Penny Palfrey became the first person to swim 40 miles (64K) from Santa Barbara Island to Pt. Vicente on the California mainland in 17 hours and 53 minutes (see map below).
Santa Barbara Island is the smallest of the Channel Islands near Southern California, located near the more famous Catalina Island.
According to reports from Anne Cleveland aboard her escort boat, the water temperature was a comfortable 68-71˚F (20-21.6˚C) for most of the swim, warming to 74˚F (23˚C) under the warm California sun.
Penny was occasionally escorted by friendly dolphins under remarkably calm seas. It is obvious to sense her joy in the unprecedented swim.
This was her sixth major marathon swim of 2009 with a 70K (43-mile) Alenuihaha Channel swim from the Big Island of Hawaii to Maui, a regular Manhattan Island Marathon Swim, a reverse Manhattan Island Marathon Swim, a Maui Channel swim from Maui to Lanai, a 120K triple-crossing relay of Lake Taupo under her belt.
Photos by Anne Cleveland.
Copyright © 2009 by World Open Water Swimming Association