Saturday, August 7, 2010

Stansbury Swim - just under 10 miles

Friday night Brendon made some final modifications to his canoe.  He had already built a rowing system for it and some pontoons.  He then put in a rudder at the end so it would help stabilize and minimize the side to side movement.  So we got up early this morning and went out to the GSL State Marina.  We had about 30-50% cloud cover, but non threatening.  The wind was zero and the water was as smooth as glass.  Nice!  
Me swimming towards Stansbury.
Camera lens needs cleaning.

The first 5 miles were great.  I was going faster than projected and I was feeling strong.  The feedings were going well.  Once we got to 6.4 we turned around and started to come back.  The weather report from last night said afternoon storms and if we went all the way to the Island it would have required Diana to come get us.  So we decided to just go halfway there and just swim back.  So we turned back.  About 8 miles into the swim, the wind was coming from the South South West, and the waves started to pick up.  I could tell it was harder for Brendon to stay straight.  The rudder isn't designed to prevent the boat from turning when the wind and waves hit it.  He was slowing down as he was down to using mostly his right side to keep the boat from compromising direction to the waves and wind.  I was feeling some aches in my shoulder at 6, but by 8 the waves had made the swim more exciting!  My aches were gone and I was enjoying the rhythm of the swells.  
Camera lens smeared, sorry.
Brendon and his cool canoe attachments.

We kept on going, even though I could tell the boat was getting further off and I would often stop to let him catch up.  I could see that the rest of the swim would either be really slow going as I can't just leave my support boat there struggling with his course.  So I stayed relatively close to the boat.  I could see a sailboat yacht off to our east and it was heading right for us.  Crap!  I was sure they were going to try "rescuing us".  But our course was going all over the place and at this point the clouds from the south didn't look any more friendly.  It was only going to get worse.  We still had a good 3 miles to go and if we needed help this was our chance to take it without it being a real emergency.  So reluctantly, I pulled the plug on the remainder of the swim.  

They threw me a line and I tied it up to the front of the canoe and then swam to the back of the boat where our very kind weekend yachters had let down a ladder for me.  They had a hose they let me shower off with and then we took the 6 mph ride the rest of the way.  The winds did pick up and according to our new friends had gusts up to 30 knots.  

The map below if you zoom in on the last mile can see the zig zag struggle the we had.

Here's the map:  (Click the "view full screen" button below to zoom in and get details)

I did not feel let down getting in the boat, because I knew in my mind that I could have most certainly finished the swim, had I not had a support boat.  I was feeling strong and energized by the waves and wasn't taking on water, or feeling drained.  I only had another three miles. I could have made it really with not much problems.  If I had thrown in the towel because I was tired, or drained, and gave up mentally, then yes, I would have been disappointed with today's swim, but I definitely had another 5 miles for sure left in me.  

The GPS tracking history shows that the total swim was 9.75 miles in 5:10.   Nice.  Gives me a good confidence booster for next week's Deer Creek race.  I should do well.  Hopefully the wind and storms all blow through and we don't have another repeat of last year

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