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
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