In June 2009, six swimmers and one alternate descended upon La Paz, Mexico to attempt the first ever relay swim across the Sea of Cortez. Unfamiliar with the warm water after so many cold swims in the Bay and the English Channel, the team took a few days to acclimate then began their adventure.
After covering 50 miles in 16 hours, a severe storm rolled in at around 10:00 p.m., creating unsafe conditions for the swimmer in the water. The swim was postponed to a later date, with the team glad they were all safe and having learned a lot about the conditions in the Sea of Cortez.
Still in Dover after a successful English Channel relay crossing, the five founding members of Night Train decided to email their local elementary school with an offer: they would swim from Sacramento to Tiburon as a fundraiser for the Reed School Foundation. Within 10 minutes, the offer was accepted. A few weeks later, a team of six swimmers started swimming from Sacramento and followed the Sacramento River all the way to the San Francisco Bay and continued to finish at the dock at Sam’s Anchor Cafe in Tiburon.
The swim took 37 hours 18 minutes and covered a distance of 100 miles.
On September 9, 2008, five swimmers from the San Francisco Bay Area started a relay across the English Channel. 12 hours 8 minutes later, their final swimmer stepped out of the water near Cap Gris Nez, France. The team posted the fastest five-swimmer relay crossing that year, winning the prestigious Montserrat Tresserras Shield.
As part of the swim, the team raised more than $50,000 for a local Marin Charity – the Lifehouse Foundation – and began its tradition of completing a swim every year to raise money for charity. Out of this one swim, Night Train Swimmers was born.