Depending on our objective, we met it. Was it to swim from Aquatic Park to Candlestick and back? Or was it to swim for 8 hours? Either way, it felt like a good effort, and now we know that, while painful, 8 hours is definitely doable. We even got some good experience in choppy and windy conditions, which was perversely good news, after the flat and sunny 6 hour swim experience. The Channel is rarely flat and sunny.
Diesel was the erstwhile zenmaster of the zodiac, with brother Stefan was the gu-dispenser, along with occasional wisdom, motivational motifs and general cheeriness. In fact the only drawback of having Diesel and Stefan having so much fun in the boat, was that it was mentally tough to not making the leap to how much more fun it might be to be in the boat, rather than in the Bay. Still, we fought the impulse. Michelle the indestructible delivered her consistent 80 strokes a minute, while I chugged along beside at 60-65.
We made good progress down the coast, on a weak flood (1.2?) quickly passing the usual flotsam and jetsam out from the Ferry Building, round Cape Horn off from the ballpark, nodding to the cranes and smokestacks of the San Francisco port, crawling round Hunters Point wondering when something will be built there, and then having to imagine we were making progress around the big crane just before Candlestick Point, before coming in to the beach next to the Stick. Michelle ran up the beach and back for fun, while I wallowed in the shallows and we turned round and came back. Much quicker back around the crane on the start of the ebb, and then putting up with the side-slap from the Westerly wind all the way up to the city.
We wanted to go hear the roar of the crowd at the Ballpark, and cut over to perhaps catch a Barry Bonds ball in McCovey cove. However, the marshall of a disabled sailor's regatta rushed over to puncture Diesel's sang froid and point out that we were in the middle of a race, and they might not be able to avoid us, so we headed for home. Coming round the corner of Pier 39, we were met with some fine 2foot chop just to make us feel that we had been involved in somthing worthwhile. We considered taking on a cove to get to 8 hours, but the sirens of the sauna were calling, and we gratefully piled up the beach.
Thanks Stef, thanks Diesel, nice one Michelle.
So we did a Round Trip Candlestick, while Jessica spent 8 hours traversing the bay in different ways. (to keep up with Jessica's Channel training, check out http://followmetofrance.blogspot.com/).