Tuesday, June 10. 2008
So on May 31st I traveled across the country to visit San Francisco and swim from the Golden Gate to the Bay Bridge. The swim was 10k, 6.2miles for my American fans. I was worried that 6.2miles wasn't going to be quite tough enough so I decided to make the trip out there hard. Get out your maps and Red Indiana Jones markers please. I drove from my apartment in Ridgewood, New Jersey to the West Chester County Airport in New York and flew on a prop plane down to Philadelphia. Then I got on another plane to Los Angeles California where I linked up with my brother Zach. We then drove up the coast on a 6hour drive to San Fran. By the time we finally arrived there Friday night I had been traveling for 18hours. We stayed at the Argonaut Hotel right across from the swim clubs and the Aquatic park. I thought it would be a good idea to get a practice swim in before the actual event. Well I thought it was a good idea until I went down there and felt how cold the water was, then I just wanted to get some dinner and go to sleep.
The next morning Zach and I woke up early and drove to the Kayak start thinking the Kayak and swim start were the same. They weren't, the swim start was back at the hotel, it's fun when us knuckleheads travel together, so finally we get where were all supposed to be. I'm hanging out with the other swimmers meeting some really cool people like Jimmy from SF and Rooney from SoCa. When we finally get on the boat it is cold, I think the air temp was colder than the water temp. I took off my shirt to put some super greasy sunblock on, prevent chaffing and UVs, and then I was sitting there in jeans and a swim cap (and Hudson River swim baseball cap) shivering. One of the event directors was a little worried. She came over and was like, "Darling I wish you would put your shirt on your making me nervous." I told her I was trying to get a little cold so I wouldn't suffer so much in the water and then her and another event director, Coach Pedro, talked to me to double check my swimming resume. Convinced I could swim they let me shiver.
So finally we get under the Golden Gate and it was awesome, the expanse of that bridge is amazing and to see it from the water was simply breath taking. Then the real excitement began. They start yelling at us to get ready, and two minutes, and like paratroopers getting reading to jump we start lining up to jump while the boat is still driving, and sure enough 1 by 1 we all jump in. The water didn't feel nearly as bad as you would imagine even though it was 53degrees and I was only wearing my Army Polo speedo because we had our adrenaline keeping us warm. Once that wore off I had all the support from you all at home keeping me motivated and warm. They sounded the horn and we were off. It took forever for Zach to find me out of the 40 swimmers there. Once he finally did I was like hey lets take some pictures. Even though it was technically a race we were in the middle of San Francisco bay and it was too cool not to take some pictures. If you look close in one of the pictures you can see Alcatraz behind Zach. It wasn't our first time seeing Alcatraz though, were no strangers to the Rock, and no its not because we're hardened criminals like Clint Eastwood, it's cause we escaped from there back in '06. I even took 3rd place in age group w/out wetsuit then. Anyway, we kept going past the Rock, past the Port of San Francisco and all the way to the Bay Bridge. All in all it took me 1:49minutes, not too shabby.
I didn't even feel that bad when I got out. Zach and I didn't spend much time in San Fran though, we hoped in his BMW and drove a respectable Zachary speed back to Surf City, Huntington Beach, where as you know from the old song there are two girls for every boy, but we were worried more about how many waves there are for every boy because we headed out into the Pacific for some dusk and night surfing. We woke up early the next morning and I did some recovery surf training at sunrise in 58 degrees water. I was the only surfer in just board shorts and a rash guard.
It was a fantastic trip, a great swim and I could not have done any of it without the support of you all and my brother and the rest of family like my mother and other brother who have to work twice as hard when I take off to go on these adventures. I can't wait to go to England and I hope I continue to make you all proud. Thanks! Keep supporting me. http://www.active.com/donate/hudsonswim08/englishchannel
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