Saturday, July 30, 2011

Two Buoy laps in Pineview

Cathi waiting patiently at the shore while Oli and Sam play
near the beach and end up getting soaked.
Was planning a night swim at pineview but it ended up being a dusk swim.  Cathi, Sam, Oliver and myself left for pineview at 7pm and I was in the water at 8:00pm.  I attached night sticks to each arm and a flashlight in my SSD, but the sun was just coming down so it was kind of dumb to put those on as they weren't really glowing enough to be of use.  I swam two laps when Cathi yelled out to me from the shore, "Where's the key to the van? The kids got soaked and are freezing!"

I told her they were in my pants in the bag and she said, "No I already checked there."  So I got out and searched.  It was in a side pocket in my bag.  At this point I had lost the drive and just called it good.  We were going to spend the night in Morgan at the fairgrounds for Cathi's marathon the next morning.  So we just drove there and got setup for the night.

1.8 miles total

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Swims like Streeter

On the way to Bountiful Lake this afternoon I heard this song on the radio:

During this afternoon's swim I kept having the chorus go through my head, except with a little twist, "I've got to swim like Streeter, swim like Streeter....."  Kind of a fun change to the lyrics that kept my mind busy while I was swimming.

Met Scott Morgan in the parking lot at 5pm and we left together.  He was going without a wetsuit this time.  I told him I was going for 5 laps today and took off right from the start, but he knew that we'd probably get split up and seemed OK. He had his SSD and was going for two laps.  After I completed my second lap I saw Jim Hubbard getting in.  I stopped to talk with him for a bit and see if anyone else was gonna show up.  But after talking for about 10 minutes in the water we took off.  I finished my lap and then met David Mabey at the boat ramp.  He told me this was his first Open Water swim and that he was swimming in a Sprint triathlon in Herriman this weekend.

I decided to put my own interests on the side and talked with him for a minute to get his background and help him feel comfortable.  It's not everyday you help an OW virgin with their first experience.  He was looking to do 500 yards and so I told him if he swam to the east fishing dock and back that would be pretty close to 500 yards.  He took off and I swam right next to him the whole time.  His stroke was long, slow and deliberate.  I was very impressed.  There was no splashing or thrashing about.  His feet were a little low in the water and so his streamline was about 10 degrees off, but other than that it looked great.  We stopped at the fishing dock where Jim caught up on his lap around the lake.  Then we swam together back to the boat ramp.

I then took off for another lap while David and Jim were talking.  This was nice cause the water seemed to get a little colder.  The temp was 81°F tonight so it was very warm!  The sun was getting close to setting and so I finished that 4th lap and decided that with the detour with David I would just go around the first island and call it good.  On the way back from the island my stomach was in full retaliation!  I'm a scoutmaster and I was about to violate the "Leave No Trace" standard.  I was curious if anyone while swimming the English Channel had to take a crap.  I almost stripped my suit off and let things go, but I resisted.  I sprinted to the dock and calmly made my way to the outhouse.  Wow!  Glad I didn't have an accident.  My poor wife knows all about that with her long runs.  Sorry about the TMI!

My GPS read: 4.8 miles in 2:36.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Almost missed it

This morning I hit snooze when the alarm went of at 5am.  It's supposed to give me 6 more minutes, but the second alarm went off and I looked over and it was 5:35am.  Wow, I really had to rush to get out the door.  I was a little late showing up at the GSL Marina (6:35 am) where I met up with Josh and Kevin.

Josh and I swam pretty much side by side the whole way from the Marina to Black Rock.  The local OW Swimming group is starting to call that 1 mile stretch "Gridley Straight", which has a nice ring to it.  Saw Kevin head back in to the marina just as we were getting to the buoys.  Josh had to go so I did one more lap solo.
Water was calm this morning and it was nice.

4.23 miles in 2:08

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Slow digital Clock?

I don't get it.  Today's workout I was able to hit all my target times and while I was giving good effort, I didn't feel like I was putting in maximum effort:

1000 free easy on 15:00
2000 pull w/ankle strap
900 - 9 x 100's kick with fins
100 breast
1000 - 10 x 100's odd IM, even free on 1:45
300 - 6 x 50's one arm fly rotate side every 25 no rest
100 free extra stretch, long pull and glide

5400 yards total

Nothing major to note except I was very surprised that I was not over fatigued on the 100s.  Holding under 1:30 on the IM's and holding under 1:24 on the free.  Last night I didn't get to bed till 10:30 cause of the family get together doing fireworks, so getting out of bed this morning took alot more mental will, but I did it.  Glad I did.  Today's workout went very well.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Pioneer day swim

Sunrise from the north end of the GSL Marina
Met Greg Pace at the GSL Marina at 6:30 this morning.  The water was as flat as glass.  It was strange exiting the marina and the water was just as still as within the marina.  Not even a single ripple.  Very strange.  We swam from the Marina to Black Rock and back again.  Greg got out at that point and I did one more lap.  The water started to ripple at this point, but that was about it.  Not much in the form of chop or waves.  Very relaxing swim this morning.

I remembered to lube up before the swim, so no issue with chaffing this morning, but my lips and tongue were raw.  Plan to swim SDRC tomorrow and Thursday morning, GSL on Wednesday morning, BL on Thursday evening, GSL on Friday evening (another night swim), and hopefully Pineview on Saturday(Still need to clear that one with Cathi).  Lots of good swims planned this week.

4 miles total

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Jacob's first mile in open water

My son Jacob wanted to earn his mile swim so Cathi and I took him out to the Antelope Island Marina and we kayaked for him while he swam (mostly elementary backstroke) out the marina and half way to egg island.  I had my GPS and had him turn around at 0.52 miles.  When he arrived back at the boat ramp it was 1.08 miles.

It was cool to see him experience swimming in this difficult body of water.  He occasionally got water in his mouth and was spitting like crazy.  He also needs some major work on his free style stroke.  He didn't last long with that stroke mostly because he was getting water in his mouth when breathing to the side.  He enjoyed the temperature and didn't complain or try to give up.  He's a real trooper.  He got lubed up real good before the swim so chaffing was not an issue at all.  He also was intrigued to be swimming with so many brine shrimp.  They were all over!

Cathi and I enjoyed talking and visiting while I paddled.  She had an umbrella and just sat in the front seat and looked real cute just enjoying the lake.  There was no wind or waves thank goodness.  Made for a relaxing and easy ride.

It took him nearly 1:15 to finish, but he did it and just in time too.  The sun was very close to setting.  Made for a nice finish picture.

Early 10K swim in Pineview

Last night instead of going home after the night swim, I just camped out in the back of the van with Jacob.  Goody let me borrow his kayak paddle, since we had everything except that with us.  We took the seats out of the van and left them at home so we had then entire back of the van laid out with a big foam pad.  I slept great!  Woke up a little after 7 am as I heard a bunch of girls talking out in the parking lot.  I popped my head up and a handful of people in wetsuits were going for a swim.

Jacob and I got up and started making preps to get in.  We got in and head due east all the way to the other side of Pineview to shore.  A distance of 2.8 miles.  Then head back, but instead of going to the starting point went straight to the dam.  Then turned around and went back to the starting point.  I was tired and my shoulders were a little fatigued.  Not the best swim I've ever had, but I'll take it over not getting something in.

Total distance was 6.28 miles in 3:21

Friday, July 22, 2011

My first night swim

Goody had organized a group swim at pineview at 10pm.  I had never swam at night and it is quite common to swim at night during an EC Crossing.

I figured I might as well do a swim late and then swim the next morning.  However as I was crossing the dam at Pineview realized I had packed everything I would need except for the kayak paddle!

So tonight's swim involved only one kayak.  Met Goody, Alicia, Kim, and Josh at the parking lot on the southwest side.  I taped a glowstick to my left arm, and my SSD.  Then stuck one behind my goggle strap on my head.  I also threw a flashlight inside my SSD which was probably the best move as it made the SSD light up like a orange light bulb.

The swim to the first buoy was surreal.  I was smiling underwater.  Everytime I took a stroke with my left arm the water underneath was lit up with a bright green.  I felt like I was in TRON, or something.  Also Josh was swimming right next to me on my left and his lights also lit up the water underneath.  It was very cool.  The water was warm, and was calm.  It was such a fun time.

We went to each buoy and then swam back.  Everything went just fine.  Then we finished that lap and Alicia got in the boat while Goody got in the water.  We started swimming to the first buoy but the light on the back of the kayak was nowhere to be seen and someone from the shore was flashing us with a big spotlight.  We were thrown off thinking it was Alicia in the kayak.  Eventually she made her way back to us.  The wind had picked up a little and she appeared to be having a little trouble controlling it.  So I offered to switch with her.

However the actual switch didn't go as smoothly as I had hoped.  When I got in the boat had flipped and everything on top was now underwater.  Fortunately, Josh was quick enough to snatch Goody's spotlight.  Alicia started to panic as we got it flipped over.  I thought she had a very expensive piece of jewelry in the boat. "Oh no, oh no! OH NOOOOO!".  I remember losing my wedding ring in Bountiful Lake and the sense of loss once it was gone.  It was her earplugs she was worried about.  I was like, "What the!"  But these apparently were expensive that were specially molded to her ear.  Fortunately they float and we were able to have enough light with the glow sticks to see them floating right near the kayak and collect them.  Whew!  I also was able to feel a towel floating at my feet which I scooped up.  The only thing that went missing was Alicia's goggles which were tied to a glowstick.  Josh noticed it sink to the bottom when it was too deep to retrieve.

I was able to get in the kayak on the second attempt and start the swim.  I was unable to locate the buoyline though with the spotlight.  I don't know why we just didn't swim south to the shore.  But the decision was made to just call it a night and make our way back to the starting point.  About a minute into that Goody yelled for me to come back.  So I turned around and headed back.  I got close and stopped paddling.  I saw all the glowsticks on everyone's head.  Then Goody all of a sudden hit the boat with his face and got a good little cut on his eye.  We took a look at it with the spotlight and it wasn't bleeding, just a tiny gash that I'm sure hurt like crud, but looked harmless.  I would never wear swedish goggles in a pool, little alone an open water swim.  I was called back to switch SSD's with Alicia since mine was lit up inside and easier for Goody to keep an eye on her.

After that exchange we then swam back to the starting point.  We saw a boat near there without any lights and the guy on the boat was almost freaking out that there were people out in the water in pitch black with glow sticks tied to them.  I understand that reaction, it is kind of weird and extremely dangerous to the average person.

It was all very fun and I'm definitely going to do it again soon.  Even if it isn't with this group.  I'm fine going with Jacob or Austin out there.  As long as I stay lit up and have good communication with the support boat.  Thanks to Goody for organizing this swim.  It was a blast!

Total Distance: 1.85 miles

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Getting thrown off by going Clockwise

Met a big group of swimmers at 6pm at the boat ramp.  Didn't get in the water till 6:20pm.  Lame.  Don't like to dilly dally very much.  But I did get a few names down:  Erin, Debi, Amy, Kristi, Scott.  In addition were Josh and Kate.

We walked over to the east dock to start.  We went clockwise which is the first time I've every gone that way around the lake.  It was very strange!  I wasn't able to get my bearings very well and I ended up not hugging the shore very much at all.  But after that first lap most people took off and I then went around counter clockwise, the way I'm used to.

Stopped to chat with Debi near the southern fishing dock.  She's training for spudman which is coming up very soon.  Didn't chat too long though.  The sun was going down fast and I really wanted to get in three laps, which I did in plenty of time before the sun set.

I was disappointed with the GPS reading: 2.98 miles.  Guess that first lap was shorter than I thought.  I even hit the corners pretty well, not good enough though.

The water wasn't as dirty as Goody reported from last week thank goodness.  I was a little worried that it had taken a turn for the worse, but it was just like I remembered it.  Only about 6 inches of visibility before it starts to get cloudy.  And no awful smells or tastes.  It was definitely warm.  There were pockets of really warm, and then colder, but nothing that was colder than probably 70.

3 laps around BL = 2.98 miles total

Daily Total: 6 miles

Unlimited Vision

Underwater push cam
Going from OW to a chemically balanced pool with underwater lights is so dramatic!  I love being able to see underwater so clearly in a pool.  The two best OW lakes I've swam with this type of effect are Lake of the Woods, and Bear Lake.  But the visibility in those are about 15 feet and that's it.

This morning I got up at 5:45 and was in the water at 6:35am.  Today is a double scoop day.  One scoop of swimming in the morning, and one this evening at Bountiful Lake with Josh and a bunch of others.  This morning I did:

Kickboard cam
1000 free easy (enjoy the chlorine and the clean water!)
2000 pull w/ ankle strap strong (Man do I miss hand paddles and pull buoy!)
1000 kick with fins
800 - 16 x 50's one arm drill on :57
500 - 5 x 100's descend on 2:00.  Lots of rest, but really give quality descending (1:23, 1:18, 1:13, 1:10, 1:08)
100 easy

5400 yards total

Thoroughly enjoyed this workout!  Ninjagirl was in the lane next to me starting at the kicking set so it was good to get someone to help give me a fast pace.  I was pleased with the descending 100s free.  I was pleased to get under 1:10 on the last set.  Not too bad especially considering I haven't done ANY sprinting work in over two months.
Goofy looking Gords cam

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Putting my mind back into the right perspective when swimming

The Secret Life of Swimmers from judy starkman on Vimeo.

Rob D hooked me up with this site which includes a video which slapped me right in the face.  The poetic explanation contained in the video is exactly how I used to feel about swimming, but lately, my swimming has taken more of a "Crap I'm not getting faster" urgent feeling.  Why the heck am I swimming?   I love swimming because it's relaxing and I haven't been allowing it to relax me.  I've been so caught up in the "training" aspect and getting frustrated with my performance.  I need to step back and put my swimming into perspective.  Perhaps I should take some time to slow down and...
  • enjoy the salt taste
  • smell the chlorine
  • shiver in the cold water
  • bask in the warmer water
  • float on the surface
  • look at the lake bottom
  • watch the bubbles rise to the surface
  • converse with kindred spirit swimmers
  • study the aquatic creatures
  • do a focused exhale beneath the surface
  • quit splashing
  • tread while the sun rises
  • go under just for fun
  • stroke on my back and observe the clouds
  • and many more...

100 miles in the GSL

After today's swim at GSL, I have logged more than 100 miles in the GSL.  That's almost a third of my total miles in OW.

This morning I met Josh, and a couple of new guys I've never met before:  Chad Starks and Kevin Vigor.  They agreed to swim along the course from the marina to blackrock and then turn around as needed and head back.  The water today was wavy, not choppy like yesterday, but swells like the ocean.  Very cool.  There were no clouds at all.  Totally blue sky just as the sun was coming up.  Very beautiful!  Of all days to forget my camera!

I forgot my lube this morning so I borrowed some Triglide from Josh and that was a life saver!  Swam fairly strong the whole way to black rock.  Josh was on my tail and arrived mere seconds behind me.  Did the 1.12 miles from the boat ramp to BR in 30:45.  Swam back and stopped at the marina opening and asked if Josh wanted to keep going and he did.  We swam to the end of the reef channel at the last red buoy and then swam back through the marina to the boat ramp.

Total distance: 3.54 miles in 1:44:36 including a few short water breaks.

I'm disturbed because even if I swim as fast as I can, I don't run out of breath.  What does that mean?  I usually slow down just because my muscles are fatigued and not because I'm overdoing it aerobically.  I also miss my humongous hand paddles which I used to use at least twice a week over the winter in the pool.  My shoulders FEEL weaker.

Yesterday evening my oldest son, Austin challenged me to a pull up contest.  I was only able to do 3 quality ones, and a fourth crappy one.  I used to be able to do 7 quality pullups (which still isn't anything to brag about).  At this point, I'm just so weak.  I'm a little concerned about my Slam the Dam performance.  (I don't feel right abbreviating Slam the Dam with 'STD')

I really should be supplementing my training with some weights.  Today I'll do just that at lunch.  No more SHOULD, only DID!  Need to be consistent and not make it an option to skip.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A clean shaven man is a happy man

Even though I put grease on my shoulders, I forgot to put some on my jawbone.  I haven't shaven for a couple days and the stubble is pretty sharp.  So again, I had issues with chaffing.  Need to shave as well as put grease on my face!

When I drove up to the Marina parking lot, there was a little bunny on the lawn.  It wouldn't let me get within 20 feet so the pic with my GoPro just didn't show very well at all.

Today's swim was windy and wavy!  Coming from 1'oclock as I was heading towards Black Rock.  But going back was nice as it pushed me at my 7.  Did the same route as yesterday.

Today's swim did a number on my tongue!  My shoulders are ripped up.  Got some small blisters and scabs on them.  I'll take that over a shoulder injury any day.  Haven't had pain in my shoulders in about a month.  Then again, I haven't swam more than 5 miles at once in over a month.

3.25 miles in 1:38

Last night as I was going to bed, Cathi and I watched a little Universal Sports and they had the 2008 Olympics reruns going on.  I saw the men's 4x100 free finals.  That definitely is my favorite race ever.  I love how Jason Lezak came back like that.  That was truly the best 100 free ever!  I also was very annoyed at the commentators as they sounded like retards as Lezak closes the gap as they voice their doubts from the start:
"Rowdy: I just don't think he can do it Dan, I mean Jason Lezak has been there how many times in his career as he anchored this Free Relay, but I just don't think he can do it.... 
Dan: Bernard is pulling away from him.... the United States is trying to hang on to second, they should get the silver medal."
Then Lezak on the last 30 meters really pours it on and shows the world what a world class swimmer can do!

Truly one of the best and exciting races in history.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Swim with Stacey Tobey

When I drove up to the GSL Marina this morning, Josh and I met Stacey Tobey, and Kristen.  Stacey told me she did the EC Relay and we talked a bunch about her experience. That got me excited for next year.  We swam side by side the whole way.  It felt great to go at faster pace than I normally do.  I was going about 90%. 100% being a full blown sprint.  So I was pushing it just to keep up with her.   It reminded me of Marcia Cleveland's T-shirt she wore at the Open Water Safety Conference in San Francisco earlier this year.  It read "I swim like a girl.  Try to keep up."

I looked back at Stacey's time at Deer Creek from 2010.  Holy crap, she beat Will Reeves?  She had to have been holding back this morning so we could swim side by side.  We arrived at Black Rock and we talked while waiting for Josh and Kristen.  She knew my swim coach from high school, Robynn Masters.  She reminded me of Robynn with how fast she was.

We swam back to the buoy and talked for a good 10 minutes and then I continued on to the red buoy northeast of the Marina, and then swam back and got out at the path leading down to the beach opposite of boat ramp.  I forgot to apply lube to my shoulders so I was pretty raw when I got out.  Lots of cow stares at the lookout point.  Unnerving having that many eyes on you.

Total distance 3.27 miles

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Swimming all week at Camp Loll

Being a scoutmaster, and spending the entire week with them up in the woods at a camp that has an awesome waterfront, I was on cloud 9 all week.

The water at "Lake of the Woods" in Wyoming is typically cold all year long, even in mid summer.  The water temp this week ranged from 52 - 54 ° F.  I did:

Monday: swim check (only around 75 yards).
Tuesday: 9 laps in the safe swim area, and then three laps of across the lake and back (Each lap according to the GPS is .34 miles. Daily Total: 1.25 miles
Wednesday: 4 laps - 1.36 miles
Thursday: @ .75 lap - .25 miles.  The boys ended up with a rowboat with a very crappy oarlock on the left side and were unable to keep up and were going in circles.  I spent way too much time encouraging them to keep up.  I told them to go to the bow and I entered the boat from the stern and rowed us all in.  But I had to have a boy keep his hand over the oar lock to keep it from popping out.
Friday: 5 laps - 1.68 miles

Weekly total: 4.5 miles in water that ranged from 52-54°.

Here is some video summarizing the week

Friday, July 8, 2011

Starvation Reservoir

Yesterday evening I drove to Hidden Springs Ranch, in Altamont, UT where we are having a family reunion.  On the way, I noticed a very good looking reservoir and looked at my GPS.  It said it was Starvation Reservoir.  I asked Cathi this morning if I could escape for a few hours and swim there.  This is my first time in this area and I probably wouldn't have the opportunity again anytime soon.  Starvation Reservoir is a State Park and score!  I had my annual pass.

So at 2pm I drove from the ranch to Starvation Reservoir.  The clouds didn't look very nice, and I figured it might be raining when I got there.  I was right on.  It was downpouring and very windy!  I waited for about 15 minutes, until the storm passed and then hurried out and got in.

GPS results of my swim.
I swam immediately to the other side of the reservoir while there were no boats.  I got to the other side in 10 minutes.  The water temp on my watch read 71 degrees.  I swam inside and around all the little "fingers" that I had come across.  I had my SSD and stayed very close to the shoreline.  The shore consisted of steep rocks that were more like cliffs.  The water was very choppy and it was windy.  The water was clean, and had a slight greenish hue to it.  I swam about 90 minutes on the other side and decided to cross to the other side and swim back, which was not as far.  I estimated that I would be about 2 hours in the water.  When I finished, the GPS in my SSD read 3.6 miles in just under two hours.  I enjoyed this swim very much!

3.6 miles in 1:58

Cathi asked me earlier today why it was called Starvation Reservoir.  I saw a display and it said that the legend is that the area in the late 1800s was inhabited by both Indians and settlers.  One rumor is that the settlers stole food that was stored by the Indians and that they Indians starved as a result.  Another rumor according to the display I read was the other way around.  Kinda dumb that nobody knows.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Very Calm GSL swim with Gary Pace

Splashing the water with my feet watching the sun come up
among the clouds.
Last night I set my alarm for 5:00am.  I woke up early this morning and looked at the clock:  5:22?  I had plans to meet with a new swim buddy, Gary Pace at 6:15am at the GSL Marina!
I ended up getting there at 6:20am and he was there waiting for me.  It sure is great to have someone to meet up with for a swim.  There is no talking yourself out of it.

This was Greg's first swim out here.  The water was as clear as glass.  It was the calmest I've ever seen it!  Not even a breeze.  It was great!  The clouds were a little dark, but not threatening.  Kind of a murky eerie feel to them, but still very calm.

We left the marina on the other side of the boat ramp on the rocky side looking east where the beach is underwater.  We headed out to the red buoy that according to my GPS is exactly half a mile from the water's edge.

When we got to the buoy we chatted for a good while about the lake, the islands, and the GSL swims I've done.  Today's swim is actually only my 21st swim in the GSL.  Still a newbie!  We then headed towards the marina opening and finished at the boat ramp.  We did alot of stopping and talking.  The last 400 yards was all breast stroke as I got to know where he was from, what he does, about his love for swimming, about different open water adventures we've heard about and want to do.

Total distance 1.45 miles in about 1:15.  

Very slow, and short distance, but we did a ton of talking which is good since I didn't know him very well.  He's very enthusiastic about open water swimming and sounds very golden as a swimming partner.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Morning swim in GSL

Had a very pleasant swim in GSL this morning.  Was planning to swim from GSL Marina to Black Rock, back up to the end of the buoys in the deep channel and back to GSL Marina (about a 5K).  However I forgot to lube up and definitely felt it half way back from BR.  Decided to just stop at the marina instead of extending it so I don't get all blistered up.   I had a done of channel grease in my bag too.  Just forgot that little detail!

Experimented with my GoPro camera.  The middle strap has a tendency to bunch up in front of the camera, so I'll have to remember that.  Plus, it takes better video when it is mounted on the back of my head pointing up.  That way you get the camera out of the water taking good shots going forward, instead of nothing but cloudy water right in front of you. Also, with breathing to the side, it really doesn't work well for video, but I'm able to take screen captures from the video and the quality isn't too bad.  Here's the short clip of today's swim:

2.25 miles total

I also tested the buoyancy of the camera in it's waterproof case and even in the GSL it sinks!  That is one dense little unit!  Gotta be really careful with it in water.  I'll swim this again tomorrow morning, but make sure to lube up.

 I'm excited for scout camp next week.  I'm hoping to swim every day next week in Lake of the Woods at Camp Loll.  That is one cold lake!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

GoPro HD Hero Sport Camera Review

I was browsing through a magazine during lunch when I saw an ad for GoPro HD Sports Camera.  My current waterproof camera died last winter.  I put it at the bottom of the pool in about 2.5 feet of water and took some video, which didn't really work well since it was just bobbing at the bottom.  The next day it died.  Then resurrected about two months later.  It sucks.

I decided I needed something with a full blown waterproof case.  This looked like it was it.

I took it swimming yesterday at Pineview.  It takes great video, and I like the fisheye lens which increases the viewable area.  But it distorts the picture so its difficult to get a real perspective of distance.  It comes with several different mounts.


  • It is affordable.  I paid less than $200 for it.
  • It comes with different mounts.
  • You can buy additional accessories, or basic accessories as needed right on the website.
  • It is waterproof up to 160 feet!
  • The picture/video quality is great.  But it isn't good for pictures where you want to get a picture of you and your friends off in the distance. 
  • Just plug it into your computer's USB and it reads like an external drive. 
  • Internal battery can be recharged via USB.  But for extended trips, this can be a con.  Can't just insert super duty AA's or anything.  
  • It doesn't float.  It sinks.  Wouldn't want to drop this in a lake!
  • It doesn't have a swivel mount.  It would be really cool to have a mount that allows the viewable angle to be moved right from the mount, on a swivel or something.
  • The menu UI is very cryptic.  Will need to reference the manual several times in order to memorize the abbreviated options.
  • Geared more for video.  Just want to snap one pic?  Doesn't really allow that.  You configure it to take a pic every 2, 5, 10, 30, 60 seconds.  Not just take one.  I guess you could configure it to take a pic every 60 seconds, and then turn it off after taking the first one.
There is no viewfinder (unless you pay for an additional accessory), to reference when taking video.  Because of the fisheye lens, if you're pointed in the general direction, you're most likely in the shot.  However, you can't review anything.  This is definitely a sports cam.  Not good for normal pictures, and there is no flash.  So nighttime shots aren't an option. 

But at least I don't have to worry about it dying in the water, and generally being a piece of crap.  Here's video of me swimming with it using the head mount.  I wanted to get it on the kayak, but forgot the camera's right attachment to connect it to the mount I had already permanently glued to the kayak.  Next time.  
From Swimming

Monday, July 4, 2011

Fourth of July Swim in Pineview

Met Goody, Kim, Lisa, Alicia at Pineview.  We sway the buoy line.  Below is the map:

Then we swam out to the buoy line and then down to the Dam buoys and back:

Estimate that the total swim was about 3.5 miles or so.  The total time spent was 2:23, but that included alot of stopping and chatting, etc...

3.5 miles total

Friday, July 1, 2011

Fremont Island swim attempt

Jacob and left the Antelope Island marina at 12:45pm for Fremont Island.  The wind was coming in very strong. Once we got out of the marina the waves were about 2-3 feet high.  The kayak was loaded down with about 150 pounds worth of camping equipment.  We were heading right into the waves and every time Jacob went over the top of a wave he would come crashing down into the next one sending water over the top.

It was crazy.  After about an hour of this I asked him if he was OK and I could tell he was not happy.  He said "I guess".  We kept going for another 25 minutes.  I looked at the GPS and we were at 2.35 miles.  According to the GPS we were going too far west.  I asked Jacob again, are we OK?  He said he didn't think so.  He was exhausted paddling into that.  I told myself, this isn't the Channel.  I can touch the boat, how about I try relieving Jacob.  So I had just enough room to fit the very bow the boat.  I was able to get up on top, but we were taking on water.  It was just too much weight with all our equipment and both Jacob and myself, so I had to jump off or the boat would sink (even with the self bailing holes).

At that point I decided we weren't going to make it.  If I had a huge boat and didn't have to rely on Jacob I could have made it.  But I was so worried about that kid and the distance we had remaining that we turned around and headed back.  The waves were pushing us this time towards Antelope which was nice.  But once we got close, instead of arriving at the Marina, we were at Egg Island.

The waves and current was really pushing us west!  I swam due east for a good while and when we arrived the GPS showed us going in a big circle with the total distance being 3.84 miles.

I had already paid for a night on Fremont, as well as Antelope (in order to park my van overnight).  So I went home and fetched the family for an overnight camp on Antelope.  Holy bugs!  We got eaten alive, even thought we were all smothered in bug spray.  Kind of a miserable day.

3.84 miles total

Ugly old girlfriend

I don't mean to be shallow, but I really kind of am.

When you were a kid did you ever see an old girlfriend and say to yourself "Wow, you've sure changed!"  When actually you were simply blinded by love?  That's how I felt after swimming again in Bountiful Lake last night.  It was my first swim in BL since May 13th.  Well over a month ago.  All my OW swims since then have been in GSL.  I prefer GSL now over BL, mainly because it is so much cleaner!  It's also warmer.  In the GSL the visibility underwater in many spots is well over 10 feet.  But in Bountiful Lake it's consistently dirty and about a 1.5 foot visibility underwater.  Last evening's swim was about 66°F with warm and cold spots.  Very comfortable even without a wetsuit.

When I drove up to the parking lot at BL in preparation for an OW clinic, I saw a huge pile of debris floating in a very slight whirlpool type flow near the boat ramp.  I could tell most of it was just plant matter that had floated in the runoff, as well as some large wood logs, but something looked hairy out there.

Josh and I got Jacob in the kayak loaded up with the cinderblocks and the buoy for practicing turns.  I swam next to Jacob near the debris and told him to hold up.  That hairy thing was definitely a dead animal.  As we approached we voiced our predictions, "A dead beaver, no a cat, no a dog!" I found a very large stick floating amongst all the debris.  I used it to lift the stinky corpse onto the front of the kayak.  It was a dead baby deer.  A  fawn.  It was only about 20 pounds.  It must have floated into the lake in the runoff along with all the other debris.  We paddled to shore and disposed of the dead animal in a garbage can.

The clinic went well.  We discussed several techniques while by the boat ramp and then walked down to the fishing pier to enter the water and practice our swims.  There were many new OW swimmers and it was cool to see their excitement and feel their nervousness with the new experience.  But they all got through it and appeared to enjoy themselves.  There were 18 people in the water.  We practiced sighting a few times and doing buoy turns.  During one of those practices I went for it and ended up breathing to the side and instantly got a mouthful of water.  I was swimming so close to the other swimmers that were simulating a sprint to the buoy, and again, ended up swallowing it instinctively.  Gross!

A bit of an upset stomach this morning.  I think I'll stick to my current girlfriend - the Great Salt Lake!  She may be a bigger girl, and much moodier than average, but dude, trust me, she's way more virtuous than some of those "freshwater" chics.  Can you tell I love metaphors!

Today's swim will be a 6.5 mile swim with Jacob from Antelope Island to Fremont followed up with some serious backpacking up to the peak, then camping.  Tons of fun in store!

0.25 mile total (estimated)