Natalie's Swim Adventures

1st ever solo circumnavigation of Santa Barbara Island

Ok I did it!  My swim was short, but sweet.  Here is a link to my video on YouTube.

1st Ever solo circumnavigation Santa Barbara island

Before I go on, I want to thank my crew:  Lynn, Cherie, Travis, Dawn, Captain Derek, and coordinator Sheri.

I could not have swam without those people.

Ok here’s the story…it’s 11:45 pm on Monday August 31st.  I am with Travis and we pick up Lynn and Cherie and roll up to Oxnard harbor.  The boat leaves at 3:30 am to get me to the island by 6:30am.  I am in water at 6:38 am.  I had a great start and soon got a little gnarls, but I charge ahead.  I didn’t see anything except kelp and typical southern CA fish, but not many.  The water was not that clear.  It was feed time and I didn’t drink much and just wanted to keep going.  It got a little gnarlier, that’s fine.  Dawn my kayaker was like “that’s Sutil Rock, you’re doing great!”  Yesss!

We keep going and I run into a weird kelpy thing that kinda threw me off for a second.  I then wanted chocolate, so I got some chocolate and asked how my progress was going.  They said awesome!  I said “lets roll”…I charged on.  I skipped a feed and just kept going.  We rounded the point and I saw the dock.  OMG this is it!  It’s so short, but so awesome.  The damn current wouldn’t let me get there lol.  I asked my boat crew if anyone was getting in.  Blank stares…maybe they didn’t hear me.  I kept creeping up to the short dock.  Wow, history!  I got closer and closer and victory was in my head.

I finally touched and didn’t know how far or how much I needed to touch.  Ive never done a touch start or finish before.  I crept up to the cliff and slid down scraping my left thigh.  Ouch.  Ok I guess I was done lol!  Out of nowhere Travis comes swimming over.  I was incredibly grateful of his presence.  A true supporter, no doubt.  I was so stoked to be done and so happy.  That was the best short swim I have ever done.  Thank you.

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Santa Barbara Solo Swim

I am pleased to announce my Santa Barbara Solo Swim!

I am not going to get into too many details as I am preparing for this swim as I type.  My attempt will be September 1, 2015.  I have done my homework and visited the island seven weeks ago.  The island is about 22 miles West of Catalina.  It is small and once a volcano.  It is about five miles around, which I am swimming.  I am going around this island clockwise-right shoulder-unless currents change.  I am excited, yet nervous of seals.  I have a great crew though and I am super excited that they managed to pull this swim together really fast.  If all goes well, I will be the first person to get this swim.

I was supposed to do this with someone else on a later date, but that did not go as planned.  Instead, I chose to take my apples and make apple juice.   Please stay tuned for my swim and the details to follow.  🙂

Much love to my support team:

Cherie Edborg, Lynn Kubasek, Travis Currier, Dawn Brooks, Captain of Perfect Mistress, Sheri Bauer, Scott Zornig, Julie Flanagan, SBCSA

Much love to my family:

Auntie Stacy, Auntie Rachel, Nana, Grandpee, Bradley, Ava, Melissa, Mom

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Summer 2015

I visited this blog accidently based on a link that I saw from Marathon swimmers forum.  I realized I haven’t typed here in awhile and I probably should since I have some great news!

I will post another post, but for now, I will brief everyone.

Basically, I have been swimming year round down in Laguna Beach frequently with the Oak street/Dawn Patrollers/Shawshankers.  The 6 am swims have been awesome.  The water temp this year for 2015 has not even dropped below 60.  It’s just been amazeballs!  Things haven’t changed at all except my speed has gone up slightly compared to last year’s race times from CDM, Pier to Pier etc.  I have been very happy with that.  Life has been pretty awesome this year.  I got a new job and really enjoy the people I work with.

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Swimming 2014 summer

A lot has happened in the last 8 months.  I went through a lot. Those of you who know me, know that it has been a tough year.


Hank and I at the HB pier swim. I took 1st in my age group and the trophy is 1st team.


Early September 2014, Shaws cove, Laguna Beach.

My swim life has not been so bad.  I have medaled, I have lost weight, and my speed is top notch.  I continue to go through hell, but my swimming has helped me so much and the people I am around are awesome.   I also want to point out that I have lost about 70 lbs. since January of 2014. I am continuing to live in South Orange County and swimming regularly with the Oak street Laguna swimmers.

This summer I was supposed to do a relay from Catalina to Laguna beach on the 4th of July.  Well, that did not happen and I was sad.  Nothing to look forward too.  Oh well.  I think there’s talk to have it next year, so I hope I am in for that.

I have been feeling really down lately and this writing in here is helping.  Swimming helps.  I love it.  No one can take that from me.  My happiness may be gone for a bit, but once I hit that ocean, ahhhhh pure joy.

This morning I swam at 6 am and it was dark.  I didn’t care.  My sense of fear has gone since I am on this kick of whatever attitude.  It was really cool.  Usually, I am not awake, but my sleeping has been really bad lately.  I have energy in the morning, so I decided to go out.  Best decision ever.

I have also decided to swim around Anacapa and Santa Barbara islands next year.  I really wanted to swim around Palos Verdes, but someone said that is just a training swim.  I want to be cool and do something cool, so I am looking forward to training into next year.  My life needs a goal right now and I am stoked to share this.

Oh and swim camp in November!  I am going to get a bikini.  I hope things start to look up for me, but I know in the swimming world, they always do!

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San Luis Obispo County piers

On Saturday September 7th, I drove up with a mutual swim friend to another mutual swim friends’ house to get rest before we drove up to San Simeon.  We decided to swim all of San Luis Obispo counties’ piers.

They are:  San Simeon, Cayucos, Morro Bay (2),  Avila Beach/Bay (3) and Pismo, so eight total.

My favorite pier was the first one.  It felt so good to swim around a historic pier made for the famous William Hearst for his castle.

My least favorite was the SLO pier for the college aka “the beast” it was long and boring.  The end was welcoming and I saw three beautiful orange star fish on the rocks where I climbed out.  After that we had one more pier to go and lunch to follow, so we were all looking forward to that.

Finally, the last pier….awww so much fun.  That pier was bumpy, but welcoming.

It was a blast to be with my wolf pack.  🙂

Looking forward to swimming Monterey.

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Fear no Pier swims

On August 18 a group of 14 of us headed out to Santa Barbara county line to swim all piers heading south to San Diego.  Well, I will let you know that half of us quit and only one conquered the whole thing.  Logistically, it’s better done by a small wolf pack of die hards and I will not mention their names 🙂

I completed the following piers:


Elwood (near the Bacarra resort)

Goleta (near UCSB)

Stearns Wharf (downtown Santa Barbara and my favorite)

I skipped Carpinteria because there was a shark posting sign.  I was jealous when I saw everyone get in.  I waited too long to get in.  

Richfield pier…this pier is gnarly.  It is the pier that you can see heading North on the 101 past Ventura with the man made island.  I got in and got out.  I just felt it spooky.  One day I will do it if anyone wants to.

Ventura pier

Port Hueneme pier

Malibu’s paradise cove easy peazy

I skipped Malibu pier because I was exhausted and my glow sticks sucked.  I was kind of done at this point.  

Some went on to swim around Santa Monica.  I was already asleep in the bunk of the RV at this point.  

I stayed in the wolf pack RV as others went into Dennys and the other RV went home.  I got up and the others agreed to get a hotel and carry on in the morning.  I got a decent amount of rest and carried on to LA County and Orange County piers.  I did them all except Santa Monica.

They are Venice, Manhattan, Hermosa, Redondo, Cabrillo, Long Beach, Seal Beach, Huntington Beach, Newport (2), and San Clemente.

In conclusion, this is best with a mini van with limited stops and snacks in vehicles.  It is best with non-negatives and a fun upbeat group.

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LA county beach activities beware

This has to be the most awful lame rule ever!
See link:

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2013 Huntington pier swim

Yesterday, I swam the HB pier and felt great. The water temperature was an A+. Anything warmer and Id be a boiling lobster! I saw the group from Long Beach and hung out with Hank and the Swim Focus group. We had our game on and Hank coached us to get around the pier better. You have to shoot underneath the pier going on North side to take you out to the end. This is not for the weak sun bather. I gets tricky, but after June 7th, anything I do involving large surf is ok. The moment came for my wave to start and I shot the pier going out. It was a very smart move. I did start off very cautious and could not get myself to sw fast, but as soon as I got past breakers, i put my head down and went. You have to look up a lot during this race, but it is mighty fast! It turned out that I shaved 3 min from my time in 2010! Yeahhh! I even medaled 3rd place in my female catagory! Woohoo! Epic summer here I come!


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Friday June 7, 2013 Oak Street

As I was driving home, I received a phone call that the Huntington Beach pier swim was cancelled do to large surf.  I was kind of bummed, but understand that large waves happen and I honestly fear them more so than predators.  I drove home and prepared myself to go swimming at Oak street not even thinking about big waves.  I drove past Laguna Main and saw what it looked like a mill pond.  Oh no…that was just a lull.  When I arrived at Oak street that afternoon, I saw an elementary classroom sized amount of surfers in a line up.  It was another lull.  Finally, a set came in.  OMG the waves were huge!  I have never seen Brooks street break out by the reef.  It was amazing!  Some of us at the top of the stairs were unsure if we were going to go in, but the lulls were long and I was feeling ok mentally.  As we went downstairs to the beach, the waves seemed bigger.  The lulls were still long, but anything could happen.  A little North of us was some smaller patches of the set that I thought would be easier to get in.  Lynn and Kelley got in at Oak while some others got in towards the Pacific Edge Hotel.  I didn’t get in right away, but watched others.  A lull came and that’s when I told a girl to hold my fins as I charged out there.  I wanted to wear fins to get out past the breakers, but declined for losing them in heavy surf.  I immediately got out past the waves and yes it was was out there and was happy to not encounter washing machine effect.  I didn’t swim to the Main Street buoy because Francisco, Scott and I were a little tired from getting out there and it was getting late.  So we swam a little North where we thought the waves were smaller.  We were wrong.  It is so hard to know when lulls occur from being out in the water past the breakers.  We just sat there for awhile.  Finally, someone called it and we booked it getting in.  Huge waves toppled over me as I tried to dive down and hold on to the sand.  I had to do this about four times.  The fourth time was the strongest, but I came up right away.  I think I got caught in a rip as I struggled to get to shore for a minute.  I finally made it, but made a hard landing into rocks and sprained three left small toes.  It hurt so bad walking back to Oak street.  Scott had some bad scrapes with blood.  We looked like shaggy dogs who hate baths walking back to the beach.  Meanwhile, Kelley and Lynn were still out there as they did the full lap to Oak street.  We changed and watched them come in.  It was a piece of cake for Lynn it seemed while Kelley lost her goggles.  We all were shaking our heads at the craziness that went on at Oak street.  My fear of waves still exists and I do not know why I went out there, but it was totally worth it!

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Mother’s Day No Mother swim

I went up to the LBC to swim Naples with some friends up there.  Lexie was organizing a group of us to have pictures for the swim across America gig.  None of us were mothers, but we met up at “mothers beach in Long Beach” lol. We put on some cool caps and got some press for the event and then raced around the island.  I am so glad that I had my fins on.  That group had turbo propellers in which I could not keep up!  Glad to have done some swimming to eat like a pig for mothers day!  woohoo

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