Kachemak Bay a confusion of Press

Last month, before the Cape May swim, I was in Alaska.  I mentioned before I meant to be in the Bering Strait but instead I was in Ketchikan, Anchorage and Homer.  I was re-entering a dream from 2011 of plotting a course across cook inlet.  I got together with people from AOOS and Cook Inlet keeper and spoke to local fishermen and rig tenders trying to understand the interplay of tide and current, wind and water in a place with some of the largest tidal swings in the world.

With guidance from these sources I chose a swim across Kachemak bay as a trial run of our models and ideas.  Kachemak is bordered on one side by Homer AK, it opens into Cook Inlet and share the tides but it is the inlet writ small.  This bay attracts fish Orcas (and tourists) although Beluga whales used to frequent it, today they stay away, perhaps their reduced population is not enough to brave the Orcas (who will prey upon them).  Large ships sit behind the spit in Homer await a change in tide to help carry them up towards Anchorage.  The town is a tourist spot and near the west most point on the continental USA highway system.

The swim was quite interesting and at the end very cold where there is glacial runoff.  The runoff part was a bit of a surprise as its both very cold and freshwater floating on top of salt so the swimmer sinks.  Other than this surprise the rest was great.  The wind held off, we launched at the correct portion of tide and tidal current to be pulled a bit away from the land at the start and pushed towards at the end, until I encountered the glacial runoff which ran perpendicular to the ocean current pushing me along the land.

What came next was press.  I hadn’t’ dealt with the press in a while and hadn’t’ prepared a press release.  I thought it wouldn’t’ matter but in the end each tale was confused.  What is so: it was my birthday but not my 40th, I swam the bay solo, in the past a group of 4 and another group of 2 crossed on the same day in wetsuits, they were not with me at the time.  Liz organized that previous swim.  I also swam across Sitka sound solo, later we organized a race (Sitka sound adventure swim that became the change your latitude swim in later years).  http://www.anchoragepress.com/news/going-naked/article_f92f550e-1b50-11e3-8335-0019bb2963f4.html?mode=jqm

I love the graphics form this and the round-up of Alaska open water swimmers, in the past such a thing was unheard of!





Catching Up

Last summer I broke my nose, it was sort of a sharks fault but mostly human error.  I’ll tell you about it soon.  Then I swam in Ketchikan and Sitka, helped host the race there.  When I returned I had surgery on the nose.  During recovery I interacted with some other good swimming friends from around the world and joined up with the Meeting of the Sun group forming an international relay team to try to swim across the Bering Strait.  I’ve joined with the organizing board to help figure out logistics.  There’s the incredibly cold water, the long distance from civilization but then the fun challenge of working with swimmers from all over the world.  I look forward to learning more about our brethren from Russia and the rest of Europe as well as Asia and South Africa.  Of course political issues are a concern and there are visas and permissions that the founders and their “angels’ have worked tireless to secure.  Now we are getting to the “fun stuff’ like press, training and fund raising.  More on that soon too.  I’ll get some pictures and tales from last summer up soon, now that i can breathe again!