Gear Patrol | Escaping from Alcatraz: Making the Swim, A Firsthand Account

     April 21, 2011

    The Alcatraz crossing is not something you just go do with your buddies on the weekend. There are swim clubs and organizations that train swimmers and organize regular crossings. I signed up with Water World Swim, headed by Pedro Ordenes, a legendary open water swimmer whose passion for bay swimming is contagious. Pedro organizes a monthly crossing, taking care of passage across the bay to Alcatraz, kayak safety pilots and Coast Guard clearance. He keeps track of the tides and schedules swim “jumps” to coincide with the slack period between ebb and flow. We boarded Water World Swim’s boat, the Dauntless (how apropo), before dawn for a 7am jump. The boat dropped us close enough to The Rock for bragging rights.

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