Modeling Situation 6: Swimming the Atlantic

Prepared by:

Joseph Malkevitch
Department of Mathematics
York College (CUNY)
Jamaica, New York 11451

email:

malkevitch@york.cuny.edu

web page:

http://york.cuny.edu/~malk/

1. On Feb. 6 the Associated Press featured a "heart warming" story (picked up by Yahoo News) with the following headline:

56-year-old becomes first woman to swim Atlantic

The story included this:

"The 56-year-old left the Cape Verde Islands off Africa’s western coast on Jan. 12, swimming about 2,100 miles (3,380 kilometers) through strong winds and waves of up to 30 feet (9 meters)."

as well as:

"....woke most days around 7 a.m., eating pasta and baked potatoes while she and the crew assessed the weather. Her longest stint in the water was about eight hours, and her shortest was 21 minutes."

Construct a mathematical model to determine if you believe this story!

2. Use a mathematical model to determine how long you believe it would take for someone to swim the Atlantic who was:

a. A typical swimmer
b. An olympic champion

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