First pre-season LOST swim!!!

First pre-season LOST swim of 2010! May1, 56F
First pre-season LOST swim of 2010! May1, 56F

So I just got back from the first pre-season swim at Gulliver’s Lake. (you can find the link to their website under the “Link” tab at the top, I believe it is #12).  I was hoping someone would join me… but not surprised that no one else was that, um, stupid.

But, much to my surprise, I wasn’t the only one there!  There was about 20 other swimmers there too!  I know, you are saying “ya, right”… well, there is a bit of a catch… they were all scuba divers… in full body wetsuits and several in dry suits too.  So when I walked up and got in with them… in my little speedo… well, as one of them said when I got out, “you realize, we all think you’re crazy”.  I was shocked, naturally, no one has ever said that to me before!  Okay, maybe one or two… but it kind of comes with the territory.

Anyway, I asked if any of them knew the temperature?  I had asked at the gate and they thought it was probably around 55F (12C), but the divers said it was about 60F (16C), so I walked in up to my knees and checked it out… didn’t seem too bad.  I didn’t check it myself… because… well, I didn’t really want to know the answer if it wasn’t… at least until after the swim. 

So off I went.  It was cold, but tolerable.  I did one lap, 1 km, in about 17 minutes.  Thought about it and was still warm enough, so I went for another.  Total of about 40 minutes and maybe a bit over 2km.  I was debating doing another lap.  It was a short debate.  I saw all the divers exiting the water after the same amount of time as me.  They saw lightning and rain and were getting out.  I made it seem like that was why I was getting out too.  But it wasn’t.  I was cold.  I asked the divers if any of them had gotten the temp when we were in… it was 56F (13C)… just as well that I didn’t know that when I was swimming.

Rob and Divers at Gullivers Lake, May 1, 2010 (56F)
Rob and Divers at Gullivers Lake, May 1, 2010 (56F)

Funny thing is I wasn’t that cold when I got out, not shivering or anything, looked pretty non-chalant about the whole thing in front of my new swimming friends.  I got someone to take a picture of me and a couple of the divers in their full gear, just for the website.  Then about 10 minutes later I went and got changed… and that’s when the shivering started.  I shook for the whole 45 minute drive home.  It was kinda funny actually.  (Of course, hypothermia can be very serious, as I have almost died from it on a few occasions, so I’m very aware of it and know the stages well… and this was no big deal.)  Anyway, all safe and sound at home.  Feel free to join me tomorrow if you like.  Email me back if you are coming to confirm the time, as Jillian and Maisey are at a swim meet in Etobicoke and I have to make sure Joanne has it all arranged.  [email protected].

I included a couple of pics with my new friends from the “Steel City Sport Divers”.  I added their website to the “Links” page if you are interested in diving.  They seem like a friendly and knowledgable group and said they they travel to even more exotic locations than Gulliver’s Lake… like Bonaire, Belize and Roatan!  Maybe I’m in the wrong sport! 



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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!