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Night Swimming – Round 2

August 22, 2007

How do you think one of my friend’s would love to start their birthday celebration?  By getting 3 hours of sleep and helping me do a night swim of course!  As you can see, there are lots of people making a lot of sacrifices for my dream, which I am eternally grateful.


Elizabeth’s Birthday Muffin:

Elizabeth's Birthday Muffin

At Saturday morning/Friday night 2:20am, Jane, Elizabeth and Kim R all met me just outside the Henry Hagg Lake park reserve.  We drove into the lake area and unpacked to start a long swim of 7 hours.  I was testing a new rash guard and a new pair of clear goggles, which are necessary when swimming in the dark.  Now I personally dislike clear goggles as I don’t like people to see my eyes as I swim.  I like to add that intimidation factor with mirrored goggles.  I have dropped the mirrored goggle and switched to smoke as mirrored were just a little too dark.  Ok enough about goggles.


I of course turned myself into a lightning bug again my attaching glow sticks to my suit and cap.  I also attached some light sticks to the front and back of the safety kayak.  Jane had the first 2 hour stint with me out on the water.  She guided, watched the time, and made sure I took my feedings.  Unlike the first night swim, I didn’t get sea sick and wasn’t as nervous.  Maybe it was because I was starting at night rather than starting at dusk and loosing the light.   I honestly can say that during these 2 hours, I had absolutely no idea where I was on the lake.  From what Jane said, we also had less batty visitors during this swim.


Getting Geared Up:

The Crew Getting Ready

Jane and the Kayak

Michelle Getting Greased



Lightning Bug:

Lightning Bug


Setting out into the dark:

 Setting out into the dark


The second 2 hours shift was taken by Kim R.  It was now around 5am and the light was just starting to come up.  The sky started to turn from black to light grey. Kim also started noticing my eyes.  She mentioned over the two-way radio that I looked like a zombie.  I have to be honest, I was most likely zoned out at the time.   See this is the reason I wear dark goggles.  Oh well. 


Round 3 – Elizabeth took over.    We were tooling around the lake in the beautiful sunshine.  It was just amazing.  The lake was calm (I know I know not good practice).  There were only a few fisherman out on the lake and one water skier.  All in all very calm.  With this being Elizabeth’s first foray out in a kayak, I would give her an A+ as she had to manage direction, time, feedings, etc.  Not easy to handle when you are just learning how to kayak.  


With 6 hours completed, the decision was made that since it was light I would do a quick normal lap of Hagg Lake (swim from Boat Ramp C to Sain Creek up the right side of lake to no wake zone and back again).  During this time, the girls would pack up the cars and kayak.  I was very sore at this point, but off I went.  I figured that once I completed the lap I would just get out.  Jane had very different plans.  I returned to the starting point and she just looked at me, shook her head and said “That’s only 6:40. Get going”  Now this is just what I need in a crew member, the will to push me further.  I went off for another shorter lap.  As I came back in, I stayed out a ways while shouting “Am I done yet?”  Jane calmly said, “Yeah, you can come in”  I knew that if I swam all the way in and she told me that I wasn’t done that it would be very difficult for me to swim away for one more round.  All in all I swam 7 hours 1 minute and 38 seconds, my longest swim to date.


Thank you Elizabeth for starting your big birthday celebration by kayaking and sitting huddled on the beach.  Thank you to Jane and Kim for the support and working on a feeding apparatus.  Also thanks for pointing out that I probably didn’t consume enough food to keep my energy level up during that last hour.  We will work on changing this in the future.


Swim Notes:

  • Surprisingly not many songs went through my head.  At least none that I remember.  I felt more robotic on this training swim.
  • I did have a large hankering for french toast when the sun came up though.  I even shouted it out at one point.  (Note: I never did get a chance to get some french toast.)
  • Goggles need to be loosened when you put a light stick in the strap.  Critical to do this before starting swim and getting headache.
  • Make sure to have a change of goggles ready when the sun comes up as clear goggles can be too bright when it is a sunny day. 
  • The new rashguard works fantastically.  I’m switching from my home mixture.  The rashguard is Headhunter Rashguard.  It is made for surfers.  2 thumbs up in my book.  I will continue to test it in the next two weekends when I complete my split Channel swims.
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