Fundraising swim gets a ‘deux over’

Although last year’s Beyond Avalon fundraising swim was cancelled, that hasn’t stopped two swimmers from trying again this year. Dana Selles and Penny Nagel, swimmers who regularly practice long-distance techniques by going from the Cove to La Jolla Shores and back, will again attempt to swim the Catalina Channel to raise funds for Warrior Foundation-Freedom Station.

Last year, a group of 12 swimmers calling themselves Beyond Avalon planned to swim in tandem from Catalina to La Jolla Cove — about 36 hours total — but had to cancel the trip at the last minute due to a shark presence on their route.

Calling it a “deux-over” (for “two” in French), Beyond Avalon members Selles and Nagel will try again Aug. 21, swimming side by side, from the city of Avalon on Catalina Island, to the mainland.

La Jolla High School graduate Nagel and Selles have planned their crossing to tidal coefficients, the tide, wind swell and time.

Joined by one of the kayakers from last year’s team, Jonathan Hands, and new member, Patrick Anders, the swimmers will complete two solo crossings with a safety boat close by.

The Warrior Foundation holds a special place in Selles’ heart; she is a medically retired U.S. Navy helicopter pilot. In 2011, her helicopter was shot down over Afghanistan. After her injuries, she connected with Warrior Foundation, which provides services to veterans in Southern California, and supplements government programs. Donations can be made at or by mailing a check to: Warrior Foundation-Freedom Station, 1223 1/2 28th Street Apt. A, San Diego, CA 92102.