Monday, July 4, 2011

swimming calculations

After three months on the road, I'm finally home and settling in. The studio is cleaned up and I'm just about to start painting.

Swimming is getting good. Now that the winter storms are gone and the water is warm, the big challenge is distance. I'm back onto my goal of swimming from Gabriola Island to Entrance Island this summer, with a double-seater kayak as an escort.

My daily swim is going to be lengths of my local cove - from the point to the pub and back, multiple times. I need to do that three times to make up a kilometer, which is the distance to Entrance Island. I can easily swim one kilometer in a pool, but it's a different story with the waves and cold water sapping my energy away. Also:

Even at the best tides, I need to assume that I'm at least swimming perpendicular to a 1 knot current. I swim about 1 knot on average over long periods of time, so the water will be dragging me at the same speed I'm swimming. I need to aim for a different point than the island, and hope I hit it with the current. That also means I should assume I'll be swimming 1.5 km instead of 1 km. Maybe best to be comfortable with 2km, because the water will be colder and rougher out there.

I'll need to get a good marine chart and talk to some locals about this before I try it, obviously, and I have a lot of training to do to hit 2 kilometers at 1 knot in rough ocean. Eventually I'll probably start training by swimming a bit further out (but not in the shipping / fishing lanes, and not in the strong current areas).

I'm also having a hard time gauging when my body is getting too tired to swim. I don't know what that feels like. Next time I'm in Vancouver I'm going to hit a pool with a lifeguard and swim myself to near-exhaustion so I know what the signs are.

Off to paint..

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