Captain John Pittman is a Professional Navigator for the Catalina Channel Swimming Federation. He has escorted dozens of successful swimmers between Santa Catalina Island and the Southern California coast on his escort boat, the Outrider and remains active with the Catalina Channel Swimming Federation community as a lifetime member of the Federation.
The captain of the Outrider has an enviable track record of success out in the Catalina Channel. Of his 31 bookings for channel swims in 2010, 29 attempts were made. Out of the 29 attempts, 20 swimmers completed their swim. In 2009, Captain Pittman and his crew escorted 18 swimmers under more typical conditions with 19 out of 20 making the crossing. "Judging from the amount of contacts we have already received, 2011 will most likely be our busiest season ever. I hope the conditions return to normal and our 2011 season results in each and every swim being a successful one."
After all these years taking swimmers and their support crew between Catalina Island and the Southern California mainland, Captain Pittman knows hiswaters and the challenges it brings. "We ask that swimmers limit their support team to 10 people including themselves, their support crew and Catalina Channel Swimming Federation observers. We also offer a galley service that provides the swimmer's support team with hot meals, snacks and drinks. Its convenient and helps to eliminate the clutter of ice chests and bags of food aboard the boat. We also have a microwave, small refrigerator, hot water, ten bunks with blankets and pillows, hot showers and 110V electrical outlets for charging electronic equipment onboard."