The Cadiz Vista Nova Freedom Swim is an annual event whereby very enthusiastic people come together and swim from Robben Island to Bloubergstrand Big Bay. Robben Island, once home to a prison, is in close proximity to Cape Town (South Africa). There are numerous well documented accounts of prisoners and the history of Robben Island which I will not go into here. However, I reckon if Mr. Nelson Mandela had to attempt the swim South Africa might have had a very a different history. With a distance of 7.5km in water averaging 13C (55.4F) only the brave attempt the swim.
The morning of the 26th April was a frantic rush. The decision for the swim to take place was only made at 7am that very morning. The boat had to be launched and at the Island waiting for the swimmers to leave Murray Beach by10am. Not an easy task when over 100 boats are jostling for position on a tiny launch site. Having launched at roughly 935am a very bumpy but quick ride to the Island followed. Unfortunately the weather conditions were not ideal and a fairly large swell (for swimmers anyway) made it a difficult swim. Our swimmer Luke Whiteman coped well with conditions. Our role was to support him and guide him to Big Bay in one piece. A brief scare with a fin swimming towards us (turned out to be sunfish) was followed by a fairly large Cape Fur Seal feeding directly in his path. A swim time of roughly three hours saw Luke enter Big Bay amoung the top twenty five.