Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Blind, Deaf and Dumb

I've always wondered how straight I would swim if I were blind.  I had this idea a while ago and today was my first attempt.  This could be an online event that anyone can do and post their results to.  I created this facebook page to track this kind of thing.

Here's the event page with the rules.

Oh the bugs!
So this morning I went out with Angela in the GSL and did this.  I spray painted some old goggles a couple nights ago, and for kicks got a black permanent marker and drew some pupils on the white painted goggles.  I should have found a red permanent marker and drew some red lines on them to look like I had bloodshot eyes.

Anyway, I paddled out with her because the water was extremely warm.  I never did take a temp but it was well about 80 degrees.  The brine flies were crazy and they were crawling all over my pre-greased body.  It was very itchy and annoying.  I couldn't wait to get in.

Even though I knew it wouldn't be straight, I was still
surprised at my final location relative to where I thought I
was going.
Once we got about 1.25 miles out I jumped out of the boat.  Set the GPS coordinate, put on my goggles and Angela started the clock.  I was swimming back towards the marina.  Even with the goggles painted, I could very faintly tell when breathing to my left versus my right that the sun was on my left rising from the east.  So in a sense I wasn't completely 100% blind.  Legally blind for sure.  A much more effective test would be to do this event at night when there is no sunlight to influence any possible navigation.  Or at noon when the sun is directly above you in any direction.  At any rate, it was a good first test.  And it worked well.  I wasn't nervous about hitting anything as Angela was right there and I was in the
GSL!  No boats at all on the water.
I definitely wouldn't want to do this test in Pineview or any other place where there were boats or where the lake wasn't big enough to allow me to swim 30 minutes in any direction.

I like the way these look.  If only I could see out of them.
Here's my GPS coordinates:

Start:  N 40° 44.966 W 112° 13.757
End: N 40° 44.081 W 112° 13.683

So the total distance between that for 30 minutes was:  1.02 miles
Total distance swam: 1.17 miles

Not too shabby.  I was hoping for just under a mile and got over it.  I'm pleased with that.  I knew I wasn't going to be terrible.  But I'd like to try this again at night for a more accurate test of being 100% blind.

After the 30 minutes, I switched to normal goggles and swam the remaining amount to the boat ramp.  GPS read 1.98 miles total swimming.  There were two busloads of asian tourists who were gawking at us.  I filled my empty Gatorade bottle with tons of brine shrimp that were swimming around the surface in the marina for Angela to take home to show James and Morgan.  They were full grown, many brown and red ones.  Pretty little things. 

Special thanks to Angela for kayaking for me today! 

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