Open water swimmers classify swims as "wetsuit" or "skin". Skin doesn't mean nothing but skin, a swimsuit, cap and goggles are still worn, but it means no wetsuit. My wetsuit has a hole. I tried to patch it this week, but I couldn't get the glue to hold. I'm going to take it to the local tri store for a "professional" patch, but that will take a week. And I still wanted to swim. So I decided to go in skin.
My goal was simply to get in the water, with a secondary goal of swimming for 10 min. The air was 44 and water was 50. To add to the experience, it was raining, a steady Seattle winter rain.
I met the Notorious Alki Swimmers and announced my intention to go in skin for the first time. Two of the regulars, J and J helped me figure it out. I was struggling to not cuss, so J suggested I just shout it out. A yelled F*** actually helped a lot. I walked around for maybe 10 min or so, then too the plunge and started swimming, aided by another set of f.f.f.f.f.f.f.s.
I was able to swim to the first set of stairs. Then felt like I could go further, but wanted to not push things, so turned around and swam back to the bathhouse. When I got back I wanted a little more so did another small loop. In the water, swimming, for about 20 min. Was cold after, but never go the horrible shivers or trembles.
The water feels so amazing on the skin. I'm not sure I want to swim in a wetsuit again!
Saw two sea lions as we were getting out, perfect icing on the day!