Sunday, August 8, 2010


A big thanks to the Coast Guard for keeping us within their binocular sights. It calms my (our) nerves, when I (we) can see them in the distance. Here they are spotted, obviously watching me getting out of our rocky, whitewater resting place.

These are the events concerning Day 8 (7th of swimming/kayaking) for The Jeju Big Swim's Saturday, August 7th, 2010 outing. We left Onpyeong Harbor at 7:30 a.m., took a 30-minute onshore break, and peacefully got into Pyoseon Beach at 1:30 p.m. A total of 11 kilometers in 6 hours, just less than 2 kmph.

Things started out easy and clean on the boat slip. I had just drained what little water was hiding in the bottom of the boat. All the gear was packed and there was a clear exit out of the harbor. Heading east, we were excited we could go between the nearest lighthouse on a reef and the shore, opposed to the previous day's conditions with whitewater blanketing the area, signaling full wraparound conditions.

We made it through high surges. BIG whitewater waves hitting the coast, which we were obviously staying to the outside of. Turned the corner, off to Pyoseon. Once around, we could see Haevichi Resort in the distance.

I thought to myself: Damn, I'm riding a bit too low in the back here. My one minor mistake for the day was I did not close the plug on the back of the kayak after draining it onshore. It was ever so slowly filling with water from departure. The hole is less than the size of a dime, sits off the water in flat conditions. I reached back and screwed it in, and had to expend more paddling energy until we rested.

We both were aiming for an oreum, and Sherrin called for an onland rest for food. We now were aiming for a square house next to an aquaculture farm. I picked a landing spot. There really was no choice with whitewater all around. I found a lot of rocks in a somewhat level area with a pool in the distance. The surge pushed me all the way in and up some rocks for a perfect resting spot.

The trouble was going to be getting out.

We ate, I drained the kayak, and we both got out unscathed. Around another bend and there was what was showing of Pyoseon Beach's enormously sandy area. At the end of a clear day, what we can see in the distance, means a long swim remaining. It took us another 45 minutes to swim through garbage muck and into shore.

"Come to beautiful Jeju Island and visit the beaches," Sherrin yelled out 30 minutes before landing as we swam and kayaked through flotsam of glass bottles, wood pieces, upholstery shards, empty cosmetic cream plastic bottles, potato chip wrappers. You name it. It's there in or on the sea.

The beach is so close, Sherrin opts for the back float.


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