Saturday, November 10, 2012

Long Day On The Ocean

I really had no business showing up for a 6K ocean swim this morning. Especially given the small group of fast swimmers who were there. I got the invite from a friend last night though and made a last minute change to my weekend training plans... Apparently I had some sort of amnesia about how little I've been swimming lately... also about how freaking hard it is to race swim in choppy ocean water for an hour and forty minutes. All I was thinking is that the Double Roughwater Swim is in 5 (or 6??) weeks and I need to do some long training swims so I won't die during that race.

It's always interesting too when you show up as a "guest" with a group you don't normally train with... Looking around at the small group as we were about to dive into the ocean, I recognized 3 of the swimmers as folks who are always crushing me in ocean swim races, and then 3 other swimmers who I'd never met before. I should note- these were not triathletes. They were ocean swimmers. There is a difference! I asked Miki what the plan was- where were we headed?? The shipwreck, she said. Ok. I've never been there so not quite sure where it was... I'll just try to keep up I guess?

Can I just say how much fear is involved when you're swimming with a group in the deep blue ocean and you're the slowest one and it's all you can do to just keep a pair of feet in your sight?? Yikes. And these folks don't screw around. There was no stopping or regrouping until we got to the shipwreck... 48' after we started.
All I was thinking that whole time was that if I fell off the back that would be it... no one was going to wait for me and I did not know where we were going. That, my friends, is some incentive to swim faster than you normally do! I am 100% sure that had I had a 'friend' who I knew would wait for me, I would have eased up. Maybe it's good for me to put myself in these uncomfortable scenarios? I do swim faster when I am afraid. ;)

Anyway, at the shipwreck they told me that there was shark who lived there so everyone was diving down and checking him out. In 8 years of ocean swimming here, I had never seen a shark (other than pictures!) but sure enough, I dove down and got a glimpse of him. Interestingly, I was not afraid then?? The first time I saw him he was just hanging out on the ocean floor (sleeping?) then the next time I dove down he'd apparently woken up and was cruising around... still not scary. Just kinda cool. Sharks actually DO exist after all.

After that one of the guys was like "Let's go check out the turtles". I wasn't quite sure what he meant but off we went and I sprinted behind in fear followed along again and sure enough a few minutes later we were on top of 7 HUGE honu who were just cruising around right under us. That, my friends, is the difference between ocean swimmers and triathletes (ok, one of the many differences!). Ocean swimmers know the whole floor of the ocean and where all the cool animals live. The ocean is vast, you know. I was simply amazed that they could swim right to those turtles?!? We hung there for a bit and I was grateful for the rest break. Then we headed back, into some crazy wind chop. I was tired by then... pretty much ran out of gas at about 1:15 into the swim and the group was sort of split up by then but I attached myself to a guy I was near and just did what he did. We did stop one more time on the way back to check out a spotted eagle ray and he was super cool and mellow. Thanks for the break, dude. I needed it.

The rest of the afternoon was spent with Scott and Moana on a catamaran cruise. This is where I planted myself with my rum drink.

Moana eventually got up and asked to drive the boat. We were all drunk enough to let her... watch where we're going!
The long ocean day was capped off watching a pod of spinner dolphins putting on a little show for us. I didn't get pictures of them but use your imagination. They're in there somewhere!


Steve said...

That sounds like a great day. Who blogs after they have been drinking??

Drinking and blogging... if that ain't multisporting, i don't know what is. ;)

Lectie said...

good for you!! Still haven't seen one and don't particularly want too either!!!

Changed my blog address:

Anonymous said...

Miki laps me in the pool. Don't swim with her anymore. You swim fast enough already. =) Wasn't the weather SPECTACULAR this weekend? I love our little island. Glad you got out in the water, had fun and are active again.