Friday, August 24, 2007

2nd Annual Long Distance Ocean Swim - 2007

Now that was definitely one awesome and exhilerating swim! Thank you to everyone joining in and helping out on our swimming adventure. And special thanks to our support crew (Al, Annie and Cindy), whose contributions helped so much in making this event not only possible, but wonderfully made my job so much easier. I also want to thank all of you for your patience and support as we sorted through our logistics issues. As it turned out, we had to work through a few bugs in getting everyone up to their respective starting points, but once we got there, the stage was set for what was a truly exciting and memorable swim.
The weather conditions on the morning of the swim were absolutely ideal, with slightly hazy skies in the morning helping to keep the winds down, leading into a beautiful sunny afternoon with calm to choppy seas, but a favorable current. The format of the swim had originally been designed to allow for the formation of kayak/swim groups, but when I asked the group of 27 who would be doing the relay, not a single hand went up...which meant everyone had decided to do the swim SOLO! Now that hit me completely by surprise, but extremely impressed and confident that the groups would have no problems completing their swims.
The group starting from Santa Claus Lane entered the water first, not only happy to be starting the swim, but also glad to finally be in the refreshing water after baking in their wetsuits for the last 30 minutes while we resolved our "up the creek without a paddle" dilema...I don't think I even finished saying "GET READY" before everyone was making a mad dash for the cool water =) When I met up with the group doing the 4.5 mile swim, the nervousness I saw in their faces earlier in the morning had completely disappeared. Everyone was excited, everyone was confident, and everyone was ready! So we launched our kayaks, got everyone in the water, and off we went.
Both groups had strong swims, and everyone paced the course extremely well. Throughout the course we had numerous sightings of seals, dolphins and bat rays, though most of the swimmers encountered more plant life than animal life (cheers to our sea weed "magnets"=) One of the benefits of doing a rather long open water swim such as this is that it provides the opportunity to swim through a range of different and changing conditions. We swam along a variably contoured coastline with conditions ranging from choppy seas with breaking waves, to flat and almost glassy conditions. All of which requiring a certain amount of navigational skill in order to keep on course. So congratulations on this accomplishment, you are officially now in an elite group that can say...


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