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View Full Version : Practicing in smoke filled air



cinc3100
October 28th, 2003, 02:09 AM
So, how are you swimmers in So California able to practice in the smoke filled air. I heard that college and high school teams cancelled teams and most of your pools are outdoors.

sparx35
October 28th, 2003, 03:11 PM
arnie will sort it ,swimming will be back!!!

jean sterling
October 28th, 2003, 08:41 PM
I live in a Florida county that had some heavy fires back in '98 (20% of the county burned). We had dense smoke for about 20-22 hours every day. I remember that swimming a morning workout then was out of the question - you couldn't see the other end of the pool. However, a breeze would come in off the ocean and blow the smoke to the west for a few hours in the late afternoon, and some days we would even have blue sky for a couple of hours. That is when I swam. I can remember smelling the returning smoke, and sometimes by the time I got home it would be back in full force. It was definitely a very difficult time, and I feel for the folks in California - those fires with all the wind look really bad.

Shaky
October 28th, 2003, 09:55 PM
As a teevee news photographer, I covered some of the Florida fires in '98 and '99 (in the north) and have been in the midst of an Oklahoma brush fire with winds gusting to 35 kts. What I covered wasn't nearly as bad as what they're dealing with in California, and I still wouldn't have wanted to exercise in that smoke. It's just a bad idea.

After fire coverage, my camera is usually coated in grime and stinks for weeks. Just think, that's what's going in your lungs.

jerrycat
October 28th, 2003, 10:28 PM
for those folks, this is probably the last thing they need to worry about right now...what horrible devestation and sadness...I can't even imagine how awful it would be to have your house burning up--with everything inside gone--or even worse, to loose a loved one(s), and pets...

Thank God for swimming--because when this settles out, it will be a great retreat for those relish the sport.

Shaky
October 29th, 2003, 10:41 AM
Originally posted by jerrycat
for those folks, this is probably the last thing they need to worry about right now...

Now, having read this site and the opinions expressed therein, you KNOW that there's some jacka--er, "dedicated swimmer" forty miles downwind who just has to get in his or her workout despite the smoke.

Tim Hedrick
October 29th, 2003, 12:17 PM
Thank God for swimming--because when this settles out, it will be a great retreat for those relish the sport.

Amen to that. For some of us swimming with the Ventura County Masters, these past few days have been stressful to say the least. Mind you, I'm not a firefighter. THOSE folks deserve our utmost gratitude and praise. What they've endured is simply incredible. Period.

Some things take a back seat while life goes on - trying to save a property or animals, keeping family/kids safe, etc. Perspective.

Our home was in the path of the north-western edge of the Simi fire throughout the weekend, with the fire line coming to within 1-2 miles and fortunately not any closer. The Santa Ana winds were pushing the smoke, ash, and embers directly at us. It was a busy weekend protecting, planning, and organizing, with little sleep. It's at such times that one can realize the true value of friendship. We received many calls of support, mostly from swim contacts. People in swimming are THE BEST!

I've heard that an age group coach for a nearby swim team lost his house as the fire whipped through Moorpark.

I realize this may seem a tad off-topic. It's not really. By the time my wife, children, and and I made it safely into Monday, we were looking for a slight escape. Swimming provided that, briefly in the morning, and within cautious limits.

The pool at nearby Oxnard High School - where we train - was full of debris, both from the winds as well as the fire. The air had settled overnight, so the concentration of particulates in the air was low, but the pool water had plenty of fallout, most all of it settled on the bottom. We did some low-key stuff (kicking, backstroke) and then went back to reality. Ditto for Tuesday. This morning, the air in our area was much clearer and we resumed with a more normal level of training.

I can't say how the folks further south or inland of us are doing, but since the fires still rage on in those areas, I'd be shocked if any are training in it. It just isn't worth it. Even though we're Californians, we haven't completely lost it!

Our local paper, the Ventura County Star, has some web slide shows of both professional and reader-submitted photos from the area. You can see them here:

http://web.insidevc.com/special/wildfire/fireindex.htm

jean sterling
October 29th, 2003, 01:59 PM
Originally posted by Shaky
As a teevee news photographer, I covered some of the Florida fires in '98 and '99 (in the north) and have been in the midst of an Oklahoma brush fire with winds gusting to 35 kts. What I covered wasn't nearly as bad as what they're dealing with in California, and I still wouldn't have wanted to exercise in that smoke. It's just a bad idea.


From what I am seeing on TV, it does look a lot worse than what we had in north/central Florida in '98, and what we had then was very bad indeed. As for swimming in that smoke....... just walking in it was bad enough.

The fire personnel did a great job - they were amazing.