Here at Sharkytreat, swimming is not the only ocean activity we enjoy. In fact any activity that provides time in the ocean, as a delicious shark treat, is on our list.
Friday I woke up pretty early, about 4:15 to get Oliver a bottle, and I thought, this is not that much earlier than I often get up, perhaps I will head out on a surfing adventure.
Early morning car ride self portrait.
I headed up to Hampton, NH.
With the sun not yet up, I found a DunkinDonuts that was open and got a cup of coffee, and then stopped at "the Wall", in preparation for a "gnarly surf session".
While I know those waves look incredibly impressive, (many of you are probably saying: "dude? did you have to be towed out into that? Shread!!!) they were 6 to 8 inches, with the occasional 1 footer.
O.K. some were a little bigger than than, but they were really fun, and it was really nice to be out there with the sun coming up, just alone in the ocean, paddling around. Here is the Sun peeking over the horizon. I surfed from about 4:45 to 6:10, and the folks getting there for "dawn patrol" at 6 A.M. looked at me like I was nuts for getting out. It was a beautiful morning, and very enjoyable in the chilly surf.
In San Diego they call this "June Gloom" a fog that seemingly welds the sky and the sea together. This is what I found out at Plum Island when I jumped in the ocean there Sunday morning. The air was cold, the water was chilly, (although definitely getting warmer, I swam about 700 yards and felt fine), even the fishermen were represented by only a skeleton crew.
This photo looks rather tranquil, however there were 2 - 3 foot swells breaking, and plenty of chop. The fog gives you a false sense of serenity...
NOAA is telling me the water is in the mid to high 50's so I guess I am ready for bigger, longer Ocean swims. This is good news, as I have been tiring of the pool lately, longing for open water.
Counting down Saturday represented: 6 weeks to the 10 mile Kingdom swim, 9 weeks to the 8 mile Boston Light swim, and only 15 weeks until our 6 day window for The Channel opens.
While not "shaggy" by most standards, I was due for a clean up.
The only important thing to note about this haircut, is that it will probably be my last until I swim. While the rules state clearly no insulating swim suits or caps, a little extra hair under the cap could help me keep warm. (Remember all that about wearing hats in the winter and how dumb that seemed, well your mom was right.)
Or maybe, like Sampson, I could get some extra strength, or something...
Oliver dutifully help Kate size up the situation, and they went to work.
When we were finished, Oliver decided that I had been good enough to have a pop.
So he headed to the pantry to get one for me...
He then helped unwrap it...
...and then he decided that he was such a good helper, that he probably deserved that pop.
This morning I spent about 15 minutes in the waters off Plum Island. The water was about 56 degrees; getting warmer but still not balmy. The stripers are in and my swim seemed to have coincided with the right tide today as the beach was littered with fisherman. I spent much of my swim dodging lines. While I didn't see anyone catch anything, my father-in-law said he caught upwards of 30 today up in Maine.
After my dip in ocean I headed to the Y where I had the whole pool to myself - no lines. Swam about 4 miles in the pool.
Over the past year I've spent A LOT of time in the local YWCA pool, but last Thursday I spent an obscene amount of time in the water - 4 hours and 7 minutes. That is right, I spent 4 hours and 7 minutes going back and forth (360) back and forth and back and forth... 18,000 yards, 10 miles... The swim (in terms of distance) was not as bad as I thought, but it was - well, it was boring. I also think that the lifeguards and other people in the pool thought I was nuts - hey, I think I am nuts.
While the swim itself was boring, I have to say that it has been great to be able to have the YWCA pool less than a mile from our house - it makes it really easy to get up each morning and go for my swim. The YWCA recently interviewed me - they posted the interview on their website - http://www.ywcanewburyport.org/
In addition to spending time in the pool I have been trying to spend more time in the ocean - I've been swimming off Plum Island at least once a week for the past month or so. While the water is not quite warm enough for a long swim, it will be soon - pretty soon I'll have to get greased up (as in the picture below from my Boston Light Swim last year) and get some distance under my belt (or rather, under my Speedo).
Oh- I also have a Facebook page now - Sharky Treat
In the 135 years people have been swimming the English Channel fewer than one thousand have been successful. When I was 14 years old I decided that, one day, I would be one of the people who made the swim. Now, close to 20 years later, I am planning to attempt just that. I have secured a pilot boat through the Channel Swimming and Piloting Federation,for an attempt in September 2010. I am currently looking for businesses, individuals, or organizations that would like to make contributions or provide sponsorship, either monetarily or in kind.