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May 22, 2017

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First Relay Team from Japan Across Kaiwi

June 9, 2018

1) Other than completing the Oceans 7, why swim the Kaiwi channel? Why swim Channels?
We are member of the team Ocean-Navi, our mission is to promote the ocean swimming in Japan, for that, first we should enjoy the open water swimming by ourselves. For that reason, Hawaii is the best place as it is very familiar with Japanese and we love the Hawaiian blue ocean. Also, the Kaiwi channel is the longest of the Ocean 7 swims so that we can swim a lot! Channel swimming is required not only be a good swimmer, but also to be in harmony with nature, relay members and crew. It is really challenging.




Chika Nishibori, Kumiko Koizumi,  Masayuki Moriya, Miho Yonezawa, Motoko Homma and Tomonari Ogino of Team Japan after their successful relay swim of the Kaiwi Channel



2) We start these swims on Molokai. How did you get there from Oahu? How did you get to the beach where swim starts? Any issues getting crew to the boat?

We flew to Molokai by the Hawaiian air at 2:41 pm on May 16th and then took a taxi to the starting beach (Kepuhi beach) and arrived around 4:00 pm at the beach. Thanks to the observer of the association Steve Haumschild for helping to make a reservation both a flight and a taxi. We were able to move to the starting point without any problems. There was relaxing time while taking pictures and waited for the arrival of the boat for 3 hours. There were no café and restaurant at the beach. You need to have something you wants to eat and drink before getting airplane from Oahu. There was no issue to get on boat, but you must have a waterproof bag to bring clothes and shoes to the boat. It's because we all had to swim from the beach to the boat.


18:00 ワイキキヨットクラブの船にて、事前ミーティング、協会のジェフさん、スティーブさん、船長のマイクさんと初顔合わせ。翌日の18:00に横断泳をスタートすることになり、スティーブさんにモロカイ島までの航空券と、モロカイ空港からスタート地点まで移動するためのタクシーを手配してもらいました。
12:30 ワイキキヨットクラブの船に、船の上で必要な道具、衣類、食料、飲料を積載。
14:41 ハワイアン航空にてモロカイ島まで飛行。モロカイ空港からタクシーでスタート地点まで移動。
16:00 スタート地点に到着。船がスタート地点に来るまでの3時間は、写真を撮ったりしながら、リラックスした時間を過ごしました。
19:00 船が到着。スタート地点に移動するまでに着ていた衣類やパスポートなど全員分の荷物を防水バッグに入れ、カヤッカーに船まで運んでもらい、第一泳者以外は、スタート前に船まで泳いで渡りました。



3) What were the conditions like at the start? Can you describe your surroundings? What was the beach like? People on the beach? Surf?

We started at 7:19 pm, almost sunset time, so there were a few people on the beach to see the sunset. Nobody in the water except us.


19:19 第一泳者スタート。私たち以外に海に入っている人はいませんでした。スタート地点は砂浜ですが、岩があちこちにあり、少し波がありましたが、カヤックに先導されて泳ぎ出しました。


4) Could you see Oahu at the start? How did that feel?

We could not see Oahu at the start but after sunset we could see the light of the town of Oahu. It helped to see how we close to Oahu. 




5) What was your feeding schedule like? What did you eat/ drink? Did it stay down? Any issues with feedings? Technique?

It was a challenge with the relay of six swimmers, so it was a repetition of swimming for 30 minutes and taking a break for 2 and a half hours. During swimming no feeding, each swimmer eats and drink on the boat as he/she liked. We prepared rice balls, bananas, sweet bean paste, energy bar, energy gel, water, cola etc. The only issue was that bananas and some snacks were lost in the boat…




6) Some swimmers experience seasickness. Did you?

We took some medicine for seasickness before the start. Some of the swimmers felt seasickness while on the boat.



7) Describe the conditions during your swim. Any particular challenges? Estimated wind speed? How did water temp feel?

Escort pilot Michael Twigg-Smith reported, "The first current came from the north and pushed us about 3 km south of the rhumb line, lasting about 8 hours. Then, once we got up on the Makapu'u Shelf, another current from the south pushed us very quickly up about 1.5 km north of the rhumb line.”

Estimated wind speed was 14-15 mph/ 6-7 meters. Water temp was 77℉/ 25℃. Outside temp was 68℉/ 20℃.




8) Did you see or feel any marine life? Did you or crew have any shark deterrent? Jelly stings?

There was no large marine life encountered and very few jellyfish stings were felt. We used 4 Shark Shields, we put on one each front and back of the kayak, another 2 were charged by using the power plugs of the boat. A pair of them were exchanged alternately. Also, we applied Lanolin to our body to relieve jellyfish stings.




9) Describe the last quarter of your swim and the finish. Where did you finish?

Luckily, there was no current once we got close to the Makapu'u cliff and we were able to land at Alan Davis beach at 9:33 am the following morning. It was 14 hours 14 minutes crossing.




10) Who did you bring with you to help support your swim? How did the ones who went on the boat do?

Because we were a relay team, we did not accompany dedicated supporters as swimmers can help each other. There was no problem even if there was no supporter.




11) Anything you would do differently? Anything not go well?

There was nothing in particular. Everything went well.




12) Favorite memories from this experience?

It was a starry night, the sky was full of stars, and the twinkling of the bioluminescence was clear enough to figure out the trajectory of each stroke. We were feel fully happiness to be in such as the beauty of nature.
Lastly, we would like to thank all the people that supported our team. We could not make it without them.
Especially, truly thanks to Jeff Kozlovich and Steve Haumschild from the association, the escort boat captain Michael Twigg-Smith, and the paddlers Shelley Oates-Wilding, Chris Harmes, Mike Scott for the great professional support. Thank you very much!



Text and translated by Chika Nishibori







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