(Watch the video by clicking HERE)
We were all smiles as we bounced across the waves heading for the Shipping Lanes – a perfect summer’s day on the water. Pointing out Sandy Cove and our trajectory towards Kitsilano, Mauro commented “ HOLY S#*T! That’s FAR! We’re SWIMMING that?!!” - Yup! No backing out now! J
Tracy Anne jumped in first. The drill was to get used to using the boat as guide by swimming alongside it, and of course, devise a method to get back INTO the boat afterwards with minimal time in transition. The swim was not a problem, but as anticipated, re-entry into the boat was looking like it was going to be more of a Cirque du Soleil routine than anything else. After hauling her back into the boat using brute strength, it was clear we were going to need a different plan.
Captain (Ian Darling) and crew (James Duffy) devised a one-looped-foot-hold to act as a make shift rope ladder to hang off of the side of the boat. A brilliant plan that took a few different design changes before getting it JUST right, but overall worked great!
Mauro was next to make the plunge. I think that swimming in such deep water with more chop and wave than he was used to was a new experience for him, but again, had no problem with the swim portion. Time came for him to exit the water, and again, proved challenging trying to navigate the rope-loop with water turbulence. A little bit of help from the crew, a few leg swings, and voila! He was back in the boat! Whew!
I was up next. The minute I jumped into the water, I was reminded of San Francisco. The water had the same ‘feel’. It was warmer than I thought it would be, and I couldn’t wait to swim. Using the boat as a guide/sight was harder for me than I thought it would be. I kept lifting my head to sight ahead of me, but there was nothing to sight! Just open ocean. Keeping the boat to my left, I tried to let myself follow it by using it as my guide every time I took a breath to that side. I eventually got the hang of it, but I still looked ahead every so often…muscle memory and its patterns are hard to break! LOL. My turn to get back into the boat was similar to everyone else’s but there had been enough ‘tweaks’ made by this point to our system, I think I had the easier time of it.
We all got back in one more time to do it all over again, and the second time ‘round was definitely easier than the first. We were all having so much fun! Including Mauro who decided it would be ‘fun’ to swim behind me and then scare the CRAP out of me by touching my legs once I had stopped swimming. HA-HA….lol. Ok it WAS funny, but I did have a moment where I thought I was being tested for palatability by some sea creature from the depths.
Just like in San Francisco, swimming and bobbing out in the deep stuff, the views were spectacular. Mt. Baker stood out above the Lions Gate Bridge, and from the water, seemed that much more impressive than when seen from land. It truly was an incredible day on the water!
3 weeks now to race day, and after having a good test run with the boat, I think we are all feeling a little more settled about the whole thing.
A HUGE THANK YOU TO:
- HOLLYBURN SAILING CLUB for allowing us to use one of the club’s Zodiac’s for this trial, and for race day! Thank YOU.
- IAN DARLING for Captain-ing this adventure! We are so lucky to have the BEST sea man navigating and leading us!
- JAMES DUFFY for your incredible knowledge and skills in outdoor pursuits, rescue, and keen eyes to watch out for us!
- MY TEAMMATES you guys ROCK! I couldn’t ask for a better crew to swim with. Thanks for making it so much fun! Now lets win the category :)
Watch the video by clicking HERE (on the Thrive Total Fitness Facebook Page)