For the last couple of weeks SwimTrek have been running Adventure Swimming Holidays at the Sivota Bay Retreat. They were aware that Neilson support Sail4Cancer and hoped to help contribute. The plan was to swim a crossing from Corfu back to the resort on the mainland.
On Wednesday 28th November a team of 5 swimmers attempted the crossing. Ali, David and Matt- SwimTrek and Neilson guests, Steph- a Neilson Yacht Crew Member and SwimTrek Guide Ricky. Conditions were perfect with barely current or wind. They began at around 14:30 by touching the sand near Kavos.
This was the furthest a few of the guys had swum by a considerable margin. None had been training for this specifically but were confident they could make it.
1km through, and two curious Chinooks passed by overhead. At around the half way mark even the seagulls were taking an interest in the feat and came within inches of the swimmers. SwimTrek guide Sian kept them motivated and hydrated along the way with constant updates on progress, and tactically replacing energy drinks with hot chocolate. The local skipper James navigated the path and kept them safe from a few ferries. An expectant Resort Manager kept phoning and demanding updates. “Sian! Where are you, and what is taking so long?” As the swimmers neared the uninhabited Mavros Oros archipelago the sun was setting, and light fading. The green flashing beacons on the swimmers’ heads were in view for all hotel guests to see. Kayaks and a Ski boat met them with over a km to go to safely escort them the last bit home, “aim for the red lights of hotel.” By this point swimmers were fatigued, maintaining a straight line was proving tricky. Swimmers beached themselves at 18:15 in unison. Awaiting them was a welcome party with pop-up bar, music, smoking flares and applause from staff and guests, creating an unforgettable atmosphere and fitting finale. They swam 10.5km and 420EUR was raised on this occasion. Thanks for all the support especially from Andreas for making it all happen and chucking together the bonanza on their ski pontoon. The whole experience was a real success and an absolute highlight of our trip so thanks to all that pitched in.
Words: SwimTrek Guides Ricky & Sian
Photos: John- Clare Edmead Photography