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San Diego swimmer crosses chilling Sitka Sound without wetsuit

September 10, 2009 | 12:43 pm

Claudiarose

As feats of endurance go, Claudia Rose's recent swim across Alaska's Sitka Sound is pretty remarkable. 

The distance from Kruzof Island to Sitka is only eight miles, but there were strong currents and swarms of stinging jellyfish. The water temperature was only 54 degrees -- and Rose did not wear a wetsuit.

The 45-year-old from San Diego required 4 hours, 36 minutes to complete the feat and is believed to be the first person to swim across the sound, wetsuit or no wetsuit.

"I'm much more interested in things people haven't done," Rose says in story posted on the website of the Anchorage Daily News.

A former triathlete, Rose took up swimming because of medical issues that left her unable to run for long periods. Among her other accomplishments is a 21-mile crossing from Santa Catalina Island to Los Angeles in 2006.

Said Sitka's John Dunlap, who helped Rose plot her Sitka Sound route: "It's an amazing thing to hear or read about. Having actually seen it, I marvel at what a test of endurance it was."

-- Pete Thomas

Photo: Claudia Rose enters the water off Inner Point on Alaska's Kruzoff Island before crossing  Sitka Sound. Credit: Ralph Lufkin / Daily Sitka Sentinal via The Associated Press
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