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Swimming to Antarctica: Tales of a Long-Distance Swimmer

by

Swimming to Antarctica: Tales of a Long-Distance Swimmer Cover

 

Staff Pick

The first to swim the Strait of Magellan, the Bering Strait, and the Cape of Good Hope, Lynne Cox, from the age of fourteen, began forcing the world's best long-distance swimmers to reconsider what might be possible in the water. Dive in and brace yourself for a thrilling athletic adventure.
Recommended by Kyle, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

  • At age fourteen, she swam twenty-six miles from Catalina Island to the California mainland.
  • At ages fifteen and sixteen, she broke the men's and women's world records for swimming the English Channel; a thirty-three-mile crossing in nine hours, thirty-six minutes.
  • At eighteen, she swam the twenty-mile Cook Strait between North and South Islands of New Zealand, was caught on a massive swell, found herself after five hours farther from the finish than when she started, and still completed the swim.
  • She was the first to swim the Strait of Magellan, the most treacherous three-mile stretch of water in the world.
  • The first to swim the Bering Strait (the channel that forms the boundary line between the United States and Russia) from Alaska to Siberia, thereby opening the U.S.-Soviet border for the first time in forty-eight years, swimming in thirty-eight-degree water in four-foot waves without a shark cage, wet suit, or lanolin grease.
  • The first to swim the Cape of Good Hope (a shark emerged from the kelp, its jaws wide open, and was shot as it headed straight for her).
In this extraordinary book, the world's most extraordinary distance swimmer writes about her emotional and spiritual need to swim and about the almost mystical act of swimming itself.

Lynne Cox trained hard from age nine, working with an Olympic coach, swimming five to twelve miles each day in the Pacific. At age eleven, she swam even when hail made the water "like cold tapioca pudding" and was told she would one day swim the English Channel. Four years later (not yet out of high school) she broke the men's and women's world records for the Channel swim. In 1987, she swam the Bering Strait from America to the Soviet Union; a feat that, according to Gorbachev, helped diminish tensions between Russia and the United States.

Lynne Cox's relationship with the water is almost mystical: she describes swimming as flying, and remembers swimming at night through flocks of flying fish the size of mockingbirds, remembers being escorted by a pod of dolphins that came to her off New Zealand.

She has a photographic memory of her swims. She tells us how she conceived of, planned, and trained for each, and re-creates for us the experience of swimming (almost) unswimmable bodies of water, including her most recent astonishing one-mile swim to Antarctica in thirty-two-degree water without a wet suit. She tells us how, through training and by taking advantage of her naturally plump physique, she is able to create more heat in the water than she loses.

Lynne Cox has swum the Mediterranean, the three-mile Strait of Messina, under the ancient bridges of Kunning Lake, below the old summer palace of the emperor of China in Beijing. Breaking records no longer interests her. She writes about the ways in which these swims instead became vehicles for personal goals, how she sees herself as the lone swimmer among the waves, pitting her courage against the odds, drawn to dangerous places and treacherous waters that, since ancient times, have challenged sailors in ships.

Review:

"Even though readers know she survived to tell the tale, it's a thrilling, awesome and well-written story." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"An awesome study in immersion from long-distance swimmer Cox....An otherworldly existence brought hugely to life." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Her wide-eyed idealism may seem a little corny at first, but by the end we're rooting for her, wondering if brave and mostly solitary acts...don't bring us together after all." Booklist

Review:

"[Cox has] done things the rest of us only imagine — and she's written a book that helps us to imagine them with clarity and wonder." The Boston Globe

Review:

"More than the story of the greatest open-water swimmer, Swimming to Antarctica is a portrait of rare and relentless drive....Gripping." Sports Illustrated

Review:

"A tale of remarkable physical prowess and heart." Vogue

Review:

"Even a cursory read leaves one shivering for a warm towel." Entertainment Weekly

Review:

"A triumph of a positive outlook, hefty preparation, and raw courage." The Economist

Synopsis:

Newly Illustrated with Photos and Maps Throughout. Here is the joyful, inspirational memoir of swimmer Lynne Cox. By age sixteen, she had broken all records for English Channel swims, so she set her goals even higher: She became the first to swim the Strait of Magellan, narrowly escaped a shark attack off the Cape of Good Hope, and was cheered across the twenty-mile Cook Strait of New Zealand by dolphins. Her daring eventually led her to the thirty-eight-degree waters of the Bering Strait, which she crossed in her usual outfit — just a swimsuit, cap, and goggles. She has even swum a mile in the iceberg-choked waters of the Antarctic. With a poet's eye for detail, Cox shares the beauty of her time in the water in this new classic of sports memoir.

Synopsis:

Now in paperback, with photos and maps added especially for this new edition, this sports memoir is the acclaimed life story of long-distance swimmer Lynne Cox, a woman whose drive and determination inspire everyone she touches. High school & older.

Synopsis:

Newly Illustrated with Photos and Maps Throughout (format to separate this phrase from copy)

Here is the joyful, inspirational memoir of swimmer Lynne Cox. By age sixteen, she had broken all records for English Channel swims, so she set her goals even higher: She became the first to swim the Strait of Magellan, narrowly escaped a shark attack off the Cape of Good Hope, and was cheered across the twenty-mile Cook Strait of New Zealand by dolphins. Her daring eventually led her to the thirty-eight-degree waters of the Bering Strait, which she crossed in her usual outfit — just a swimsuit, cap, and goggles. She has even swum (LYNN - right verb??) a mile in the iceberg-choked waters of the Antarctic. With a poet's eye for detail, Cox shares the beauty of her time in the water in this new classic of sports memoir.

"[Cox has] done things the rest of us only imagine--and she's written a book that helps us to imagine them with clarity and wonder."-- The Boston Globe

"More than the story of the greatest open-water swimmer, Swimming to Antarctica is a portrait of rare and relentless drive. . . .Gripping." — Sports Illustrated

"A tale of remarkable physical prowess and heart." — Vogue

"Fetching and pitch-perfect . . . Full of perilous, preposterous-if-they-weren't-true scenes." - Outside Magazine

"An instant classic of adventure writing." — Minneapolis Star-Tribune

"The only things more impressive than her heroics are her magnanimous spirit and ability to bring people together." — Miami Herald

"Even a cursory read leaves one shivering for a warm towel." — Entertainment Weekly

"A triumph of a positive outlook, hefty preparation, and raw courage." — The Economist

"So compelling and immediate that even a non-swimmer can almost feel as if he'd been a participant." — Philadelphia Inquirer

LYNNE COX has set records all over the world for open-water swimming. She was named Los Angeles Times Woman of the Year, inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 2000, and honored with a lifetime achievement award from the University of California--Santa Barbara. She lives in Los Alamitos, California.

CITATION:
Thrilling , vivid, and lyrical, an inspiring account of a life of aspiration and adventure.
(Oliver Sacks) CITATION:
Gripping reading...Swimming to Antaritica is a portrait of rare and relentless drive.
(Sports Illustrated) CITATION:
"All of [her] superhuman escapades are vividly detailed in Cox's absorbing memoir."
(Minneapolis Star Tribune) CITATION:
"An absorbing, well-written memoir. The paperback edition is even better than the hardcover, with more maps and photographs."
(Portland Oregonian)

About the Author

Lynne Cox has set records all over the world for open-water swimming. She was named Los Angeles Times Woman of the Year, inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 2000, honored with a lifetime achievement award from the University of California-Santa Barbara, and worked for six years as a research librarian in Orange County. She lives in Los Alamitos, California.

Table of Contents

Prologue: A Cold Day in August 1

Beginnings 7

Leaving Home 14

Open Water 27

Twenty-six Miles Across the Sea 40

English Channel 57

White Cliffs of Dover 69

Homecoming 95

Invitation to Egypt 102

Lost in the Fog 124

Cook Strait, New Zealand 134

Human Research Subject 146

The Strait of Magellan 160

Around the Cape of Good Hope 177

Around the World in Eighty Days 194

Glacier Bay 204

Facing the Bomb 224

The A-Team 234

Mind-Blowing 248

Debate 265

Across the Bering Strait 282

Success 302

Siberia's Gold Medal 307

Swimming to Antarctica 314

Afterword 358

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

Bonnie Marie, January 1, 2013 (view all comments by Bonnie Marie)
This is the true story of a long-distance swimmer who repeatedly attempted swims that were deemed impossible. At a young age she swam from Catalina Island to the California mainland, the English Channel, the dirty Nile river, and continued to swim many difficult, if not impossible, swims around the world - setting records as she went. This book is at times a nail-biter and always inspiring. It's certainly worth checking out!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
sea glass , January 1, 2013 (view all comments by sea glass )
Inspirational and empowering!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
luv2read, September 29, 2007 (view all comments by luv2read)
This is an excellent book! I don't think you have to be a water baby to enjoy these tales of soggy adventure. I love that this woman has accomplished amazing physical feats and is nowhere near a size 2! She has used her talents to open doors and build bridges across cultures and politics. She is a wonderful example and embassador to be sure! Well-written too!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(4 of 7 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 3 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780156031301
Author:
Cox, Lynne
Publisher:
Harvest Books
Subject:
Sports
Subject:
Swimming
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
Sports - General
Subject:
United states
Subject:
Swimmers.
Subject:
Swimmers -- United States.
Subject:
Cox, Lynne,
Subject:
Biography-Sports
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Series:
Harvest Book
Publication Date:
20050331
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 9 to 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
One 8-page black-and-white photo insert
Pages:
384
Dimensions:
8 x 5.31 in 0.77 lb
Age Level:
from 14

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Related Subjects


Biography » General
Biography » Sports
Sports and Outdoors » Sports and Fitness » Water Sports » General
Sports and Outdoors » Sports and Fitness » Water Sports » Swimming

Swimming to Antarctica: Tales of a Long-Distance Swimmer Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$2.50 In Stock
Product details 384 pages Harvest Books - English 9780156031301 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

The first to swim the Strait of Magellan, the Bering Strait, and the Cape of Good Hope, Lynne Cox, from the age of fourteen, began forcing the world's best long-distance swimmers to reconsider what might be possible in the water. Dive in and brace yourself for a thrilling athletic adventure.

"Review" by , "Even though readers know she survived to tell the tale, it's a thrilling, awesome and well-written story."
"Review" by , "An awesome study in immersion from long-distance swimmer Cox....An otherworldly existence brought hugely to life."
"Review" by , "Her wide-eyed idealism may seem a little corny at first, but by the end we're rooting for her, wondering if brave and mostly solitary acts...don't bring us together after all."
"Review" by , "[Cox has] done things the rest of us only imagine — and she's written a book that helps us to imagine them with clarity and wonder."
"Review" by , "More than the story of the greatest open-water swimmer, Swimming to Antarctica is a portrait of rare and relentless drive....Gripping."
"Review" by , "A tale of remarkable physical prowess and heart."
"Review" by , "Even a cursory read leaves one shivering for a warm towel."
"Review" by , "A triumph of a positive outlook, hefty preparation, and raw courage."
"Synopsis" by , Newly Illustrated with Photos and Maps Throughout. Here is the joyful, inspirational memoir of swimmer Lynne Cox. By age sixteen, she had broken all records for English Channel swims, so she set her goals even higher: She became the first to swim the Strait of Magellan, narrowly escaped a shark attack off the Cape of Good Hope, and was cheered across the twenty-mile Cook Strait of New Zealand by dolphins. Her daring eventually led her to the thirty-eight-degree waters of the Bering Strait, which she crossed in her usual outfit — just a swimsuit, cap, and goggles. She has even swum a mile in the iceberg-choked waters of the Antarctic. With a poet's eye for detail, Cox shares the beauty of her time in the water in this new classic of sports memoir.
"Synopsis" by , Now in paperback, with photos and maps added especially for this new edition, this sports memoir is the acclaimed life story of long-distance swimmer Lynne Cox, a woman whose drive and determination inspire everyone she touches. High school & older.

"Synopsis" by ,
Newly Illustrated with Photos and Maps Throughout (format to separate this phrase from copy)

Here is the joyful, inspirational memoir of swimmer Lynne Cox. By age sixteen, she had broken all records for English Channel swims, so she set her goals even higher: She became the first to swim the Strait of Magellan, narrowly escaped a shark attack off the Cape of Good Hope, and was cheered across the twenty-mile Cook Strait of New Zealand by dolphins. Her daring eventually led her to the thirty-eight-degree waters of the Bering Strait, which she crossed in her usual outfit — just a swimsuit, cap, and goggles. She has even swum (LYNN - right verb??) a mile in the iceberg-choked waters of the Antarctic. With a poet's eye for detail, Cox shares the beauty of her time in the water in this new classic of sports memoir.

"[Cox has] done things the rest of us only imagine--and she's written a book that helps us to imagine them with clarity and wonder."-- The Boston Globe

"More than the story of the greatest open-water swimmer, Swimming to Antarctica is a portrait of rare and relentless drive. . . .Gripping." — Sports Illustrated

"A tale of remarkable physical prowess and heart." — Vogue

"Fetching and pitch-perfect . . . Full of perilous, preposterous-if-they-weren't-true scenes." - Outside Magazine

"An instant classic of adventure writing." — Minneapolis Star-Tribune

"The only things more impressive than her heroics are her magnanimous spirit and ability to bring people together." — Miami Herald

"Even a cursory read leaves one shivering for a warm towel." — Entertainment Weekly

"A triumph of a positive outlook, hefty preparation, and raw courage." — The Economist

"So compelling and immediate that even a non-swimmer can almost feel as if he'd been a participant." — Philadelphia Inquirer

LYNNE COX has set records all over the world for open-water swimming. She was named Los Angeles Times Woman of the Year, inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 2000, and honored with a lifetime achievement award from the University of California--Santa Barbara. She lives in Los Alamitos, California.

CITATION:
Thrilling , vivid, and lyrical, an inspiring account of a life of aspiration and adventure.
(Oliver Sacks) CITATION:
Gripping reading...Swimming to Antaritica is a portrait of rare and relentless drive.
(Sports Illustrated) CITATION:
"All of [her] superhuman escapades are vividly detailed in Cox's absorbing memoir."
(Minneapolis Star Tribune) CITATION:
"An absorbing, well-written memoir. The paperback edition is even better than the hardcover, with more maps and photographs."
(Portland Oregonian)

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