By Bill Wygant
MAUI, Hawaii, September 4. ON Friday, August 29, 2003, Petaluma (California) swim coach and mother of five, Dea Ann Joslin, completed the first solo round-trip crossing of the Maui Channel in 9 hours 20 minutes.
The Maui Channel separates the islands of Maui and Lanai in Hawaii and is approximately 10 miles wide. Although the weather was almost perfect for her swim the Channel has a reputation for strong currents, high winds and sharks.
Last year Joslin completed a solo crossing of the Maui Channel in just under five hours as part of the annual "Maui Channel Swim." Normally this event is swum by teams of six people in a race that brings together swimmers from all over the world each year to Maui. Even Joslin’s solo swim times for a single crossing would have beaten many of the relay teams entered in this event. Many of those teams are populated by former swimmers from major university swimming programs across the United States.
To add perspective: Dea Ann’s achievement was the culmination of over three years work by a singularly talented swimmer. It involved the sacrifices of her family to repeated six miles-a-day workouts, plus weight training and other cross-training activities. Dea Ann is also a highly-regarded coach in the Petaluma area and a naturally gifted athlete and Masters swimmer.
Members of San Francisco’s South-End Rowing Club, of which she is a member, greeted her as she finished her swim near the Hyatt Hotel on Maui.