The Corryvreckan  | Photo:  Tina Wild

The Corryvreckan | Photo: Tina Wild

Corryvreckan

the world's third largest maelstrom

 
Before we swam the Eden, there was a single word we used as inspiration for our training. For me it was a word that evoked a wilder and more ancient Britain – the same one that cartographers drew in the early sixteenth century, when the coastlines were wrapped in inky seas populated by writhing leviathans and Hebridean sirens. It was also a word preserved in Viking legends, one that drew the mind to the west coast of Argyll, where a collision of tidal pathways intersects and sends manic waves to smash against the jagged, limpet-studded rocks that edge the Isle of Jura… that word was Corryvreckan.
— Jack Hudson
 
 

 
 

THE BROTHERS set off from the stormy marina of Craobh Haven (with their sea captain Duncan) just after midday and returned under clearing skies a few hours later, having swum the Corryvreckan. In the end they made it across with a decent time of twenty-two minutes and, aside from a few cut feet and prevailing exhaustion, they were all pretty much unscathed. What they did bring back with them, though, was an overwhelming sense of achievement and a taster for how it would later feel to Swim the Eden.

Having finished this swim, the brothers realised that they partly owed their success to their mum. There was a small chance she could've seen all three of her boys disappearing at once into a whirlpool. And yet she still remained calm and provided cries of encouragement at every turn. 

The brothers also want to thank their sea captain Duncan for getting them there and using his veteran knowledge to guide them through the crossing. Having a mast to grab hold of, in the form of those folk who showed their support, made all the difference. Even their spaniel, Marlin, had played a small part... although she might need some time to work on her sea legs.

 
 
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Looking back, the boys still say that the Corryvreckan was one of the hardest swims they've attempted. Jack admitted that he was close to bowing out several times, thrown into disarray by the bizarre currents, the onslaught of salty waves and the short window you have to make it through the maelstrom, from the island of Jura to the island of Scarba.

Overall, there's less than one hundred people who've actually made this crossing, which makes it pretty special...