On the morning of Monday May 16th, Oliver (Oly) Rush set out to swim non-stop around the entire island of Grand Cayman to raise awareness and funds for the plastic pollution crisis. The following evening, after nearly 37 hours in the open water, his goal was realized as he emerged from the water at West Bay Beach.
This incredible feat, dubbed 'The Grand Swim', raised crucial funding for Plastic Free Cayman that will help them to hire their first full-time employee (so cool!). This event certainly could not be more up our alley and we were honored to be able to attend the fundraiser and meet Oly just a few days before his swim.
Oly, Diana, and Jen at The Grand Swim Fundraiser
A great time was had by all, and a Bambina swimsuit was raffled off as a prize! We met tons of cool people including Jen Wardman, who paddled alongside Oly in a safety kayak for a portion of his journey and was an integral part of making The Grand Swim happen. At the fundraiser, Jen even chopped off her long, luscious locks for the cause...
Oly holding up Jen's hair after chopping it off for the fundraiser!
Someone else we had the pleasure of connecting with as a result of the event is Jon Schutte, the amazingly-talented photographer/videographer of the crew who was kind enough to let us share some of his beautiful photos from the swim on here. He's putting together a film of his footage too which should be released soon-very exciting!
In addition to his photo and video work, Jon also curates group adventure trips (his next retreat takes place in the Maldives!) which you can learn more about on his site NautiNomad.
His mission "is to encourage you to discover new destinations, create a more sustainable way of living, and inspire you to have a more positive outlook on life" Touché!
The support crew who was by Oly's side throughout his swim. Photo courtesy of Jon Schutte.
Oly's inspiring journey is a testament to what we as humans can do if we set our mind to something. What purpose and passions drive you to want to make a positive impact in this world? Anything is possible-just keep swimming!
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”