How Bárbara Hernández Huerta Achieved The Longest Polar Swim Ever


Courtesy of dryrobe®, a SwimSwam accomplice.

In unfathomable water temperatures of two.2°C, dryrobe® Ambassador Bárbara Hernández Huerta (AKA Ice Mermaid) took on probably the most excessive swim of her profession, turning into the primary particular person to swim greater than 2.5km in Antarctic waters.

Her epic accomplishment has earned her the Guinness World File for the longest polar swim ever in Antarctica or the Arctic, including to her many spectacular swimming achievements.

Powered with the motivation to unfold consciousness of defending Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, Bárbara fiercely took on the problem of swimming for over 45 minutes carrying only a swimsuit!

We have been excited to talk to Bárbara about her unbelievable achievement and discover out what it was prefer to swim in such a chilly however lovely a part of the world.

What impressed you to persevere together with your dream to finish this problem?

I believe it’s having discovered that point is a chance to reach higher ready, to construct alternatives, and to nurture the target with objective and that means.

I felt that Antarctica was calling me and that I needed to persist so I labored very exhausting to acquire the permits. I ready my workforce. I appeared for the chance to make this documentary and I began once more, despite the fact that our first alternative was virtually a 12 months in the past and it was postponed as a result of covid.

Picture: Shawn Heinrichs

The swim took over 45 minutes to finish in 2.2°C water carrying only a swimsuit! How do you put together your mindset when swimming in such chilly temperatures with no neoprene or protecting grease?

This was an excessive swim, maybe probably the most tough one in every of my life, and I wanted to coach particularly for it.

The method doesn’t begin a 12 months earlier than the swim, it begins with every winter swimming season by which I competed. The lengthy coaching classes in a daily pool are joined by more and more chilly swims within the glaciers in Chile.

And, even with the World Championship in Samöens the place I received my distance, you should add to the psychological coaching, to make clear your objective and provides a spot to concern – don’t deny it, simply give it a spot in you that’s not higher than your objective and love for what you do. That’s my method.

And in the long run, all of this provides you the safety, not of attaining the inconceivable swim, however of taking your self to the restrict for the slightest likelihood of attaining it.

Picture: Shawn Heinrichs

How did it really feel to have the help of the Chilean Navy with you?

That was wonderful! It had a lot that means to me and my workforce as a result of we labored collectively for this chance.

We sailed for 3 weeks from Punta Arenas, Drake Passage, and we traveled to the Antarctic collectively – we have been an enormous household

We swam in a spot known as Chile Bay in the future earlier than the anniversary of their base the place Chileans dwell all 12 months. To present them a Guinness World File is an honor.

Was there something about this swim that made it particularly memorable? How has it in comparison with your earlier challenges?

It’s the place. It isn’t simply the chilly waters or swimming in entrance of an enormous glacier, it was the chance to take the eyes of the world to the Antarctic Ocean that should be conserved with the creation of protected maritime areas.

That’s what makes it distinctive for me, that Antarctica gave me the chance to be there. Its sea was calm and windless. The fauna additionally allowed me to swim. Just one penguin accompanied me and, in “good” excessive circumstances, it allowed me to swim an inconceivable distance which turned a Guinness document because the longest polar swim ever in Antarctica or the Arctic.

Why is it essential to lift consciousness about the necessity to defend Antarctica and the Southern Ocean with this swim?

This swim in Antarctica was our alternative to take the eyes of the world to this magical place and to speak in regards to the unhappy results that local weather change has, and that have an effect on us and can have an effect on us through the years.

Most of us are unaware that top CO2 ranges enhance the melting of its historical ice sheets, rising the circulation of the ocean and even altering its pH, or that ships extract tons of Krill per 12 months, which is the premise of wildlife meals.

Many individuals are additionally unaware that the Antarctic Ocean at present nourishes the world’s oceans. Antarctica is the center of the planet, and we’re unaware of it, due to this fact we don’t urge our leaders to guard it, and we ourselves neglect actions to look after the surroundings.

Picture: Shawn Heinrichs

On Instagram, you shared a video in your restoration together with your workforce. What’s the restoration course of like and the way lengthy have been you underneath their care?

The restoration course of is probably the most tough a part of an excessive swim.

I made a decision to undertake this problem as a result of I knew that the Chilean Navy had every little thing crucial to assist me and likewise due to the workforce that accompanied me – they’re consultants in hypothermia and its restoration.

On the finish of the swim, we took off the moist swimsuit and warmed up with my dryrobe® Advance which is my “should” earlier than and after every swim. They put me on a stretcher and in minutes they took me to the ship, of their infirmary heated to 30°C.

They monitored and took the inner temperature which marked a minimal of 27°C, one thing very harmful.

Restoration is gradual and should be managed, so we spent 2 hours on this monitoring, the place I didn’t lose consciousness, they used heat serum and glucose as effectively.

I believe my workforce had the worst a part of seeing me with a lot hypothermia. Personally, I felt so protected and liked that I’ve no distressing reminiscences of the method. Two hours later I went to sit down with my pals from the ship and watch for them to take me all the way down to the bottom to speak to my dad and mom.

Picture: Shawn Heinrichs

What’s it about ice swimming in such chilly temperatures that retains you coming again for extra?

I believe it’s the locations, the attractive and clear waters, the ice, and the problem in fact – but in addition who I’m when I’m in these circumstances, clear ideas, and the reference to the water.

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