Saturday, July 21, 2007

Swimming in the Big Blue

I'm no stranger to ocean swimming, but I'm a total novice when it comes to swimming in big swells and waves. In an effort to improve my open water swimming, I've hooked up with a group of local guys through the US Master's Swimming website who are open water nuts. We went out yesterday into swells I would have hesitated to go boogie boarding in. But because they were experienced and I was there to learn, I went for it. The total swim was only about .75 miles because they were warming up for a swim across Narragansett Bay this morning, but .75 miles in 6 foot seas is a real experience. Funny thing, though, after a while I did get somewhat comfortable out there, and got a great body surfing ride on the way in. There was one guy who came with us, who was also a first timer out in big ocean. He's in the Navy. I thought for sure he was going to drown. The leader of our group, Mike, showed this guy some tough love out there. That sailor had to work a lot to survive that swim.

I think I'll set my sites on the FIRMMAN 1/2 Ironman at Narragansett Town beach in mid-September. It is the only long race around which features an ocean swim. If I keep going with these guys, I might just do okay there, even on the swim leg.