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Swimmers face dark, cold ocean in 20-mile swim from Catalina to Palos Verdes




Kerry Yonushonis swims between two kayakers during her journey across the Catalina Channel.
Kerry Yonushonis swims between two kayakers during her journey across the Catalina Channel.
Courtney Turpin
Kerry Yonushonis swims between two kayakers during her journey across the Catalina Channel.
Kerry Yonushonis is joined by two pacers swimming beside her during one of the final legs of her swim across the Catalina Channel.
Courtney Turpin
Kerry Yonushonis swims between two kayakers during her journey across the Catalina Channel.
Kerry Yonushonis began her swim from Catalina to Palos Verdes at 10:52pm. During the nighttime portion of the swim, she is only allowed glowsticks for light.
Courtney Turpin
Kerry Yonushonis swims between two kayakers during her journey across the Catalina Channel.
Natalie Radtke looks on from the support boat as Kerry Yonushonis swims across the Catalina Channel. Radtke is doing her own solo Catalina Channel swim Tuesday night.
Courtney Turpin


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Catalina Island is a popular Southern California day trip. Catch a ferry to the island, and in about an hour, you're there, looking back at the mainland about 20 miles away.

But Catalina is also a destination for a feat of athletic endurance: a very long, cold, dark ocean swim from the island back to the shores of Palos Verdes.

Few attempt this swim, because it is not easy. The water is cold, and no wetsuits are allowed for an official attempt. Swimmers make the journey overnight, only with the light from glowsticks until the sun rises. They're accompanied by a support boat and crew, including pacers and kayakers, and they're allowed to eat and drink regularly.

Besides that—and the occasional wildlife encounter—it's just them and twenty miles of open ocean.

Take Two's Libby Denkmann spoke to two marathon swimmers. Kerry Yonushonis, who completed her Catalina Channel swim Sunday morning, and Natalie Radtke of Hermosa Beach. Radtke helped pace Yonushonis during her swim, and she will be doing her own solo Catalina Channel swim Tuesday night.

To hear the full interview, click the blue audio player above.

Here's video of Kerry Yonushonis beginning her swim from Catalina Island to Palos Verdes. She began her swim at 10:52pm Saturday.

 

 

Here's video of Natalie Radtke swimming out to pace Kerry Yonushonis closer to the shore.

 

Here's video of Yonushonis finishing her swim at the beach near Terranea Resort in Palos Verdes.

 

To see more videos from Yonushonis' swim, click here.