This October 2020, 5 Gyres' Ambassadors Devon Beebe and Tess Parkhouse, with mentorship from Hank Wise, will be swimming the Catalina Channel to raise money and awareness in support of 5 Gyres’ fight against plastic pollution. 5 Gyres’ mission is to empower action against the global health crisis of plastic pollution through science, art, education, and adventure. Algalita, a Long Beach based nonprofit, works to inspire the next generation of visionaries to believe in a better future. As Long Beach natives, avid ocean swimmers, lifeguards, and individuals pursuing a low waste lifestyle, we felt a strong connection with 5 Gyres and Algalita's mission and wanted to show our shared love of adventure with recognizable action for this worthy cause.
On the night of Saturday, October 3rd, we turned our dream into a reality as we completed our Catalina Channel Swim in support of 5 Gyres, Algalita, and the fight against plastic pollution!
We'd like to give a huge shoutout to the boat crew, Chuck Sacks, Bob Mangione, and Brian Parkhouse - for helping us get safely across the channel in the middle of the night! Another shoutout to our support kayakers, Molica Anderson and Mia Tedesco, who pointed us in the right direction, cheered us on, and kept us properly fueled and hydrated throughout our swims! We couldn't have had such a successful crossing without our stellar team!
If you want to find out more about our adventure swim—please check out the details provided below. If not, but you are passionate about the success of the swim and the plastic pollution problem, you can use this page to donate. Thank you for your support!
· When: We left from Doctor's Cove on Catalina Island at 10:38pm on Saturday, October 3rd, and completed our swim at 10:55am at Terranea Resort in Palos Verdes, CA - for a total of 12 hours and 17 minutes!
· The Relay: Our anticipated completion time was about 10 hours - so we originally planned on each swimming two legs for 2 and a half hours each (combined total of 10 hours). However, the currents weren't working in our favor, so we had to make some last minute adjustments to our plan.
We ended up each swimming a 2.5 hour leg, and then each swam for another 2 hours. Once we completed a total of 9 hours of swimming, we had 5.3 miles left to go. Rather than splitting our last legs by time, we opted to each swim half the distance - about 2.7 miles each.
Tess experienced some current during her last leg, and got a little off course - but she powered through the extra mileage! She also had some dolphins swim by to cheer her on! During Devon's 2.7 miles, the water temperature dropped as she got closer to the coast, and some dense fog kept her and the crew from seeing land until they were about 500 yards out.
With just a couple hundred yards to go, Tess jumped in from off the boat and joined Devon as they swam into Terranea together! The shorebreak on the rocky beach made things even more exciting as they climbed out of the water to be greeted by their families!
Conditions: We experienced a bit of chop throughout the night, along with a little current pushing us back, but we were lucky enough to have warm water (between 70-72 degrees!) for the majority of the swim. We knew that water temperature was going to be our biggest challenge (we're not fans of cold water!) but we were pretty comfortable throughout the swim. We also encountered a few jellyfish throughout the swim, as well as some dolphins!
If you can, please feel free to share this with family, friends, coworkers—whoever! Your support means so much to us, even if it is just kind words. We know that this is an exceedingly difficult time for so many people, and that many of us are facing economic hardships, but our commitment to preserving the health of our oceans remains steadfast. If you have any questions, we would love to hear from you. Thank you so much for your generosity and taking the time to learn more about our adventure!
Tess Parkhouse firstname.lastname@example.org
Devon Beebe email@example.com