Crewing for Cliff

by Evan Morrison. 20 August 2011.

This past week I had the timely opportunity to crew (as a pace swimmer) for fellow MIMSer Cliff Crozier on his Catalina Channel crossing. Timely because my own Catalina swim is scheduled for exactly a week after Cliff’s (August 24-25). A chance to help a fellow marathon swimmer, and also conduct a “dry run” for my own swim a week later? Where do I sign up?

Kevin the Kayaker at Doctor's Cove

It was a valuable experience. Unlike Tampa or MIMS (my two other big swims this year), Catalina is a full-blown channel swim – in the open ocean, with volatile, unpredictable conditions; in 3,000 feet of water that’s home to all manner of marine life, including white sharks. Catalina swims also generally take place in the middle of the night – starting around midnight and finishing mid- to late-morning. It’s tough to swim 21 miles when your body wants to be sleeping. Swimming at night can be unnerving.

I got to experience all these things without the pressure of having to swim the full 21 miles myself. And I got to observe the _process_ of a Catalina swim from a crew-member’s perspective - which, I hope, will help things go smoothly for my own crew next week.

And Cliff actually thanked me for it!

Cliff on shore at Doctor's Cove

Jumping in for pace swim #3. Such grace! Photo credit:

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Posted in: support Tags: Catalina , Rob D


On 2011-08-21 08:47:54, Mark said:
Great experience for you. Best of luck for your own crossing! Chicago Masters had a pretty good showing up at the Madison 2.4 Mile OW swim yesterday. Thunder delayed it by ~90 minutes, but then it turned into a great morning. Justin took 3rd overall and new-member Megan won the women's field by ~5 minutes. Keep us updated.

On 2011-08-21 13:39:04, Evan said:
Thanks for the update, Mark. I'm bummed to have missed that race. I met Megan at last year's MOWS. She kicked my butt.

On 2011-08-21 20:50:46, Sarah said:
Glad you had fun crewing for Cliff, and good luck on your swim next week. I can't wait to see how you do! Hopefully, conditions will calm down a bit for you. (And swimming at night never gets easier- still freaks me out to think about it!)

On 2011-08-21 21:19:37, Evan said:
Thanks Sarah! Glad to hear I'm not the only one.

On 2011-08-22 11:08:40, Janet said:
Have a beautiful swim Evan! I'll be looking forward to reading about it!

On 2011-08-22 14:24:37, Evan said:
Thanks Janet! Do I see a Catalina swim in your future? I think I do!

On 2011-08-22 23:57:56, Adam B said:
Good luck to you for the crossing. It's pretty impressive to see how far you've come in the last year. Look forward to hearing about more in the future.

On 2011-08-23 00:41:52, Evan said:
Thanks Adam. It's pretty impressive what you've done in the past year, too! Funny how we started off in the same place and ended up very different places :-)

On 2011-08-23 11:07:24, IronMike said:
"...lower stroke rates aren’t always more efficient, despite what you may have heard." What? How dare you! Remember, stroke...glide...stroke...glide...

On 2011-08-23 22:50:05, Evan said:
Heresy, I know!