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swimsuit addict

Short swim in the gulf

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I had a very blissy swim in the gulf today. Yesterday’s steady rain was gone, and the day was brilliantly sunny. By noon, the overnight freezing temps had warmed up to the low 50s, and water temps were in the mid-50s. A strong north wind tamped down the waves, leaving just ripples on the surface. The tide was high, making the water deep enough to swim on the near side of the first sandbar. I ended up swimming back and forth along a 300m stretch of beach, staying in for about 30 minutes. The water was very clear, but there wasn’t much to see—I encountered one jellyfish, white with pale yellow tentacles, that was floating about 3 feet under the surface, and a small white fish that swam by underneath me.

It was very peaceful out in the water. I did some backstroke, ducking my head entirely under the water to see the ripples on the surface, then turning back over for some freestyle, where I watched the rippled sand beneath me. Swimming along was as easy as in a pool, with no current or waves to speak of. It was a lot different from a couple of days ago, when I got in just to play in the surf, and let the waves rock me around as I floated on the surface.

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  1. BrendaL's Avatar
    WOW! Sounds perfect!
  2. Sojerz's Avatar
    Yes! guess warmer would be a little better, but no ice sounds great.
  3. __steve__'s Avatar
    I can't comprehend how one can concentrate on the peace described while swimming in 50F water - I would be fighting to survive. Maybe the temperature is part of the beauty? Maybe someday I'll have the courage to experience for myself.
  4. gigi's Avatar
    Sounds lovely!
    I just read a thing in the USMS magazine about submerging during backstroke - and I was focusing on that today too. I think your view was better!
  5. swimsuit addict's Avatar
    Thanks everyone! I've grown to really enjoy swimming in cooler water--it's such a neat feeling to sense the cold all around, but to be able to generate enough warmth to stay toasty inside. there are definitely physical aspects to cold water acclimation--like any aerobic activity, your body learns where to direct bloodflow to perform most efficiently--but I think doing it enough that you're very confident you can is also key. Once there's no longer any fear of the cold, it's just about sensation, and I actually find the sensation of swimming in the cold, and of the rewarming process, pleasant and interesting.

    But we all have our limits--ten degrees cooler and things turn painful for me, but I know people who relish those extreme temps as well! Maybe I'll get there one day too.

    Gigi, I saw that drill, and it made me realize that I do spend a lot of my backstroke exhaling bubbles. I paid attention to it yesterday in the pool.