Swimmers Susan Simmons and Jill Yoneda are swimming across the Strait of Juan de Fuca from near Port Angeles to Victoria. (Travis Paterson/Saanich News)

UPDATE: Swimmers crossing Strait of Juan de Fuca

PORT ANGELES — Two Victoria women are in the midst of their bid to swim across the Strait of Juan de Fuca this morning, according to their support crews.

Mandy-Rae Krack confirmed this morning that both Jill Yoneda and Susan Simmons are in the water after starting their crossing from Dungeness Spit. Krack is on Yoneda’s support crew.

Krack said Yoneda started her swim at about 6:30 a.m. As of roughly 10:30 a.m., Yoneda was nearing the halfway point of the crossing to Victoria.

According to support crew posting to Simmons’ Facebook page, she entered the water at 7:15 a.m. with the water temperature at 52.5 degrees Fahrenheit and air temperature at 54.7 degrees. Winds were at 4 knots and waves were 1.3 feet.

“She’s in really good spirits — joking with us and waving,” Krack said of Yoneda, who was taking food and water breaks about every half hour.

“We couldn’t have asked for better weather,” Krack said, noting that the swim was postponed from Sunday over concerns about strong winds.

Our earlier story on the postponement of the swim:

PORT ANGELES — Two Victoria women who planned to swim across the Strait of Juan de Fuca on Sunday have postponed their swim for a day.

They called off the swim Saturday night because of concerns over winds that would have made the swim more dangerous.

The duo now plans to swim about 18.5 miles from the Dungeness Spit to Victoria today, weather permitting.

Susan Simmons, 52, who will swim unassisted, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis more than 20 years ago and uses fitness as a way to manage the disease, she said Thursday.

Jill Yoneda, 42, who will wear a wetsuit, is recovering from a major surgery on her right leg and suffers from popliteal artery entrapment syndrome, a condition caused by muscles in her legs blocking the main arteries there.

They may start their swims at different times, but both plan to leave in the morning.

If Simmons completes the swim, she would become the eighth person known to complete the swim without a wetsuit, though the attempt isn’t sanctioned by the Northwest Open Water Swimming Association (NOWSA).

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Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at [email protected] news.com.

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