Dolphins conquer Alcatraz
Kingman kids encounter real dolphins, sea lions and cold, cold water
KINGMAN - Dolphins, sea lions, a freighter and a storm weren't enough to keep four members of the Kingman Dolphins Swim Team - Kaden Weaver (10), Sophia Depner (11), Victoria Depner (11), and Jacob Miyauchi (13) - from completing the 1.4-mile swim between Alcatraz Island and San Francisco on April 10.
The deep waters of the San Francisco Bay were cold and choppy on the day the Dolphins made their trek. The winds from the storm made the challenge more difficult for them, and the water temperature was 56 degrees.
"It was cold," Victoria said. "It was long, cold and miserable."
The distance between the city and the island seems rather short when gazing from the shore to the island, unless swimming it is what's in mind.
"I set my point on a big, gray ship," Kaden said. "It looked closer than land, so I went toward that."
All four Dolphins completed the swim within 1-1/2 hours despite the turbulent water and strong current.
"The current was pretty strong," Sophia said. "It was the second strongest current that I've been in."
A total of 80 people did the Alcatraz swim, 40 of whom were kids. The very next day, 38 went out to do the 1.2-mile Golden Gate swim. That event was almost cancelled because the heart of the storm was upon them with rain showers and winds gusting to more than 20 mph. Four of those 38 refused to even get out of the boat, and five had to be pulled out of the water. Jacob was the only Dolphin to enter and complete both swims.
"It was a lot choppier," Jacob said. "I wasn't really too tired."
When asked if they would do it again, all four responded with a resounding "Yes!" Only Kaden had a slight reservation.
"Except for almost getting run over by a freighter," he said.