Friday, August 22, 2008

Open Water Swim vs. The Author

Wednesday morning I decided to give the lake a go. As the sun rose over Rattlesnake island, the water was clear, cool and smooth. I had the foresight to bring my wetsuit for this trip, pulling it out of retirement as it hasn't been used in over three years, and a good choice that was. The suit reluctantly stretched over my legs and can and was much tighter than I recall, but as a parade of kids emerged from the water with chattering teeth and blue lips I was grateful to have the insulation.

The lake has been calm at daybreak, choppy during the day time, and calmer again at sunset. Wednesday followed a similar pattern, and I set out with CJ in a kayak as my escort, the wind picked up. My objective was to swim for 30 minutes total, 15 out and 15 back. That would get me out of our cove and into the open water of the lake for the turn around. The water was much calmer in the cove than out towards the island. The wind was picking up and so was the chop.

The calmer water and fresh muscles made the initial leg of the trip easy, and in 5 minutes or so I was out beyond the protection of the cove. The wind was whipping now, and I looked up to see that Ali had replaced CJ as my escort. She had correctly calculated that he wouldn't be able to control his boat and sent him back to the dock. I'd surf down the back of one wave and swim up the front of the next. Sighting isn't my strong point, and it was impossible with the white caps rolling over me in rapid succession. Ali was struggling to keep her boat upright, our angle into the waves made it hard for her to stay near me and keep water out. 

We turned around at 12 minutes because it was way to scary to keep going out. We surfed the waves back and made the return trip in 8 minutes. I think I took in 1 litre of lake water, and collapsed exhausted on the dock.

So just four of those, 6 hours of riding and a marathon and I'll be done with the iron man. 

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