CHICAGO, Illinois (MindaNews / 10 June) – Triathlete-lawyer Ingemar “Pinoy Aquaman” Macarine completed the 8.1-kilometer swim across the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland Tuesday morning.
Macarine’s sheer guts and determination made him the first Filipino to cross the channel despite the cold 72.1-degree Fahrenheit water.
The water this time though was not as cold compared to his swim from Alcatraz Island to San Francisco in California last year, which was at 51 degrees Fahrenheit.
“I’m happy that finally we did it,” Macarine told MindaNews over telephone.
In his wet suit, Macarine started his swim from the shore of Sandy Point State Park, about 5 miles northeast of Annapolis, and finished at a sandy beach on Kent Island south of the Bridge eastern-shore causeway.
The 38-year-old Macarine swam at an average of 3 kilometers per hour, completing the course in 2 hours and 58 minutes.
Although he swam alone as in his previous feats, he took the same course for the annual Great Chesapeake Bay Swim, which will take place on June 14 for this year.
The Great Chesapeake Bay Swim is one of America’s premier open water swim challenges.
According to the Bay Swim website, 79 to 97 percent of swimmers finished the race in the last five years. But in 1991 and 1992, a “strong ebb current” in the main channel made the crossing difficult such that only 15 to 19 percent were able to finish the swim.
Macarine’s Chesapeake Bay swim would be his 13th open water swim and the third in the United States, not second as earlier reported.
Macarine is the first Filipino to swim the 2.8-km channel from Alcatraz Island Penitentiary to San Francisco April last year. His second open water swim in the US happened in Lake Lane in Florida also last year.
The Surigao-born and raised Macarine was former varsity swimmer of Silliman University in Dumaguete City.
Like his previous feats, Macarine’s swim on Wednesday is part of his lifetime advocacy for clean seas, environmental tourism, and climate change awareness.
An environmental lawyer by profession, Macarine is the first person to swim nonstop the 12.8-km Surigao Channel from Hikdop Island to Surigao City, the 7-km Babuyan Channel in Cagayan Valley in Northern Luzon, and the 10.5-km Hinatuan Passage in Claver, Surigao del Norte.
He is also the first person to cross the 13.4-km stretch from Balicasag Island to Panglao Island in Bohol.
He attempted to swim from San Ricardo, Southern Leyte to Surigao City in May last year but had to stop after 23 km due to strong currents that made it difficult for him to stay on course.
Last April 12, he conquered the 20-km Tañon Strait from Bantayan Island to San Remegio town in northern Cebu.
Last month, he completed a 12.95-km swim across Sarangani Bay, from Maasim town to Glan in Sarangani Province.
Macarine cancelled his plan to swim the 10-km span from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Bay Bridge in San Francisco Bay last May 22 due to water temperature conditions which, he said, was extremely cold.