Date: December 11th
Time in water: 10:50
Water Temp: 42°F
Air Temp: 50°F, raining, windy
Where: Broughton Beach
I sat at my desk at home, watching the rain hit in sheets on my window, and I checked every once in a while for an email or text saying the swim was off. Nothing. Well, this crowd is nothing if not tough, but we’ll see, I thought.
The drive over was terrifying; the right lane of Columbia Blvd was half under water, and despite it being 3:30pm, it was dark. When I finally got there, one person was there, sheltering in his truck. We chatted, he didn’t seem particular phased by the weather. I climbed back in my car and waited for the swimmer of honor, as this swim and post-swim happy hour was a send off for a swimmer headed down to circumnavigate Coronado Island.
When they pulled up we all huddled around, and the rain let up a bit. Our support crew said, “Let’s not stand around and chat this time, if you’re swimming get going so I can eat!” There was no talk of not swimming. Just a casual mention of the wind blowing across the water (away from shore, of course).
We went to our cars and changed inside; of course we were swimming. I don’t know why I doubted it.
Once I got out of the car I did not hesitate, I just marched down the beach and into the water. It was cold. I mean, obviously it was cold. But we thought it may be 45 before we got in. It was not 45. I hug the shore so close that I could stand at any moment; I did not feel like getting swept out by the wind and causing any kind of panic right before someone else’s trip. My hands felt very cold, but otherwise I felt pretty good, even though I had a pretty bad headache earlier and my stomach was only so-so.
I think I could have stayed in another few minutes, but I decided to get out when I arrived back at the start point. I ran out of the water and to my car, since I didn’t have shoes or a towel or anything. The rain had resumed during the swim, but strangely the wind felt very warm on my way back to the car. I will have to remember my crappy shoes next time, the beach was painful on cold, numb feet.
My recovery was fast, it helped to be changing in a heated car. Afterwards we went to Salty’s for a proper send off, although I thought we were going to some kind of dive bar, but instead we went somewhere very fancy, me wearing wool running tights, furry boots and my yeti hat. Sounds about right.