CH 1: Swimming Adventure in the Florida Keys

I participated in an open water swimming event this past weekend in Islamorada in the Florida Keys. The course began at Amara Cay Resort and took us 4-miles off the coast to Alligator Lighthouse and back.

Anton (my brother) convinced Maddie (his girlfriend), Vanessa (our older sister) and me to sign up with him in the 4-person relay category. He had been dying to sign up for his first ever open water event but was nervous to go alone, therefore he found this one and used the relay concept to lure us in. Bonus: the event took place in Florida (where we all live) which made it easier for everyone to take minimal time off from work.

In the Swim for Alligator Lighthouse, there are several categories.

  1. Solo swimmer
  2. Two-person team
  3. Three-person team
  4. Four-person team

How does a relay like this work? Say, for example, I’m the starting swimmer. My three teammates start in kayaks (a single and tandem). I’m required to swim the first twenty minutes however, after that, we four may switch out the swimmer as often as we please.

Dude, it was a wild experience. It absolutely qualified as an adventure.

For perspective, the horizon is only 10 miles away. That’s it. That means the lighthouse is visible from shore. Nice, right? The pictures below are from the day before the event where volunteers were setting up the course and Alligator Lighthouse can be seen in the distance.

Take a look:

Didn’t see it? What about now?

Still no? Okay, this ought to help…



Race organizers were insistent that it wasn’t a race, it was an endurance event, and I agree. You aren’t pitted against other swimmers, instead it’s you against the course and friggin’ Mother Nature. It had been a while since I’ve been on an honest to God adventure like this, and this seemed as good as any for getting back into the groove.

I will chronicle our adventure over the next week or so and, at the end, I’ll give feedback about whether or not I’d recommend it or want to do it again.


One thought on “CH 1: Swimming Adventure in the Florida Keys

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