By Steven Munatones, Open Water Source
HUNTINGTON BEACH, California, May 9. PAUL Lundgren is at it again.
The former California professional triathlete-turned-marathon swimmer is going to attempt to become the first person to swim across the Sea of Cortez from San Carlos to Punta Chivato. It is a daunting task across 76 miles of salty rough water swimming.
Lundgren plans to be the first person to swim across the Sea of Cortez between Baja California and mainland Mexico.
With those plans, what does he plan for?
What must he be prepared for in what is considered to be the world's body of water that is most abundant with marine life?
1. Distance of 122 kilometers. Even at a fast clip of 4 kilometers per hour or a 1:30 pace per 100 meters, that is a swim of at least 30 hours not considering feeding stops or currents or surface chop.
2. Water temperature. He faces the possibility of hypothermia in the middle of the day and the possibility of hypothermia at night, even at a water temperature that will be at least 75?F (24?C). While a swim in 24?C seems warm to most swimmers, Lundgren will face a plunging core body temperature as he naturally tires on the second night due to the wide variance from daytime to nighttime temperatures.
3. Air temperature. The very warm temperatures he will face under the expected cloudless skies will fry his back, neck and legs.
4. Salinity. The high salinity of the water will create havoc in his mouth, tongue and throat so every swig of his drink after 24 hours creates more pain than relief.
5. Marine life. Big dark things with fins and little translucent things with tentacles can be game changers.
6. Currents. 122 kilometers presents a great opportunity for currents to push him off course, especially over the course of 30 or 40 or 50 hours.
7. Winds. Bumpy seas is tough over a mile. Multiply it by 76 and that could result in a bumpy, lumpy crossing.
8. Hydration and Fueling. In a swim that can range from 30-50 hours, Lundgren must plan carefully for sustenance that will enhance his effort and will minimize the pain as he chews and swallows.