Felt great to do my first longer swim of the year, even in 51degree chop, and fun to do it with Michelle Deasy, who is also training for the Channel this summer.
~10.3miles - 2:35:01 - another downhill swim on a strong ebb (4 knots max)
Joel and Bobby took us down to Candlestick Point in the zodiac, and it was grey, windy, and 2-3 foot chop. Given the strong tide and the waves, we didn't go all the way round to the Stick, and jumped out at the point. We were worried about being washed onto the pier. It was a relief to get in the water, since the boat ride down had been bumpy and wet. Poor Bobby and Joel stayed in the boat, and had to keep doing doughnuts around us, since they couldn't maintain a position next to us with the waves. My feeding plan of every 20 minutes went out the window, as Bobby pointed out that feeding next to the zodiac would be tricky in the chop, so we went to every 30 minutes.
Trying to work out how to breathe to minimize the amount of times waves went into my open mouth kept me amused, as did having to roll over to do a backstroke stroke and push my earplug back in every 10 minutes. I got paranoid that we were going to bash into the big green bouy off Hunter's Point, because I couldn't see it, but we missed it somehow. Michelle was attacking the swim with her usual quiet ferocity. Sometimes my stroke frequency coincided with the waves, and I would get a surfing push that put me out in front, but other than that we were evenly matched.
Bobby tapped us on the heads with the zodiac to point out that we were going to run into the big grey car transporter moored South of the ball park, and we took an ungraceful hard right turn to get out around it. It's always strange to pass so close to ships that big. The current was strong enough that I had the sensation of down-hill skiing as we came towards obstructions.
Michelle was too cold to stop for feeding, and I was bloated with Gatorade from before jumping, so we just pushed on with minimal feeding. I will have to be more disciplined on longer swims. We were making excellent progress with the current, and backstroked under the Bay Bridge, along the piers towards Alcatraz, left towards home.
Felt good to go gingerly vertical and reflect on the 10 fastest miles I've swum. One or two were faster than Olympic pace, but I guess they could probably go faster on a 4knot current too.....
Breakfast at Capurro's, and then up to Tahoe with my brother to catch some powder. He wasn't surprised when I napped in the car.
Thanks Michelle, Bobby and Joel