Swimming Loch Ness by Way of Alcatraz

It all started with the 2006 SERC International Alcatraz swim. My compulsion to swim in open water progressed to a full fledged addiction in which I am unable to look at a body of water and not wonder what it would be like to swim in it or to swim across it.  My mother told me that she used to do this too when she was younger...it's generic :-)

Even though I haven’t seen Loch Ness in person, it captured my imagination and I signed up to swim the length in August, 2017. The photos of Loch Ness show glassy, dark water nestled in the beautiful Scottish highlands with an ancient castle on its banks.  The thought of a friendly creature added to the mystique.  It sank into my psyche the way Monterey Bay did in 2011 when I decided to swim across that bay. 

I love the challenge open water swimming and completing marathon swims.  Loch Ness will be about 54 degrees (if I’m lucky) and I’ll be swimming in black water.  No dancing light like you find in Tahoe, Donner or Monterey Bay. This will pose a bit of a mental challenge on top of swimming 22 miles without a tidal push. My crew is already acquiring hats and costumes to keep us all laughing across the loch.  There is no shortage of Nessie wear for them to choose from.

Everyone has their own passion and drive to do a major swim.  My drive is to help others while I complete the swim adventure. Swimming the length of Loch Ness is an opportunity to raise funds for Trust in Education, an organization that I’m passionate about.  

Trust in Education has made education a high priority in war torn Afghanistan by developing schools, building community learning centers, sponsoring street children to attend school, and providing after school classes.  My goal is to raise $100,000 for Trust in Education.   I have tutored refugee kids in the bay area and know of the dire circumstances kids face in Afghanistan.

Education is the best course for these kids and the best chance for stability and peace.  Nothing I experience during a swim compares to difficulty they face. The thought of helping them and providing hope gets me through the dark moments on my swims.  There is always a dark moment or two, so I think about them a lot.

I’ve had the good fortune of being born into a family that emphasized and invested in my education and I feel compelled to play that forward.  100% of donations goes to Trust in Education.