taking the plunge. After a 20 minute boat ride to the island, they dove into the frothy 16 degrees Centigrade waves, their muscles shivering and rippling in equal measure as they carved through the water, each stroke propelling them further and further towards their destination 7.2km away.

As someone who’s dabbled in long-distance swimming myself, I can attest to the sheer physical and mental fortitude it takes to undertake such a challenge. It’s not just about being able to swim for hours on end – it’s about being able to push through the pain, the fatigue, the agonising cold, and the doubt, and to keep going even when your body is screaming at you to stop.

But these swimmers were up to the task. They pushed themselves to their limits, powering through the icy water with steely determination and unwavering focus. And as they swam, the mist began to clear and the sun started to shine, casting a warm glow over the sparkling ocean.

Island Escape Swim
it got a bit choppy in the middle of the bay.

Of course, that’s not to say it was an easy journey. Long-distance cold water swimming is no joke – it can take a toll on your body and your mind, and it requires a level of training and preparation that few people are willing to undertake. But for those who are up to the challenge, there’s nothing quite like the feeling of pushing yourself to your absolute limits and coming out the other side stronger, braver, and more alive than ever before.

As the swimmers emerged from the water at Big Bay, their bodies trembling with exhaustion and adrenaline, they knew that they had accomplished something truly incredible. They had defied the odds, conquered the elements, and pushed themselves to the very brink – and they had emerged victorious.

So if you’re ever considering taking on a long-distance cold water swim like this one, my advice to you is simple: be prepared, be determined, and never give up. It won’t be easy, but I promise you, it will be worth it. And who knows – you might just discover a strength and resilience within yourself that you never knew existed.

Want to give it a go yourself? Check out the Big Bay Events Website.

Have a look at the CLDSA website for all the rules and records and things.

Check my other swim related posts here.

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