Palfrey begins record swim

Follow Penny Palfrey’s swim with us on Twitter and live GPS tracking.


Swimmer Penny Palfrey climbed into the sea at the west end
of Little Cayman shortly before 5.30am Saturday morning as she begun
a record-breaking attempt to swim to Grand Cayman.  A small crowd of visitors and Little Cayman residents were there to see her off.

Open Water Source is reporting that over Saturday night into Sunday morning, Penny stated that she saw something in the water, but is uncertain whether it was a shark, dolphin or other marine creature. She claims she was also hit by a friendly flying fish. “Her shoulder is beginning to ache and a little fearful but the elements are in her favor! Those on board the zodiac are right beside her cheering her on… Penny Palfrey is going through some severe frustration at this point but the winds are at her back and pushing for her toward Grand Cayman!”  As of 6:30am Sunday, there are approximately 18 nautical miles left to reach Grand Cayman.

Ms Palfrey’s departure was delayed by more than 48 hours due to weather
conditions, but as the winds changed to a more easterly direction, the
Australian/British swimmer and her team decided this was the time to hit the

Steven Munatones, who along with Frank Flowers helped organise the swim, said
on Friday, a few hours before the swim began: “I think the only thing that
might stop her now is marine life.”
“She is mentally and physically prepared,” he said.

Mr. Munatones said the two-day delay had worked in Ms Palfrey’s favour as she
was more rested by Saturday morning than she had been when she first arrived on
Little Cayman on Wednesday morning. She had been due to begin her swim at 3am

She and her team of about 20 crew stayed on Little Cayman while waiting for the
weather to improve.

The night before the swim, Ms Palfrey loaded up on carbs,
eating a piled plate of vegetarian pasta specially prepared for her by the chef
at the Little Cayman Beach Resort.

On Saturday morning, she entered the water from a site about 330 yards north of
the lighthouse on the western end of the island.

The crew accompanying Ms Palfrey are travelling the route with her on two boats
– the Carib Princess tender and Cayman Time.

Before she got in the water, one of her accompanying kayakers, Richard Clifford
boarded his kayak that had a shark shield attached and Dan Boyle boarded a rib,
an inflatible power boat, which also had a shark shield, to wait for the
swimmer to set off.

Steve Munatones and Jeff Kozlovich also jumped in the water
with her to help her through the first 100 yards or so of the swim. “Jeff
and I will get in the water with her to make sure nothing happens,” said
Mr. Munatones beforehand.

Ms Palfrey, Mr. Munatones and the rest of her support team inspected the jump
off point on Wednesday to ascertain the best place to leave from the rocky

The swimmer, a 48-year-old mother of three and a grandmother to one, hopes to
swim the 68 miles to Grand Cayman, reaching the east end of the Island Sunday

If you value our service, if you have turned to us in the past few days or weeks for verified, factual updates, if you have watched our live streaming of press conferences or sent an article to a friend... please consider a donation. Quality local journalism was at risk before the coronavirus crisis. It is now deeply threatened. Even a small amount can go a long way to sustaining our mission of informing the public. We need our readers’ financial support now more than ever.