The Guardian | Escape from Alcatraz: a swim from the Rock to San Francisco

    Pedro Ordenes is the head coach and founder of Water World Swim, which organises escorted monthly crossings. He has swum it himself a remarkable 979 times.

    “Alcatraz is a big draw because it’s very challenging,” he says. “Years ago, people believed it wasn’t possible to swim it, and there was nobody to learn how the currents work. I started helping people when I moved here 26 years ago and it’s grown into more than I was expecting.”

    I met Pedro and his team at 6.30am beside their boat in Fisherman’s Wharf – ordinarily an area of San Francisco groaning under the weight of tourists and tourism traders – but eerily still in the darkness of this early Saturday morning.

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