Her accomplishments include:
- Swimming the 26 miles from Catalina Island to California mainland at age 14
- Breaking the men's and women's world records for swimming the 33-mile English Channel twice, at the ages of 15 and 16
- Swimming the 20-mile Cook Strait between the north and south islands of New Zealand at the age of 18
- First to swim the Strait of Magellan, 3 trecherous miles of sea.
- First to swim the Bering Strait, between US and Russia, opening the US-Soviet border during the Cold War
- First to swim the Cape of Good Hope
In simple, but gripping language, she takes us through each of these swims and her life surrounding her all-consuming passion for swimming, as she puts her body through the ultimate tests of strength and endurance. Her narration is concise and direct, with very little fanfare. Despite performing feats no human has ever done before, her tone throughout the book is modest, admiring of the beauty of nature and respectful of its harshness.