Catalina Channel Complete With Bagpipes

Catalina Here We Come … 

Starting Wednesday, September 26th at 10:00PM Doug will begin his swim of the Catalina Channel off the coast of Santa Catalina Island.  21 miles in 60 degree water that gets up to 3,000 feet deep with 5 foot swells that originate off the coast of Hawaii.  There are jellyfish, as there are in the English Channel, but this channel is also home to seals (can’t wait to get pictures) and sharks (can certainly wait to get pictures).  
It takes a year to secure your reservation for this marathon swim that 260 people have successfully completed, the first being George Young in 1927. 
Our boat pilot is one of only two who are certified by the Catalina Channel Federation; Greg Elliott and his boat Bottom Scratcher.  Word has it that early in the morning as the sun comes up Greg belts out a set on his bag pipes.  Here’s a picture of Greg doing this thing … 

Doug crewed on this swim a couple of months ago for his friend, Goody Tyler.  Goody’s swim was not successful and that experience was one that made Doug postpone this swim so that he could train more extensively.  Here is a really good picture that Doug took and texted to me early in the morning of Goody’s swim:  

And here’s a picture of Doug with Goody taken aboard the pilot boat … 

The Crew This Time ... 

The crew this time will consist of a few of Doug’s swimming friends and our oldest son, Mack.  Mack, who lives in San Francisco, is also an accomplished swimmer.  He did, however, miss the English Channel swim by one flight, since the boat left earlier than expected, so this will be a nice pay back for him. Here’s one of my favorite pictures of Mack taken on the beach of Wissant Bay in France …

Missing Meg … 

Missing will be my good friend and project manager extraordinnaire Meg, who has accompanied us on ALL of our previous swims.  She should really think about leasing herself out for managing these marathon events.  With the school year in play, and after losing time to the Chicago teacher’s strike, she’s going to sit this one out.  I’m going to miss her every single moment and I’m hoping that the Megalodon doesn’t come up from those 3,000 foot depths looking for my Meg. 

Here’s my Meg crewing for the 24 Mile Tampa Bay Marathon Swim … (with Gordy McConnell)

And here she is crewing on the English Channel … (with Bill McConnell) 

 How To Watch and Get Information … 

I’ll be reporting, and this is important, in real time on Doug’s personal Facebook page and my personal Facebook page.  So make sure you are “friends” with us.  When I reported from the English Channel the signal was weak and I found this the most efficient way to get things done.  I’ll include pictures and videos taken with my trusty iPhone.  Don’t forget we are two hours behind most of you. 
Once the swim is done I’ll get all of the photographs up on the Facebook pages for A Long Swim and My Bionic Boyfriend.  Here are links to those: 
A Long Swim’s Facebook Page

Follow along on Doug’s Spot Link which will update the map every 10 minutes:

Doug’s Really Cool Spot Link

Oh, and the most important part, Doug is doing all of this in the name of his Dad, Dr. David McConnell, who died from ALS.  Doug has raised almost $200,000 so far for the Les Turner ALS Foundation.  Donations may be made on Doug’s site
Good Luck Doug!  We are proud of you!

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