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Mallory Mead
May 2nd, 2010, 11:02 AM
Just wondering what kind of wildlife you all have encountered. My group swims at Morse Reservoir in Noblesville, IN (Indianapolis) Our running list is attack swans (you have to roll over on your back and kick them in the chest to get them off of you) other assorted waterfowl, a crotch carp (one of the group members was standing in water thigh deep when a fish jumped into the air and hit him in the crotch, then bounced off and hit another group member in the chest) and this morning I swam past my new friend the lake snake. What could be next?

Leonard Jansen
May 2nd, 2010, 01:42 PM
I got bumped in the chest by a small stingray during the Potomac River Swim. (However, that year it was held in a lake due to high winds/waves.)

Some years ago I was trout fishing on the South Platte River in Colorado and I was just standing very still, watching, about mid-thigh deep in the stream when a beaver swam between my legs. Not sure who was more startled - me or the beaver.

-LBJ

Mallory Mead
May 2nd, 2010, 01:47 PM
Leanord, was that 2008? I was there too, but I "broke away" from the swim and convinced some intrepid fools to accompany me to the buoy a few miles out.

Took me over an hour to swim out 2.5 miles and 30 minutes to swim back, if that says anything about the conditions. I was bodysurfing on the way back.

E=H2O
May 2nd, 2010, 03:41 PM
I was run over by the buoy at the mouth of Aquatic Park in San Francisco Bay

Lump
May 2nd, 2010, 04:15 PM
Just don't run into any of those "Brown Lake Trouts"! :afraid:

debaru
May 2nd, 2010, 09:51 PM
Just don't run into any of those "Brown Lake Trouts"! :afraid:
I remember reading another post from you on this same subject. Is that why you're called Lump? :D Sorry, I just couldn't help it.

Leonard Jansen
May 3rd, 2010, 06:57 AM
Leanord, was that 2008? I was there too, but I "broke away" from the swim and convinced some intrepid fools to accompany me to the buoy a few miles out.

Took me over an hour to swim out 2.5 miles and 30 minutes to swim back, if that says anything about the conditions. I was bodysurfing on the way back.

No, 2006. I was hoping to use it as a tuneup for MIMS that year. I've gone there twice and both times they had to have it in the lake. After the '06 one, they said they were going to try to find a better back-up venue, but not sure if they ever did. Still on my to-do list, but not this year, I'm afraid.

-LBJ

Lump
May 3rd, 2010, 08:45 AM
I remember reading another post from you on this same subject. Is that why you're called Lump? :D Sorry, I just couldn't help it.

I hope not! I may have done alot of things, but that ain't one of them!

Chicken of the Sea
May 3rd, 2010, 12:32 PM
Listed from most scary to least scary:

1. A man swimming in a thong at Barton Springs;
2. The lifeguard at Fort Lauderdale beach who yelled at me to leave the beach or he'd call the police, because I swam more than 50 yards from shore;
3. The submerged shopping cart on the bottom at Ohio St Beach. Scares the *&% out of me every time I see it.
4. The very very large but harmless nurse shark at Key West;
5. Very small but harmless nurse sharks at Key West;
6. The bird that had dysentery all over me while swimming in the Lake;
7. Seahorses!!!!!!! in Bonaire :banana:

Kevin in MD
May 3rd, 2010, 01:33 PM
Two weeks ago on my recovery m yhand hit a very large carp as it entered the water, freaked me out something fierce.

srcoyote
May 3rd, 2010, 03:55 PM
2. The lifeguard at Fort Lauderdale beach who yelled at me to leave the beach or he'd call the police, because I swam more than 50 yards from shore;


I had similar experience with lifeguards in Pensacola a couple of years ago. Given the number of people they've fished out of the Gulf over the years and my completely non-swimmer looking body, I don't hold it against them, though.

I find a perch or a crappie bumping the toes are a great speed aid in lake swims when you need that short burst.

Other than that, I've sighted mostly pompano, mackerel, sting rays, and the occasional shark back in the day. I've certainly heard (on this board perhaps?) about vicious territorial otters from others.

swimmj
May 3rd, 2010, 04:40 PM
Sturgeon bumped me hard on the thigh when swimming in the Columbia River. Definitely got my attention. I've also been bumped by harbor seals when swimming the Pacific Ocean. Almost jumped out of my skin as it was in an area where Great Whites often hunt for seals...

RobbieD
May 3rd, 2010, 06:57 PM
Last fall I poked a seal in the belly. The beach was fogged in so we didn't know there was a seal convention at the end of the pier until we got there... not wanting to hang out in the shark snack bar we promptly made our way back towards the beach but a couple curious seals followed us for a little bit. One swam right under me and I poked him... scared the hell out of me.

Other than that I've seen some dolphins, various birds and whatnot. It's the stuff I can't see that scares me though :afraid:

Chicken of the Sea
May 3rd, 2010, 07:27 PM
It's the stuff I can't see that scares me though :afraid:

That's exactly what my mother tells me when I swim in the ocean!! :laugh2:

RobbieD
May 3rd, 2010, 07:30 PM
well that and kelp... the piece of ocean I work out in doesn't have the best visibility so every once and a while I get surprise attacked by ninja kelp and it damn near scares me to death every time

floswimmer
May 3rd, 2010, 09:34 PM
Just wondering what kind of wildlife you all have encountered. My group swims at Morse Reservoir in Noblesville, IN (Indianapolis) Our running list is attack swans (you have to roll over on your back and kick them in the chest to get them off of you) other assorted waterfowl, a crotch carp (one of the group members was standing in water thigh deep when a fish jumped into the air and hit him in the crotch, then bounced off and hit another group member in the chest) and this morning I swam past my new friend the lake snake. What could be next?
:bow: And, I thought the seagulls at Jones Beach, LI, NY were bad!:afraid:I salute your dedication!!!!

ourswimmer
May 3rd, 2010, 10:50 PM
Lots of pelicans, which are very, very big when they fly right overhead. They are graceful when they land, though, always just missing me.

One time a young-ish harbor seal swam beside me and my friend for a while. It swam slowly so that we could keep up. I was a little worried that we would do something unintentionally to make it mad, because I don't know what makes seals mad (besides maybe poking them!), but it was very nice until we got too boring and it swam away. We have had some local incidents with sea lions biting people, but I have never gotten within biting range of a sea lion.

In a local race last summer I saw a beautiful school of small fish swimming around in the kelp, but my nearest competitors said they hadn't seen them.

I saw two sea turtles at the Waikiki Roughwater Swim last year, one while warming up before the race and one during the race as I turned in for the finish.

Once in a local lake I saw a little furry mammal swimming along with a stick. It might have been an ordinary rat, because I don't think we have muskrats here and it was too small to be a beaver.

Doug Adamavich
May 3rd, 2010, 11:39 PM
The most notable wildlife I have encountered are some freshwater fish at Lake Pleasant last year. The water is so clear there you can see a fair distance and at both events last year I saw multiple fish. I wasn't able to identify which species they were but they were well-fed. They weren't startled by the appearance of several dozen swimmers in my wave, apparently they have seen it all before :)

SwimSister
May 4th, 2010, 04:58 AM
Just love your stories! Poking a seal must be much more fun afterwards than during!

I rarely meet anything interesting during my open water swims. Jellyfish, beachcombers, old bicycles, angry swans, lazy sea gulls. But apart from that ...

ViveBene
May 4th, 2010, 05:41 AM
Ohio Street Harbor has a cool bed of water plants, in the shade of the seawall, where the catfish rest up. I always look for it when I'm out there. Seagulls in Lake Michigan have dive-bombed my rosy swim cap. Perhaps I look like fresh road kill. Otherwise, many birds, a dozen or so uncommon species, as the southern concavity of L. Michigan is on the flyway for migrating species.
:)

Jim B.
May 5th, 2010, 09:52 PM
I swam head long into a dead perch last summer.

swimthegoodfight
May 6th, 2010, 10:14 AM
one large gaspergou...

debaru
May 6th, 2010, 06:14 PM
When I was a kid, I spent lots of time swimming in open water off the coast of southern California. We had a boat and would often head to Catalina Island for a day trip. Usually, about halfway there, we would stop and my dad would let me and my sister swim before having our lunch.

We would often see dolphin and flying fish. I remember having my toes nibbled on a couple of occasions and thought it was cool -- but, I couldn't see the fish who were tasting-testing me. Mind you, this was years before Jaws was released. :afraid: I had no fear of being in the water when I was young, but Jaws really freaked me out as a young adult. I'm over it now.

Now that I'm getting started in swimming open water events as a much older adult, so far all I've seen are lake trout.

I'll be swimming in the ocean near San Diego in June just for fun, so maybe I'll get lucky and see something a bit bigger or more interesting (so long as it isn't a Great White shark!).

DeletedAccount
May 12th, 2010, 06:55 PM
-Fire coral in Bonaire, Caribbean; day before my 1st OW race I bumped my hand on a bouy line encrusted with it. (That stuff stings a wee bit.)

-Either a juvenile Great White or very large Bronze Whaler; Henley Beach, Gulf St. Vincent, South Australia, Feb. 14th, 2010. We were outta the water and back on the beach in about 60 secs... (Won't forget that swim anytime soon...)

-HUGE Southern bull rays everyday off Glenelg Beach, Adelaide, South Oz. You can see these giant rays on every OW swim thru the summer. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_bull_ray

-A dolphin came right up underneath me and scared me senseless for about 2 seconds also off Glenelg this past Jan. It circled played with us for a few mins and threw us a large live fish it has stunned somehow.

-Some type of GIGANTIC jellyfish, I never properly ID'd it, but it was 18" across, trailing long tentacles, flashing blue electricity inside and surrounded by incredibly tiny fish. We gave it a very wide berth.

-Stung by a blue bottle stinger on a 14.5k OW swim from Whitsunday Island to Hamilton Island, QLD, Oz. Saw so many stingers of all sorts on this swim I was spooked silly. It was mid-summer high season for the deadly Irukandji stingers and I was freaked. There was also a shark attack there the week prior to our swim. Awesome swim but wrong time of year to do it/bad planning all around. I won't swim off QLD in the summer months ever again.

nhc
May 13th, 2010, 01:58 AM
Some years ago I was trout fishing on the South Platte River in Colorado and I was just standing very still, watching, about mid-thigh deep in the stream when a beaver swam between my legs.

Cute :D That must feel very funny, just imagine! Beavers are such amazing animals--have you all seen the news about the largest beaver dam discovered in Canada about two days ago?

debaru
May 13th, 2010, 03:56 PM
-A dolphin came right up underneath me and scared me senseless for about 2 seconds also off Glenelg this past Jan. It circled played with us for a few mins and threw us a large live fish it has stunned somehow.


Maybe it thought you were cute and throwing a fish is a dolphin's way of flirting? :D

The closest I've been to a dolphin is when my sister and I would sit on the deck of the bow of our parent's boat and hold onto the railing bar and dangle our feet over the edge. If the ocean was choppy enough, we would get splashed, which felt great on a hot summer day. The dolphin would swim just below our feet, and would swim with us for what seemed like miles.

E=H2O
May 13th, 2010, 04:30 PM
Once I was surfing, sitting on my board waiting for a wave when a dolphin swam under me at top speed. All I could think was if he had run into me he would have snapped my legs off. They are fast.

JeffJotz
May 20th, 2010, 02:15 PM
In the Atlantic Ocean, I've encountered dolphins, striped bass, bluefish and skates, plus thousands of little bait fish and crabs.

Jellyfish - stinging or non-stinging - are also present, especially in August.

However, the scariest things I've ever run into out in the open water were drunken boaters and a freighter in the Hudson River.

swimthegoodfight
May 21st, 2010, 08:40 PM
my wife completed the 'gentle giants swim' with whale sharks this evening at the Georgia Aquarium... just multi-tasking while at the short course USMS

a ridiculous number of shark species in the tank too!

debaru
June 10th, 2010, 01:34 PM
I swam La Jolla Cove for the first time last weekend and encountered the following:

A beautiful orange Garibaldi (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Hypsypops_rubicundus_adult.jpg), a small California Barracuda (http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/animals/AnimalDetails.aspx?id=781694), and some wicked kelp that plays tricks with your mind making you think it might be one of the numerous sea lions that frequent the area as you're putting your face back into the water after sighting! :afraid:

I got freaked out a couple of times thinking I was going to run into a sea lion, only to realize it was a large strand of kelp. :blush:

kd9truck
June 12th, 2010, 03:50 PM
how about gellys so thick I fely like my head was a snow plow , off rockaway beach N.Y. also upon ocassion soom tropical fish brought up by the gulf steam. They usually swim right below you in your shadow unless something scares them away.horseshoe crabs, lots of people drown off Rockaway in the summer and they don,t allways find them right away, sometimes I,m out there before they find them but I,m never alone and I,m not looking verry hard either!

BabsVa
June 22nd, 2010, 09:47 AM
The other day I swam through water weeds so thick I had to put on my hand paddles and cut a channel through.

I've swum over sharks, alongside sea turtles, past (quickly) barracudas, been bitten by bass, gotten wrapped up in jellyfish tentacles, been investigated by schools of fish some of whom literally will get in your face to check you out.

If I can see it I'm fine with it. It's the dark and murky situation that gets the imagination going.:afraid:

Lump
June 25th, 2010, 10:44 AM
In Key West I didn't see a whole lot....so small fish, sea urchins, conchs and that was about it. My relay mates saw a school of Tarpons and a sea turtle.

In Beaufort, SC we couldn't see anything cause of the brackish water, but I know there are plenty of sharks down there. 18 months ago someone caught a 17' Tiger Shark out of the Broad River. Nothing like having that in the back of your head when jumping in!

Ken Classen
August 12th, 2010, 11:25 AM
California surfer films great white sharks circling his board

http://www.grindtv.com/surf/blog/19715/california+surfer+films+great+white+sharks+circlin g+his+board/

A friend of mine (www.offthedeck.net) doing kayak escort duty on a trio of Catalina Channel swimmers last week says she saw a Hammerhead shark swim by. Apparently they had several Dolphins escorts as well. I was a pace swimmer on a Catalina crossing the week before and all I saw were jellies. Although the Dolphins came out to play after the swim was done on the way back to port.

Jim B.
August 12th, 2010, 09:19 PM
Just today in Lovell Lake in NH I came to the end of my swim, stopped, stood up, took my goggles off and realized I was standing about 20' away from a pair of loons with their baby. I kind of felt like I was intruding, but, the loons never even flinched. They are magnificent animals, I always feel fortunate when I see them.