Courtesy of Catalina Channel Swimming Federation, Catalina Channel, California.

Channel swimmers just never know.

Is the water going to be turbulent or tranquil? Will they encounter jellyfish and sharks or not? Will they hit cold spots or will the conditions become foggy?

British swimmer Nathan Payas from Gibraltar knows the different extremes.

Earlier this year, he completed a tough 9 hour 48 minute two-way crossing of the Strait of Gibraltar in turgid conditions in June while he had to face 3-5 foot seas in the Pacific Ocean for the first part of his Catalina Channel crossing on August 11th.

But the seas laid down by 2 am during his midnight crossing from Santa Catalina Island and he was able to complete his swim in 9 hours 34 minutes, becoming the first Gibraltarian to swim the Catalina Channel.

His English Channel crossing took 9 hours 13 minutes last year; it seems he has something about 9-hour crossings.

Upper photo of Payas completing a two-way crossing of the Strait of Gibraltar by Ariella Payas. Lower photo of Payas completing a crossing of the Catalina Channel by the Catalina Channel Swimming Federation.

Copyright © 2008-2017 by World Open Water Swimming Association