Four Boats!

Bella Vita - 65' Custom Pilot House Motor Yacht

Tom Fromholz is donating its use for sleeping/planning/staging and will captain the vessel during the day leapfrogging ahead of the swimming "flotilla".

Bella Bino - 14.5' Caribe Dingy

Tom Fromholz is donating its use for shuttling volunteers to and from shore, shore excursions/grocery store runs, and flotilla rendezvous. 

Pontoon Boat

Dwayne Hayes is donating the use of the platform for immediate swimmer hydration/nutrition opportunities as well as serving as a comfortable place for the day's support volunteers to relax, eat, and enjoy the scenic river views.

Looking to Acquire a Small Boat or Jon Boat

We are looking to acquire the use of a small boat or jon boat boat for accompanying the swimmer throughout the journey. The boat will serve to assist the large pontoon boat.


Tides
At approximately 3/8 of the way through the swim segments (just north of Lake George), diurnal tidal flows become noticeable and increase in significance as the river approaches Jacksonville and exits into the Atlantic. Once passing Lake George, swims will only be conducted with the outgoing tide as predicted at locations along the river.  

Two outgoing tides lasting a little over 6 hours each happen each day. Swims will only be conducted for the time leading up to slack tide, through out-going tide, and exiting slack tide.

Tide Planning Excel File:


Google Earth Overlays

I have created a Google Earth kmz file that allows for data access for trip planning.
This includes information regarding:
1. Swim Segment Paths
2. Current river conditions
3. Tide predictions
4. Parks and environmental points of interest
5. Public Boat Ramps


Click below. A Google Drive version will populate. This version does not look great. Download file and open in Google Earth.

Alligators
Yes Florida has an alligator population. The St. Johns River System is no exception. Potential encounters are lessened the further north I swim. Besides being incredibly shallow for boats and swimmers, Lake Jesup has one of the highest alligator population densities in Florida. Hence, I will be kayaking the 16 miles from the end of the 3 mile hike to the swim start at the Sanford Marina. 

I believe the following precautions will minimize encounters with alligators.
  1. The swim will be conduced in March. Alligator mating season is May - July when alligators show increased aggression in response to defense of their territory.
  2. Avoid swimming at night when alligators feed.
  3. I will have boats and kayaks my immediate proximity.
  4. The swimming will avoid river and lake edges where alligators tend to hang out.
  5. Volunteers will be on the lookout for potential wildlife hazards.