October 2018

Post image for Scott Kaloust completes challenging open water swim –  crossing the English Channel

Last month, Menlo Park orthodontist Scott Kaloust completed the most challenging open water swim he’s attempted, swimming about 21 miles across the English Channel from Dover to Calais in just under 15 hours.

Having already swum the Catalina Channel (20 miles between Catalina Island and the California mainland) and Manhattan Island (a 30-mile circumnavigation of Manhattan Island, New York City), Scott joins about 150 swimmers worldwide who’ve completed what’s called the “Triple Crown of Ocean Water Swimming.” It’s a swim that almost didn’t happen, as Scott explains:

“Based on the tides, you sign up with a boat captain who specializes in Channel swims 20 months in advance. What you can’t control is the wind and the rain, and the wind was blowing 40 to 50 miles an hour while I was there. My window was almost up. Then the captain told me, ‘If you stay one more day, you’ll get your shot.'”

Wearing, as always, just a swim suit, cap and googles, Scott took off from England with the boat captain and his crew of two friends at 11:15 pm. The captain charts the course; the crew provides both motivation and nutrition. “The goal is to keep your energy up, and they’d hand me liquid protein drinks,” he said. “But after awhile nothing tastes good, and I just drank sugar water and coke.

Scott’s primary goal was to finish, and his time of 14 hours, 59 minutes was just a little longer than he’d expected. The currents push the swimmer sidewise in a “a giant s-shaped curve,” according to Scott.

“I felt confident that I was going to make until the last hour,” he said. “The tides kept pushing me, and the land started falling away. Then I saw the cliffs in front of me and picked up the pace.

“I landed on a tiny beach about three miles east of Calais. You have to clear the water and stand on the land to record a finish. I looked around, picked up some sand off the beach and put it in a container I’d brought, and swam back to the boat.

“The crew covered me in blankets, and we took off back to Dover. I drank some water and tea and had a little bit of food.

“Because my window had almost closed, I didn’t get to spend time in London like I planned. Instead, I spent the night in Dover, boarded a flight home from Heathrow the next day, and was back working at the office the following day.”

Scott explained that his preparation for the English Channel swim wasn’t much different from his other swims. He swims at lunch with Menlo Masters at Burgess Pool during the week and with the South End Rowing Club on the weekend. “The Bay and Channel temperatures are similar,” he said.

“This is it, as far as the big ones,” Scott said. “I’ll still swim and do some shorter swims. Next summer I might do the Santa Barbara Channel.”

About swimming the English Channel he said: “It took me 10 or so days after I got home for it to sink in what I had accomplished.”

Photos courtesy of  Dr. Scott Kaloust

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Storyteller Olga Loya: Love and Ghost Stories from South of the Border on Oct. 23

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Storyteller Olga Loya will tell tales that touch the heart and send shivers down the spine, including a story about family love, a legend of La Llorona, and the folktale about the flying skeleton, on Oct. 23 from 7:00 to 8:00 pm at the Menlo Park Library. The program, funded by the Friends of the […]

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Spotted: Holiday lights coming to Fremont Park

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We know that we haven’t gotten past Halloween, let alone Thanksgiving. But the lights are already going up on the tree in Fremont Park, a tree that looks to have gotten some serious limb trimming. The lights won’t go on until Friday, Nov. 30, at the annual tree lighting party from 5:30 to 7:00 pm.

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Photographing Windy Hill trails during the Fall

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InMenlo contributing photographer Frances Freyberg is an avid hiker, with Purisima Creek Redwoods Preserve a personal favorite. But with the all the weekend traffic headed over the hill to pumpkin festivities coast side, she stayed closer to home recently and hiked Windy Hill Open Space, which is accessed from two spots in Portola Valley. The […]

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Spotted: Standard Poodle all decked out for Halloween

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Add this to Menlo Park Halloween lore, one perfectly coifed Standard Poodle displaying a rainbow of colors, just in time for Halloween, spotted this morning on Florence Ave.

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Storyteller Muriel Johnson tells Tales of the American South and Beyond on Oct. 22

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An audience favorite from last year’s Storytelling Festival, Muriel Johnson, returns to share another tale. Be afraid, but not very afraid! Your fear will turn to laughter and relief as you take a journey with Muriel, listening to stories from the American South and beyond. For ages 5-adult, thise event takes place at the Belle […]

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Peninsula College Fund honors Lisa Sobrato Sonsini at annual luncheon on Oct. 25

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The Peninsula College Fund’s (PCF) annual fundraising luncheon, “Building Futures – A Luncheon to Support The Peninsula College Fund,” will take place on Thursday, Oct. 25, from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm at the Sharon Heights Country Club in Menlo Park. The keynote speaker and honoree is Lisa Sobrato Sonsini, Board President and Trustee of The […]

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Is this the scariest Halloween front yard in Menlo Park?

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If you dare, take a walk on Laurel St. between Glenwood and Encinal Avenues, and you’ll pass a front yard chock-a-block with every kind of ghost, ghoul, monster — and even a President or two! It’s one of Menlo Park’s spookiest Halloween front yards, all the inspiration of Greg Hyde and his children. “We’ve been […]

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Baritone Nick Volkert in recital at St. Bede’s on Oct. 21

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The alchemy of music and poetry ignite for a tour-de-force program of music for voice and piano on Sunday, Oct. 21, at 4:00 pm. Nick Volkert’s recital will feature Ralph Vaughan Williams’s Songs of Travel (poetry of Robert Louis Stevenson), Gerald Finzi’s Let us Garlands Bring (poetry of William Shakespeare), and a song cycle set […]

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Maintenance work continues at Bedwell Bayfront Park in Menlo Park

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As construction at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge continues, workers have completed a parallel track for trucks that will remove truck traffic from most parts of the San Francisco Bay Trail in Bedwell Bayfront Park. Trucks continue to use the park’s entrance and the first ¼ […]

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Learn about California state propositions on Oct. 20

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Are you looking for objective information about the state propositions that will appear in the upcoming election? During this pros and cons presentation, representatives from the League of Women Voters of South San Mateo County will present information to help you make your own decisions. League of Women Voters Pro/Con presentations: Are unbiased Present opposing […]

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