On Sunday, Scottish resident Caroline Livesey completed her charity swim from Cabrera to Mallorca in aid of various marine associations and foundations on the island.
Although Caroline, a former military engineer, is a professional Ironman athlete, this was her longest swim - 18 kilometres in open water.
Having served for 10 years in the Royal Engineers, including tours in Northern Ireland and Afghanistan, she moved to Mallorca three years ago and is passionate about helping to protect the marine environment.
Back on dry land she said: “I sailed through the first 10/11km with no real problems. Then I started to get pain in my left shoulder, then my right. It was the sharp pain of my rotator cuffs telling me that enough was enough.
“It got worse the more I swam and eventually I fought a constant mental battle to just keep lifting my arms out of the water.
“My support crew were amazing. I had a swimmer alongside for about three of those six hours, and Mark was there once I started to really struggle towards the end.
“The final 4km were excruciating.
“I was taking a short breaks to eat and drink every 30mins, and by the last two hours even that felt too long.
“Like any endurance challenge, the final stages are the worst. That’s when it becomes a mental challenge, and those are the experiences I seek.
“A few months ago I did not want to even admit that I was going to take on this challenge in case I failed.
“It seemed insurmountable for me, and I doubted if I could do it. In those months I turned my mind around and when I jumped off the boat to start I knew I would finish.
“We are always capable of more than we think. Those moments when we decide to overcome physical discomfort and achieve amazing things are some of life’s best moments.
“The swim was beautiful. The water is so clear and such a deep blue.
“I swam through sunrise, saw dolphins, incredible jellyfish, fish, sea birds gliding over the ocean and had company from some of my favourite people.
“But how long will it be before I can lift my arms above my head again…?!
“You can still donate to a great cause at the link below. But even if you can’t donate, please do your bit to help protect our oceans.
“Sign the petitions, learn about how to eat truly sustainable seafood, and support the groups taking action to protect marine life. We need protected areas so populations can regenerate and mass extinction does not take place.
Thank you for all the donations so far. I will update on Project Stellaris in the coming weeks when we visit the baby sharks which are now hatching in the aquarium,” she said.
To donate go to www.migranodearena.org/.../cabrera-crossing-swim