By Brooks Baehr - bio | email
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - As night fell over the Hawaiian Islands Tuesday Australian long distance swimmer Penny Palfrey was believed to be swimming somewhere in the Kaieie Waho Channel between Oahu and Kauai. She was trying to become the first person to swim the 72 mile crossing.
Palfrey began her challenge by leaving Kaena Point at about 10:30 a.m. Tuesday. If successful, she anticipated reaching the Garden Isle in 30 to 40 hours, or between 4:30 p.m. Wednesday and 2:30 a.m. Thursday.
By mid-afternoon Tuesday the crew on her escort boat had lost cell phone contact, so we may not get an update on her progress until they either approach Kauai or return to Oahu.
No one has ever completed this crossing.
Distance is the biggest obstacle, but there are sharks, jellyfish, and man-of-war to worry about , and of course the mind games that began when night fell Tuesday.
"The dark is all mental. I mean you can scare yourself. You can be like a little kid going to bed at night looking for the boogie man under the bed and I mean, if there was a shark underneath you, you wouldn't know because it's so dark," said Kuliouou resident and long distance swimmer Linda Kaiser. Kaiser has made it across eight of the nine channels between the Hawaiian Islands, but has never attempted to go from Oahu to Kauai.
Hawaii News Now will update this story once it gets word of Palfrey's progress.