Jennifer Figge, a 56-year-old endurance athlete from Aspen, Colorado, plans to swim 3,380 kilometers (2,100 miles) across the Atlantic Ocean from the Cape Verde Islands off the coast of Africa to Barbados, between Puerto Rico and Venezuela. She will swim behind a sailboat in a giant shark cage for 6-8 hours per day, hoping to finish in 60 days. She swim will begin December 1st.
She has swum across the Straits of Gibraltar, from Tahiti to Moorea, from Turkey to Greece, across the Cozumel Channel, in Sydney Harbor, and 52 miles from Cay Sal Bank in the Bahamas to Marathon in the Keys.
There have been two previous swims across the Atlantic Ocean: In 1998, Benoit Lecomte swam 3,716 miles from Cape Cod, USA to Brittany, France in 73 days, stopping along the way at the Azores Islands. In 1991, Guy Delage swam and floated 2,335 miles alone from the Cape Verde Islands to Barbados.
Whether or not Figge succeeds, it is a testament to her courage, vision and determination - and financial savvy as it is reportedly costing at least $250,000 to attempt the swim - that she is ever planning this marathon swim.
As Figge said to the Miami Herald, "I like being out there. I feel a sense of calm in the ocean, like the sound you hear in a conch shell. I feed off the inspiration of people who have had real challenges. My father died of throat cancer. My uncle was an amputee. I had a cousin critically burned in a plane crash. Those people keep me going."
As Figge starts and continues her epic journey, we will try to provide regular updates.
Upper photo of Figge from her Facebook page. Lower photo of Benoit Lecomte from BBC News.
Copyright © 2008 by Steven Munatones