The Endless Swimmer

When people learn that Pedro Ordenes, 55, has swum to or from Alcatraz 126 times, or that he crossed the Strait of Magellan in 39-degree water, they often joke about his sanity. That's before they hear about his idea to swim the Bering Strait.

It'll take a few years to get to that point. If he even comes close to Cox's swim, he'll be spending over two hours in 38-degree water (at its balmiest), and he'll have to hire pilot boats and make sure a medical staff is around, as well as during the trek keep an eye on the whales in the area and try not to think too hard about the swim -- but never forget that he's spending more time than he ever has in colder water than he's ever known.

First, though, he'll go up and take a look.

"I need to just sit there and see if it's realistic or not," he says. "From there, you start working your way up. You make the evaluation if it's even possible. My mind could be better prepared. Even when you're preparing, you have to think that the worst may happen. This is not a trial-and-error kind of thing."

"It's an addiction," Ordenes says of his regular swims 
in the bay.
Anthony Pidgeon
"It's an addiction," Ordenes says of his regular swims in the bay.
Ordenes in the locker room of the South End Rowing 
Club.
Anthony Pidgeon
Ordenes in the locker room of the South End Rowing Club.

The word "crazy" comes up.

"I hear it all the time," he laughs. "I only want to do it for others to do later on. All I want is for somebody to say, years from now, 'I met this crazy guy from California who did this.'"

« Previous Page
 |
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
All
 
My Voice Nation Help
0 comments
 
San Francisco Concert Tickets
©2014 SF Weekly, LP, All rights reserved.
Loading...