Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Intermediate Swimmer

I couldn't make my usual weekend swim at Alki, but a stranger had posted on Facebook that she wanted to swim at Greenlake, so we arranged a meet-up. Turns out although she's a really experienced open water swimmer, this was her first time in water under 60 degrees.

Her desire and instinct was to run in and run out, so she never warmed up. I encouraged her to stay in and use her motion to generate heat to warm up.  She wasn't wearing ear plugs, and I suggested that they would help keep her warmer.  We had other chats about acclimatization and how to increase your cold water endurance and how to rewarm after (bath not shower, get the wet suit off as fast as possible, etc).

At the end, her spouse thanked me for sharing my wisdom on the topic.

Two years of experience with Puget Sound meas I've learned enough to teach others. I think this makes me a solid, intermediate, swimmer. I still have a lot to learn to be "expert" but it is fun to feel out of the "novice" category.

Making Movies at Crescent Lake.

I'm back out on the Olympic Peninsula for work. A beautiful place that I am so lucky to get the State of Washington to pay for me to visit.  For some reason I totally miscalculated the amount of time it would take me to do the drive, so I arrived a good 2.5 hours before my meeting.  Luckily, I'd stashed my swimsuit in the car.  So I took off for Crescent Lake.

The area was quiet, but I parked and walked over to the lodge to change.  Oblivious as I am, I passed a sign that said "C1osed Set" [sic].  I didn't know what it meant, so I just walked on.  The front porch of the lodge looked like a rest stop on some long hiking trip. Tons of packs and food and a few rugged looking people.  The weather was wet, so most people were wearing fleece and rain jackets (this is the Pacific Northwest, so people wear that in the city too).

I didn't think much of it, figuring it was a place that backpackers used when needing to come into civilization or something. The Lodge clearly was closed as a restaurant and shop, unlike in the high season.

I walked in and changed into my suit.  I put my gear out on the porch among all the disarray, and went to get into the water.

As I approached, this was the scene on the dock.

A woman approached me and said "we are filming a movie and really can't have anyone on the dock."  I was unfazed, and went to enter the water from the rocky shore. Another person approached to say something similar, and I assured him that I wouldn't interfere with the shot.

He said their actor was a little wary of the temperature of the water, and he asked if I was going to wear a wetsuit.  I said no, but that I knew my body was acclimatized to cold water. I said I thought it was about 46, which is the same as Puget Sound, so I was fine.  Then I joked that if they needed a stunt double for the actor, I could fill in.

And off I sawm.  Boy was it glorious.

The first two minutes were the hardest. I just wanted to turn back. But the film crew watching me kept me going.  And I'm glad I did.  I warmed up. And I loved it.  The water was so still that I was the only creature making ripples, and I could watch them go across the whole lake.

I stayed in about 22 min, which was perfect.  I got a bit cold after getting dressed, but since I had no shower and the Lodge was not heated, I'd say that wasn't too big of a deal.

I talked to the movie staff again on my way out.  They said that technically this was a closed set, so no one not affiliated with the movie was supposed to be there.  OH, that's what that sign had meant!! I guess I don't have movie set cultural competence to know what it meant. However, they also welcomed me to watch from a distance. But I needed to get warm.  So I changed and left.

I'm really glad I made the trip out for a swim in my favorite Olympic National Park lake! And I'll look for the swim scene in "Light Me Up" if it ever comes to Seattle!