Darren Osborne, ready to go! Gulliver's, May 8, 2010 (58F)
Darren Osborne, ready to go! Gulliver's, May 8, 2010 (58F)

That’s right, participation was up 100% from last week!  Last week it was just me… and this week it was Darren Osborne and me!  It started with Darren and I getting our wires crossed about who was driving, we live about 3 blocks apart and both ended up driving there!  The weather was quite something, huge winds (all I could think was that I was glad I wasn’t biking today!), rain and big black clouds… oh, yeah and the air temp was 8C.  Not all that warm.  The water had warmed up a whopping 2F since last week, to a toasty 58F. 

So Darren and I got there at 8:00 am, an hour before it opened (they said that was alright and we just paid on our way out).  I was planning on swimming 3 laps / kms, but just did 2.  Same as last week.  I was fine for most of the way, temperature wise, but started seeing black spots near the end of my second lap and was getting a little chilly, so I bailed on the third lap. 

Probably a bit TMI, but the good news was that I was able to pee.  Now you might think that is irrelevent at best and gross at worst… but it is actually quite important.  It is a key indicator of hypothermia or at least it can be.  When I swam the English Channel, it was probably the main reason I didn’t make it all the way across.  You see when I was feeding in the EC I took 500ml every 1/2 hour… and swam for over 12 hours… so that is 12 liters of fluid… but I never pee’d.  This ended up causing over-hydration and eventually pulmonary edema, which forces body fluid into your lungs (mountain climbers often get this too).  Once my lungs filled up with water, then I didn’t get enough oxygen to my muscles (so I slowed down) and didn’t get enough oxygen to my brain (so I wasn’t lucid and eventually went unconscious)… so they pulled me out only a few km from France.  So you see that is the long way around telling you why I was quite excited that I was able to pee!  Just something to keep in mind!

Darren running into the water to escape the fox!
Darren running into the water to escape the fox!

Darren did very well too, he was all bundled up like he was going under the polar ice cap!  He had the wetsuit, the booties, the mitts and the neoprene cap!  And when we were done his comment as I was standing there shaking was “man, I can’t believe how warm I was!”  So let that be a lesson to you all, you can be toasty warm in a wetsuit in 58F water!

The other cool thing was when Darren spotted a fox carrying away a duck he had

 killed, then we saw a second one too.  Foxes are very cool animals, no real fear at all, they would come within about 10 feet or so… and then trot off.  I missed the best pics but got some pretty cool ones. 

Anyway, a good time was had by all… hope to increase the attendence by 100% next week too!



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I founded LOST Swimming because I like open water swimming and would like to see it grow and thrive in Lake Ontario. I started as a competitive swimmer as a kid and ended up getting as far as a silver medal at Nationals and going to the Olympic Trials in 1988. But I retired after that, I was sick of swimming. So I got into running marathons and have run over 35 to date, as well as a few ultra marathons, including the Marathon des Sables (7 day, ultra across the Sahara Desert). I also kind of fell into triathlons and have done a handful of Ironman tri's too. This gradually got me back in the water and in 2006 I took the plunge and attempted swimming the English Channel. I didn't quite make it across, but the circle was now complete and after 17 years I was a swimmer again! Although I still do plenty of pool swimming, I now much prefer open water swimming and like to say that open water swimming is to pool swimming, what trail running is to treadmill running! As a result I hope to encourage more people to join me for a dip in Lake Ontario as often as we can!


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