Barcelona, Spain – July 20
I was in the ocean twice today, at 7:30 am and again this evening. The water is so incredibly warm. I have not experienced anything like this since Hawaii. Amazing. I swam nearly 1km today, with one break on the beach. I am not an efficient swimmer, having had no lessons since I was six years of age.

This evening I will watch a few Youtube videos to see if I can improve my strokes.

I typically move from breast stroke to side stroke to back stroke to the other side and breast again, essentially rolling as I go to give muscle groups a break. All my days in the turbulent surf at Muizenberg, even if on a surf board, has given me greater confidence in the ocean, and more stamina.

Today, I recognised that I had hit a swimming “high”, the sensation that I could go on forever. As with running, it took about 30-40 minutes for me to get past that first plateau, and then the breathing and rhythm came easily.

My goal is to swim 1 mile, without a break, before I leave Spain.

Barceloneta Bay, Kai Staats swims a mile

July 24
I accomplished my goal! I swam 1.65 km (1 mile) without stopping. Damn! It took over an hour. Might have been faster to crawl on all fours (backward), but I made it.

The stretch between the man-made break (upper right) and the coastline near the W Hotel (lower right) was a bit scary for me as I have never swam that distance before, unable to see the bottom or return to something safe.

However, what the satellite image does not show are a half dozen buoys, anchored by long chains to the ocean floor. If need be, I could have clung to one of them, each was about 100 meter apart.

When I completed the lap, I felt as thought I had been run over by a bus, went back to Matt’s flat and slept for an hour.