In the wee hours of the morning, Robin Rose bares her skin to wind and water and plunges into long hours of salt-water swimming. She is part of a tightly knit community of ultra-distance ocean swimmers. They swim from Alcatraz to San Francisco as a training workout for greater spans like the Santa Barbara Channel, Molokai to Oahu and, of course, the English Channel.
Swimming ultramarathons in just a swim suit and cap, at the mercy of cold and currents, is part of their culture. What looks to most like a tortuous feat of physicality is to these swimmers a sanctuary of self-growth and healing.