Monday, February 11, 2008
Swimming in Connecticut
As planned, I did make it up to Connecticut for the Small Boat Shop's cold water workshop. The water was indeed cold - 39 degrees, I think that's the coldest I've swum in. They have had years where there were swimming in a hole in the ice. None of that this year, but even without the fun of actually swimming in ice, it was great - the information that was reviewed in the morning session (dry land, indoor presentations) was useful, and I was just SO happy to have the chance to roll, do a couple of rescues, and then just have a bit of a swim in the full winter gear in colder water than I would usually be spending much time in. It's unfortunate the Paerdegat is too filthy to do this in, it's lots of fun plus it tells you SO much about how much the gear protects you & how long you might plausibly have - but it works so much better with a warm shop, hot showers & hot drinks just steps away. Sebago, there's a pretty good paddle from clean water back to the stove in the clubhouse. I was fine for as long as I was in - but boy, even with a couple of layers of insulation & the drysuit, you can still feel that cold pressing against your body. Actually right at the end, I tested out the famous "Heat Escape Lessening Position" where you tuck your knees up to your chest - the difference in body surface that was actually feeling that cold pressure outside the suit & the layers was almost dramatically obvious.
Would be fun to try the huddle, too, if you were doing this with a bunch of good friends. As it was, I a) didn't think of it until just now, and b) would've felt funny suggesting that a bunch of total strangers give it a try!
This was so much fun - but it was good to know that if it started feeling less than fun, I could be out & warm very quickly. Excellent experience.
More pictures from the day in my Picasa site. Silliest photo, just so you know, is right near the end.