Strait of Bonifacio through the Lens of Swimmer Angela Andelson

WWS Coach Angela Andelson tells us from her own words her experience crossing the Strait of Bonifacio on June 19, 2019. She completed the swim alongside swimmer Liz Foster successfully in 4 hours 16 minutes.

Overall, the experience was great and I’m so glad I did it! What inspired me to sign up and train for the Bonifacio Channel was the 5 kids that are doing it this week. I never thought I’d be able to accomplish a swim like this, but when Leena and Vivek (Mitali and Anaya’s parents) told me last October that the kids were going to do this swim, I started to think that maybe I could do it too. I knew Liz through a mutual friend and when I asked her to swim with me, she was all in!  

As for training, Liz and I did most of our training in La Jolla Cove (San Diego) and with our masters club team in the pool. Liz and I also had stellar training partners - two of which are triple crown swimmers and others which have significant marathon open water experience. The advice we received from them was invaluable.

Personally, I’m very thankful that I was able to complete this swim because I’ve had a lot of setbacks in the past year. In 2018, I dislocated both of my shoulders (separate incidents) and was out of the water for a few months. I also had a bad arthritis flare up to the point where it hurt to walk and the pain lasted for about 6 months. As a result, I was not able to train much during this time. Finally, in January 2019, I was hospitalized for a few nights due to asthma, which resulted in more time out of the water. Despite all of that, I was able to adequately train for the Bonifacio Channel.

During the swim, the water was so blue and the temperature was great. I did get a little warm in the water, but there were some cold spots that felt amazing to swim through. During the last hour, my arms, back and legs were starting to get sore, but I was able to power through and finish without a problem. Liz did great! She’s a former college swimmer and she made this swim look easy. Towards the end, we sae a few jellyfish, but nothing like what we had experienced a few days prior during our training swim (there was one day where there were so many jellyfish!). Liz and I also had an amazing support team during the crossing. Coach Mike and Leena helped us with our feedings, took a bunch of pictures and were very encouraging. We are very very thankful for their support!