Great January 2nd swim at Alki. Met up with the gang, got in the water, and got COLD. Ended up feeling like my fingers were colder than I wanted them to be, so I got out. Air- 29, Water 48, time in water, about 15 min.
I've been thinking about why I got colder faster this time. It might have been the air temperature, but I'm not really sure how relevant that is when your whole body is in the water. I think what happened can be seen in this photo.
I have a big puffy jacket that I often wear in these colder temperatures, but had realized a few weeks ago that it is so non-breathable, that the warm air from the car heater wasn't getting into it to warm me post-swim. So I left it at home. I didn't think about how it could help me pre-swim.
My goal is to try to heat my body a bit more before the swim next time, and see if that helps. If not, I may go back to the wetsuit, so I have more time in the water.
The good news is that my fingers re-heated quickly and I maintained my fine motor skills, so I was unlikely in any real risk of frost bite. I am glad, however, that I made the decision to get out of the water when I did. The goal is always safety first!