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Night Swimming – Hagg Lake

August 7, 2007

This is my first night swimming training session and it took quite a bit of coordination.  I received permission from the Park Service as well as the Sheriff’s office (they patrol the lake) for which I’m very grateful.


This was to be a short swim of 1-2 hours.  Jane Barry would be the safety kayak on the water with me and Kim R and Tom W would be safety crew on shore.  Now Hagg lake is pretty comfortable training ground for me, so I thought it best to train at night somewhere I was comfortable. 


I personally love night swimming.  Heck it is one of my favorite songs (Night Swimming by REM – Check it out).  What I didn’t anticipate is being a little freaked out.  Ok more than a little.  I made a realization quickly as it really started to get dark.  I don’t do night swimming for training.  It has always been the tooling around in a lake swimming breaststroke with my head up.  Never before had I actually done night training, head down and get on with it swimming.  This was something new.  The lake started to get more inky black and I started to see less and less in the water.  I even started to get seasick as I was losing my sight lines, which I normally see when I turn my head to breathe.  Yes, Jane was there, but even she was becoming harder to see.  Plus I kept trying to anticipate her move, which she apparently wasn’t really making.  Needless to say my stroke which is normally pretty straight started to pull off to the right.  This didn’t surprise me as it was my right arm that was sore. 


We swam on for an hour and 20 minutes with me stopping pretty frequently to talk with Jane.  All in all a good introduction into the night swim.  The next one will be a longer swim where I swim into daylight, so start at something like 3am and swim into the dawn.  It should be very pretty.  Hopefully I’ll remember to bring my camera.


Swimming Notes:

  • Soundtrack:  Pink Floyd – Comfortably Numb and Night Swimming by REM
    • Pink Floyd’s Comfortably Numb has been playing around in my head alot lately when I get swimming.  I just checked out the lyrics and they seem very appropriate
  • I never knew that my friends wanted to go by code names.  We had walkie talkies for ship to shore communication.  I don’t recall Jane’s code name, but I do remember “Rosco”
  • While on a quiet lake, noises really do carry, especially laughter.
  • I now know what it is like to be a lightning bug.  I had a glow stick pinned to my bum.  For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out what glut muscles to contract to cause blinking.  Hmmm….something to ponder. 
  • Bats are attracted to glow sticks on the water.  Or maybe they are attracted to the bugs that are attracted to the glow sticks on my head and bum.
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One Response to “Night Swimming – Hagg Lake”

  1. Marisa says:

    If you’re doing any more night swimming, I have a flashing light vest you can use for your kayaker. But I guess that would make her more attractive to bats!

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