A while back SwimTrek asked on Facebook “who goes swimming on their Birthday?” fast forwarding a few months and our guide Bronwen got in touch about how she celebrated her Birthday. Rather than indulging in a few beers and a curry, Bronwen took on a solo swim of the Rottnest Channel following her enjoyable duo swim the year before. Words by Bronwen.
I did a duo in 2013 and enjoyed the experience. It's a huge event and a great spectacle ending on a special island surrounded by aquamarine waters and squeaky white beaches.
Solo is a very different undertaking (as I'm sure you know), I loved the camaraderie of the team during the duo, you have so much more contact with everyone over the day and you also get more of a sense of the size of the event because you're watching all the these other swimmers and boats and paddlers as the flotilla makes its way across. As a solo you only seem to chat with your paddler, mine kept blowing backwards every time we stopped for a feed/drink. I needed a pretty good sense of humour as I swam back to him each time, it's quite a mental hit actually, and I reckon I swam a km backwards.
The day was supposed to be pretty tough by all the commentary about wind and waves. There was Lizzie and a few SwimTrek guests from Turkey and Croatia weeks, doing team and duo swims. The fastest solos got across in about 4.5 hours and the last solo (gal) came in after 10.5 hrs - brilliant effort! I was somewhere in between. I struggled with a shoulder issue from about 11kms and felt as though I was just turning my arms over without any power. But we got there in the end and I was pleased to have a birthday ale later in the evening.