The Kamari to Perissa Run in 8.1 * 10^-14 Parsecs: Swimming towards apotheosis

This is the third in a three part series. The first can be found here. The second can be found here. You can find a map of my adventure in earlier posts… 

Ms. Diana Nyad delayed my latest post. She stole the thunder, the clouds, the high and low pressure systems and the entire scene… It was kind of hard to be excited about my puny swim when you compare it to her epic 115 mile swim .. But then again, she had a dream which she made real, and my dream was a little bit less ambitious, but I did it… So hey.

So there I was stuck in the Deep Blue section of my swim… The clock read 38 minutes, and I could not see Perissa. And in front I could see this gate that I started to refer to as Scylla and Charybdis.


This was starting to suck. My arms started to hurt really badly, not from exhaustion but from the waves slapping against them. Memo to the staff, wet suits protect you against water burn…

So I took a breather, started to do the breast stroke, and wondered, was this just beyond my grasp?

I looked at my cousin and asked: how far to go, and he said – dude you’re 3/4 of the way there.

Kostis later admitted he was worried about me at that point in time and was wondering whether  he should encourage me to bail or encourage me to go for it.

The reality is he told me what I needed to hear, that I was as close to the end as I ever would be.

Digging in some more, I started to swim… and as I approached the two rocks,


I saw for the first time yachts anchored off the coast of Perissa.

Seeing those boats from behind the mountain meant I was done. So I raised my arms in a victory salute, and then dug in for the final push.

This is my favorite picture of the whole swim …

Taken just as I am turning towards the beach. Still a considerable way out, but on final approach.

As I headed towards the beach, there were a couple of boats moored against the cliff. In particular one boat was set up in such a way as to give a certain degree of privacy to its owners who were swimming in a little bay. You can see the moor line here…

They were a couple that was obviously engaged in some kind of intimate act in the water… Whereas my cousin went around the boat, I was so tired that I went behind the boat. And lo and behold our mutual surprise when they saw me swimming. Hopefully, I wasn’t too much of a buzz kill for the mood.

And with that, I entered final approach…

When I finally reached the shore, all I could do is stagger onto the beach

And then raise my arms in joy

and let them collapse in exhaustion…

I had conquered my mountain.

My first reaction was: FOOOOD.. And wouldn’t you know it that at 9am… there aren’t that many food options on a beach… Something about people waking up later… So I had the best tasting croissants of my life… I know if I eat them again, they will be vile, but after that epic swim, they tasted AWESOME.

On the boat ride back I had this look of complete shell shock captured by my wife here:

I wasn’t really capable of real thought… I was just feeling this amazing sense of accomplishment, I had finally conquered this mountain that had so dominated my life…

Later in the evening though, my accomplishment hit me like a ton of bricks. There was no feeling of ecstasy, instead there was a profound sense of melancholy…

This mountain …


had become a symbol in my life. A thing that stood between here and there… And it was a thing to be conquered, to be mastered.

Every summer, I would go in the water,

stare at the water

and look at this mountain and say: Some day I’ll get around it.

And I finally had.

And there was this emptiness in my heart. What was I supposed to dream about now? What hill was I supposed to climb now? Time was moving forward, and things that were in the future were now firmly in the past. And I was feeling old. That with this swim the last of my childhood dreams were accomplished.

And I was thinking… what next?

Maybe I could jump off the mountain,

but that seemed scary. Or maybe to Perissa and back? But that seemed like I was creating meaningless challenges…

And then Ms. Nyad swam to Cuba, and I was thinking… Well… There is this island that you can see in the background of this picture…

And it’s only 8km around …


And I’ve always wanted to swim around the Volcano… After all there is something surreal about the whole experience…

And the melancholy was lifted, as I realized there is also a new hill to climb, a new mountain to master, a new distance to swim. There is a metaphor about life here… But I need to go train.



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