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Thread: Potomac River open water, any advice from locals?

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    Potomac River open water, any advice from locals?

    I'll be in No. Virginia around Xmas, and am looking for a place to swim in the Potomac (or other nearby open water - the Bay is too far away). I swim in Lake Michigan in Chicago, and would like to keep up with daily swims.

    Any ideas on where to swim?

    Anyone want to join me?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Very Active Member Chicken of the Sea's Avatar
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    Re: Potomac River open water, any advice from locals?

    Are you Andre?
    It was quite capable in the water, perhaps a little on the slow side, but it wasn't impressed by my appearance.

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    Re: Potomac River open water, any advice from locals?

    So funny, I had the same thought!

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    Re: Potomac River open water, any advice from locals?

    Quote Originally Posted by Monofinswim View Post
    I'll be in No. Virginia around Xmas, and am looking for a place to swim in the Potomac (or other nearby open water - the Bay is too far away). I swim in Lake Michigan in Chicago, and would like to keep up with daily swims.

    Any ideas on where to swim?

    Anyone want to join me?

    Thanks!
    The Potomac is generally closed to swimmers and you can get a ticket from the police if you get caught. I used to train in the river back in the mid/late 1990s and we got caught a few times.

    The best person to contact is Denis Crean. He has a group of swimmers that go out of National Harbor (on the Maryland side of the river by the Wilson bridge), but I don't think he's got anything going on this time of year.

    The river is definately a no-swim zone after any type of precipitation.

    HTH,

    Chris

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    Re: Potomac River open water, any advice from locals?

    Thanks Chris, for the reply, and for the warning about police. I've heard that it is illegal in DC, but not in VA. I'll have to check with the state.

    Any idea how best to reach Denis?

    Why is the river no-go after rain? I don't intend to swim in the current; I may be crazy but I'm not stupid. I'll be looking for a protected area, most likely a harbor.

    Best,
    Greg

    Ps: Not Andre!

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    Very Active Member Chicken of the Sea's Avatar
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    Re: Potomac River open water, any advice from locals?

    Quote Originally Posted by Monofinswim View Post
    Thanks Chris, for the reply, and for the warning about police. I've heard that it is illegal in DC, but not in VA. I'll have to check with the state.

    Any idea how best to reach Denis?

    Why is the river no-go after rain? I don't intend to swim in the current; I may be crazy but I'm not stupid. I'll be looking for a protected area, most likely a harbor.

    Best,
    Greg

    Ps: Not Andre!
    oh! haha I assumed it was Andre or you. Hi!
    It was quite capable in the water, perhaps a little on the slow side, but it wasn't impressed by my appearance.

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    Re: Potomac River open water, any advice from locals?

    Hello Amanda!

    Andre is a great cold-water guide: I've been swimming with him most days. He knows his stuff, which is handy when the lake is its current chilly temp. This is my first season of winter swimming, and I am much better off for swimming with someone who has done it before.

    I'm afraid VA isn't very friendly to open-water swimming. I may have to drive an hour to Sandy Point in MD every day. National Harbor is closer; maybe Denis can help there.

    Either way, I'd rather not miss a day, much less a week.

    Best,
    Greg

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    Very Active Member Chicken of the Sea's Avatar
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    Re: Potomac River open water, any advice from locals?

    Quote Originally Posted by Monofinswim View Post
    Hello Amanda!

    Andre is a great cold-water guide: I've been swimming with him most days. He knows his stuff, which is handy when the lake is its current chilly temp. This is my first season of winter swimming, and I am much better off for swimming with someone who has done it before.

    I'm afraid VA isn't very friendly to open-water swimming. I may have to drive an hour to Sandy Point in MD every day. National Harbor is closer; maybe Denis can help there.

    Either way, I'd rather not miss a day, much less a week.

    Best,
    Greg
    I can't believe you're still swimming! how long do you stay in for these days? I'm unlikely to make it in until the New Year's dip
    It was quite capable in the water, perhaps a little on the slow side, but it wasn't impressed by my appearance.

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    Re: Potomac River open water, any advice from locals?

    I saw this link and got excited at the prospect of winter open water swims in NoVA / MD. I just recently moved back to this area from Chicago where there is year-round (ish) swimming in Lake Michigan and I was hoping for a similar experience here...I am up for participating with a group willing to swim outside where legal

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    Re: Potomac River open water, any advice from locals?

    Have you swum at Sandy Point? Is it just a roped off, lifeguarded area? Or can you swim for some distance without getting yelled at? How about bringing along a kayaker (so you can practice escorted marathons)?

    Second, I was reading an old post in a triathlete's blog, and someone there mentioned that they swim in the Potomac with an escort kayaker. The thing is, the kayak is a two-seater, and that person is pretty sure that is the reason why s/he hasn't been hassled by authorities. Anyone have any insight into that?
    --Mike Tyson (yes, my real name)

    https://blogs.marathonswimmers.org/ironmike/

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