Monday, March 14, 2016

Rotto Swim… and quokka selfie!

I jumped at the opportunity to join three girlfriends for a relay ocean swim from Perth to Rottnest Island. The Rottnest Channel Swim is 20+ kms across notoriously shark-infested waters... to the island home of the adorable marsupial, the quokka.

me and the girls at the finish #BUCKET LIST TICKED
Bondi Bubble Butts at Cottlesoe Beach...
My first Indian Ocean meet and greet!
The Rotto Swim is super difficult to enter. Simply to register you have to find a local skipper, a boat, a paddler; have a team, pay $1000, and register online within a window of just a few days... and even after all that you are not guaranteed a spot, you're only put in the lottery. Thankfully two of our team were locals and their family hooked us up.

Conditions were ideal! And it felt like the entire city was out there in a flotilla of hundreds of boats, paddlers slowly rocking their way toward the island.
thanks, paddler Crispy!
 And with all the boats and paddlers looking out for dorsal fins, it felt a lot safer. No marine creatures spotted by our team besides fish, rays, and ...  sea grass.

Ben, our friendly skipper.

a cola for your troubles, Meg!
Anna, queen of the flotilla.
Are we there yet? I'm pink in zinc.
 We swam in intervals of ten minutes, and after a few hours went down to 8 minute intervals. Simon was on the back of the boat timing the entire time. I'll confess to getting seasick for the second hour - the boat bobbling along only as fast as we swam. Thanks to some hardcore early am training, we all felt really strong. Next challenge: swim it in a duo!

Once arrived at the island, thousands of revelers had ferried over and were drinking at the local pub, but after a few beers off we went in search of the lovable yet feral local inhabitants...
baby quokka digging in momma's purse.

Bagged the ultimate Rottnest souvenir -- a QUOKKA SELFIE. How cute are these things? Granted I had to slather my body in honey and prostate myself on the road to get this photo, but it was worth it!