On September 24, 2018, Adriano Passini from the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team became the first person to swim from Laje de Santos - an islet known all over Brazil for its marine life - to the coastline, a distance of 25 miles (40 km). Adriano reached his goal at 7pm, after a journey of almost 12 hours.
Located a couple of hours away from São Paolo, Laje de Santos was the first ever marine park created by the state government, and is a favourite haunt of divers as well as people who visit for the local biodiversity. Adriano, who grew up in the nearby city of San Vicente, got the inspiration to do the crossing some years back on a a plane trip from Curitiba to São Paulo, when he saw Laje de Santos from the airplane. The conditions for the crossing are generally quite difficult, and there is only a narrow window to make the crossing before the waves become too rough - in May 2016, Adriano spent 3 weeks waiting for the waves to calm before ultimately having to abandon the attempt. This time, he had to wait until the last possible day before he would have had to return to his day job as an engineer.
Adriano was inspired to start swimming by his meditation teacher, Sri Chinmoy, who loved sports and saw that it was a field in which the practise of meditation could be put to powerful use. In particular, Sri Chinmoy encouraged his students to practise the philosophy of
self-transcendence, to experience the liberating feeling of challenging one's percieved limitations. In 2013, Adriano swam the English Channel in a time of 11 hours and 10 minutes. (Members of the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team have crossed the channel 47 times to date - the second most by any team). He later wrote a book about his experiences.
During the crossing from to Laje de Santos to the city of Santos, Adriano had an experienced team accompanying him in the boat - Ashirvad Zaiantchick, who had previously assisted him in his Channel swim, and Adriano's father, Aurélio Passini Júnior, as well as two local navigators, Cesar Elvin Laso and Marcio Pires Lopes Jacaré from the local ATM diving club, both of whom had much experience in navigating the treacherous waters. The area near Santos lies on one of the busiest shipping lanes in the Americas, and Adriano passed around 50 large ships during his swim. The crew departed from the city of Santos at 5:30 a.m, arriving at Laje de Santos at 7:10 am to begin the swim. During the swim, the conditions were partially cloudy with no wind. The water temperature was around 22ºC, with waves of about 1 metre high throughout the crossing. Upon completion, Adriano remarked "
Today a dream has been realised, the impossible has become possible; after a lot of effort, I'm really happy to arrive in the city of Santos and complete my goal." Adriano with his team after the crossing