Molokai Channel - Molokai Island to Oahu Island - Hawaii

 

6 August 2012: (26 miles): 22 hrs 30 mins

This was the second Channel swim of the Ocean's Seven having completed the English Channel in 2011. It would also prove to be the most difficult physical and mental challenge of my life to date.

 

The start of the swim was Papahako Beach on the West coast of Molokai near a hotel resort. It was about 6pm. I was weak with nerves which ensured a loss of appetite and so I’d not eaten since the previous day. I looked to the horizon in the direction of Oahu. All that was visible was water. No land at all. And that was where I was headed. The sun was beginning to set. I said a prayer of thanks and respect in keeping with the local Hawaiian swim tradition of honouring the Islands and its surrounding seas and asked to be kept safe on my journey. I then signalled to my boat pilot and took the plunge.


The seas were very choppy. The first 7 hours went well until midnight when I collided with a Portuguese Man of War. These are a collection of organisms which look similar to jellyfish and secrete poisonous venom from their tentacles into the bloodstream. It was excruciating. I would get stung again another 6 hours later. Several curious Oceanic White Tip sharks also came to visit throughout the day. I was petrified and had to put all my trust in an electronic shark protection unit that was attached to my ankle as these were lethal predators. 

 

The last 8 hours I was against a one mile an hour tide which slowed me down tremendously and pushed me further West of my inteded finish on Sandy Beach. 

 

I eventually landed on the rocky shore of China Walls, a surfer's paradise on Oahu having swum 38 miles. I had become the 24th person in the world and the second Brit to successfully make the crossing. 2 down, 5 to go!