That One Time I swam Across the Ocean

Akina Marie Chargualaf
2 min readJan 18, 2018


Last year I made it a mission to swim across the ocean.

Mind you guys, it was an ocean swim meet, and I haven’t competitively swam since I was 11-years-old. But I decided to do it anyway because I am not one to run a 5k, marathons or run in general.

For anyone who’s wondering, I live in this beautiful paradise called Guam. Other than making the headlines as a North Korean missile target, Guam is a U.S. territory located in the Pacific Ocean with the most beautiful sunsets you will ever see.

Three things I learned from plunging into this 2.5-mile swim.

1. There’s something about Niall Horan’s, “Slow Hands” that kept me entertained for the whole 1 hour and 17 minutes it took me to swim the thing.

2. Smothering vaseline all over your body and then touching your goggles may not be the smartest thing to do.

3. The finish line may seem far, but the only way to reach it is to get through it. Literally.

As the blue finish line was finally approaching, I took every ounce of energy I had left and swam straight to it. Up to this day, two of the finest moments in my life came from accomplishing this race.

I’ll never forget the feeling of release after pulling that rubber cap from my head and letting the cold salt water wash over my hair –it’s the feeling I got after every swim meet when I was younger, and it didn’t matter if I placed or not, it only mattered that I finished.

Second, the sound of my screaming support system with their colorful homemade signs that read, “Unleash your inner Mermaid” and “Swim like Sirena.”

Swimming the annual Coco’s Crossing event has always been in the back of my mind, and I don’t know why I didn’t complete it sooner. It was most likely that I was too busy, didn’t train enough or always told myself “there’s next year.”

I’m glad I didn’t wait because I have other adventures waiting for me to take on this year.



Akina Marie Chargualaf

Human who likes to write about human things: mindfulness, connections, and five-line stories.