Escaping Alcatraz with A Baby on the Way: Angela Anderson’s Odyssey Alcatraz Journey

Odyssey Alcatraz Swim

“I love the solitude and calm the water brings. There is no better place to get lost in your thoughts.” -- Angela Anderson (middle in the picture above)

Angela Anderson recently completed her first Alcatraz swim with Odyssey Open Water Swimming on April 27, along with a group of nearly 50 swimmers. The group was just a bit larger than it looked since Angela was swimming while 22 weeks pregnant! And if we’re wondering, she was only charged for one registration. 

We interviewed Angela, a former D1 collegiate swimmer, both before and after her epic Alcatraz adventure.

“I've been swimming since I was a little girl and have always loved the sport,” says Angela. “Open water swimming feels like I'm conquering a body of water. I can't wait to look at Alcatraz from the city and say, ‘Yeah, I could swim that far. In fact - I DID!’”

Angela had always wanted to swim from Alcatraz, saying it was on her bucket list. She signed up for the swim and had been training for months when she learned she was pregnant. She was ecstatic when her doctor gave her the okay to do the swim, which she did alongside her sister Natalie and friend Meredith.

Golden Gate Bridge Swim

Asked what she was most excited about going into the swim, Angela replied, “I'm excited for the views. The Golden Gate Bridge is one of my favorite views in the city and I can't wait to see it from a new viewpoint!”



Asked about her experience after the swim, Angela said:

“I had a BLAST! Loved the challenge, loved the views. Pretty soon after the start, everyone spreads out and you don't really know if you are in the front or the back. It's only you and the water. My sister, friend and I ended up being the first women, to our surprise! I'm very grateful for their support. My sister was charged by my doctor to swim with me and check up on me every so often and she did great.”


Although she was worried about the cold (the water was in the mid-50s during the swim) and jumping off the boat, she was pleasantly surprised with how smooth the swim went. ”The Odyssey team member gave each of us a 'Swimmer, take your mark...GO!" so there was no time to waffle,” says Angela. “Since I am pregnant, I was nervous for any complications with that even though I had consulted my doctor and prepared accordingly. And, it turned out great. Baby loved it too!”

When asked about how the Odyssey team supported her during her swim, Angela says that they were great. “I particularly appreciated the support kayaks who were very helpful in sighting and directions and the staff member on my boat who helped calm the pre-swim jitters.”

Angela says that she would “absolutely” do it again. Her advice for others who are considering an Alcatraz swim with Odyssey is “Just do it, and wear something for wetsuit chafing and have a warm towel waiting at the end.”

Odyssey Open Water Swimming has two Alcatraz swims remaining this year. Both are open for registration with limited space available. Register here:

Have questions? Contact Michael at