Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Undaunted

This afternoon I met up with Chad, Josh, Sarah and Sam.  I met Lisa Gentile for the first time. This was her first swim in the GSL.   I greased up really good this time, especially around the back of my neck which I failed to do last time.  We didn't have a kayaker so I pulled my Swim Buddy board with the GPS, camera and car keys in a waterproof container.

We all gathered at the boat ramp and the water seemed fine.  But little did we fully realize that the 15 mph winds were really building up some pretty lumpy conditions outside the marina break walls.  My plan was to swim at least three miles by swimming out to Black Rock, then back along the red buoys out to the farthest one and then back in through the marina.

I swam about 500 yards past the marina opening on the way out to Black Rock, then stopped to assess who was with me.  Lisa was right behind me with Sam about 100 yards back.  I couldn't see any one else out further.  They must have decided to swim a buoy line instead of inside the marina.  I continued on until we made it to Black Rock.  I took a temp with my watch: 62.8 degrees.  When I arrived I looked at my stopwatch: 31 minutes

The lumpy conditions started out at about a 4 on the Beaufort scale, but near the finish of our swim along the buoy line, they were about a 5 on the Beaufort scale.  I never dared to open my container at all during the swim to fetch my camera for a picture.

We swam back to the marina opening and I asked Lisa how she felt and whether she was up for going one more mile along the buoy line.  She said she was.

OUCH!  Channel Grease is a must in the GSL.
We swam quite quickly heading east along the buoy line.  Turned around and swam back to the marina opening.  I stopped once more to see how Lisa was doing.  I saw in horror that she had massive sores on the back of her neck from the rubbing against her wetsuit.  Battle scars galore!  Blood was pouring.  I could only imagine the agony.  We finished the 1/2 mile through to the marina opening and back inside the break walls which made the last 1/8th of a mile very calm.

I was extremely impressed with her fearlessness and sense of endurance not only in the super briny lake, but under those conditions.  Inspired again by another new GSL Swimmer.

Total: 3.25 miles in 1:39
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