CABILAO ISLAND, Loon, Bohol (MindaNews / 17 July) – In preparation for his biggest swim in the English Channel next month, endurance swimmer and environment lawyer Ingemar “Pinoy Aquaman” Macarine made waves anew after completing the 18.15-kilometer swim from Argao town in Cebu to Cabilao Island in Loon, Bohol Sunday afternoon.
The feat was part of Macarine’s long swim training in preparation for the English Channel crossing next month, which would take from Dover in England to Callais in France covering a total distance of 33 kilometers.
Macarine finished the pioneering route from Argao Port to Barangay Pantudlan, Cabilao Island in Loon covering a total distance of 18.15 kilometers in 8 hours and 25 seconds.
Before he started the swim, the Pinoy Aquaman jokingly told the small crowd who witnessed his take off: “Wala nakoy pamasahe padulong Bohol mao nga molangoy na lang ko padulong didto.” (I don’t have money to buy my fare ticket to Bohol so I will just have to swim it instead.)
Macarine, who hails from Placer, Surigao del Norte, failed in his first attempt to cross the English Channel last year due to bad weather.
He got into open-water swims as part of his lifetime advocacy for clean seas, marine resource protection, environmental tourism and climate change awareness.
The triathlete dared to cross the waters of Cebu Strait despite the presence of countless stinging jellyfish.
“I suffered pains all over my body because of the nasty jellyfish on my first seven kilometers of swimming,” he said.
For the first time in his swimming career, the Pinoy Aquaman asked for vinegar to pour on his face because of the prolonging pain from the countless jellyfish.
Macarine made a few stops during his swim as he complained of the pains. “There are thousands of jellyfish. If there will be more along the way I will discontinue the swim,” he said while in the water.
Sunday’s swim was his 32nd open-water swim since he started on December 30, 2013. It was also his 16th marathon swim. A marathon swim covers at least 10 kilometers. Macarine followed the Marathon Swimming Federation rules, a set of standards and guidelines on undertaking a solo, unassisted open-water marathon swim.
It was not his first time to conquer the Cebu Strait though. He took the reverse route last June 12, 2016.
“Last Sunday’s swim my last long swim as I will depart for Europe next week to start my acclimatization training for my ultimate swim this coming August 14,” Macarine said.
This year the Pinoy Aquaman had completed a total of seven marathon swims such as the grueling 24-kilometer Dumaguete to Siquijor swim last April and Camiguin Island to Talisayan in Misamis Oriental.
The English Channel swim is considered as the “Mt. Everest” among open water swimming enthusiasts around the world.
Macarine was recently included in the list of the “2017 World’s 50 Most Adventurous Open Water Men” of the World Open Water Swimming Association (WOWSA). (Roel N. Catoto / MindaNews)