Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Bob Luce crossed the Maui Channel in May 1977 together with Bob Justman and Judy Collins in 6 hours 30 minutes. “I will say that the Maui Channel swim cured me of long distance swimming. I do swim 45 minutes ever day now though, but in a pool.

The only two days I don’t swim, I am kayaking on the Hillsborough River [in western Florida], removing trash and taking wildlife photos.


His close-up photos of the wildlife on the Hillsborough River are wonderful.

What really draws me to the river is the wildlife. I am shadowed by large alligators in the river sometimes because people have been feeding them. A slap of my paddle sends them away though. I have never had an incident with a gator.”

The photo above shows Big Daddy.

I snuck up on him basking on an islet in the middle of the river. Nearby residents at an apartment complex frequently fed him until someone actually dropped a rope around his neck, trapping him. The Florida Wildlife Commission was called and had him killed last October. Sadly I was on a different part of the river that week. I paddled side-by-side with Big Daddy. He was 12 feet long, but never displayed aggression towards me.”

Photos courtesy of Bob Luce.

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association