Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Up early, we swam the 1-kilometer stretch west from Chimibong's beach back to Chimibong's beach. It took us about 45 minutes.

This was the start of Day 5 for Wednesday, August 4th, 2010.

Without a doubt, the most difficult day.

We did 7 additional kilometers from Chimibong beach to the beach immediately south of Seongsan Ilchulbong, starting about 8 a.m., ending at approximately 1 p.m.

Today's total was 8 kilometers.

The Jeju Big Swim's journey is now officially one-fourth complete, approximately 50 kilometers from Samyang Beach past Seongsan Ilchulbong.

What happened?

We started early with Chai Ba-da in the water.

He accompanied us, hanging on the back of the sea kayak face forward legs extended occasionally kicking, to the Seongsan Port, up until where the marine police were absolutely necessary for a safe crossing. He acted as a translator, in the water, me holding my cell phone up to his ear. There were at least two conversations like this, the first the marine police called, and second we called for a safe pickup. The marine police threw the orange donut out, Sherrin swam out and retrieved it, got Mr. Ba-da attached, and the marine police hauled in our man.

Complete. Now there were about 90 kilograms of drag trimmed from my paddling duties.

Seongsan Harbor: The police boat positioned itself in the center, we kept going hard, and both the incoming and the outgoing Udo ferries were entering and exiting the port at the same time. In addition, there was something akin to an "I Love Jeju" ship in the mix. Sherrin looked up and waved. I just wanted to get the hell out of there. The marine police sorted it all out. We kept on marching.

To say it was difficult to wrap around Ilchulbong is an understatement. Sherrin needed a quick three-minute holding-onto-the-back-of-the-kayak-while-kicking-and-Steve-paddles-full-energy-to-get-in-some-better-current maneuvering to keep going. I let Sherrin off, she continued swimming making it around the corner. The tide and currents did whatever it wanted to us and we were at their mercy. Around the corner, by the closest beach were peaceful waters.

Upon landing, a KCTV film crew was waiting and a few other people I am not exactly sure who they were. In between, I was more than upset at several things and hurled a number of f-bombs at Sherrin. I think a few people picked up on my mood.

We landed.

One day's rest. Glorious rest.


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