Thursday, September 10, 2015

Amazing Mighty Mac Swim Story

Next Swim:  Friday Sept 11th 6AM
Saturday and Sunday Sept 12th and 13th, 10AM both days

Last swims:  Wed and Thu Sept 9th and 10th, 6AM
Water Temp: 49 Wed, 50 Thu
Waves: Small
Water Clarity: Excellent
Wed Crew: Diablo, Itch, Gumdrop, Super Hera, Showgirl
Thu Crew: Itch, Diablo
Wetsuit/Skin: 3/4

Before I get to the amazing swim story, I have to apologize to Diablo, he pointed out that the "swim streak" counter had to be wrong.  I went back and checked.  The correct count is 80, not 70.  I blame my lack of Common Core math skills.  Anyhow, September 30th is the magic day when the streak will reach 100.  If we get there we'll have some sort of celebration for sure.

Now, here's another amazing story of an incredible Great Lake swim.  On Labor Day Steve Wolfe participated in the Mighty Mac swim across the Mackinaw Straight, parallel to the Mackinaw Bridge.  The straight is notorious for waves and currents. Here is his report.

On the night before, we met with other swimmers at the pasta dinner. The weather forecast was not looking great.  A storm system was tracking to hit just about the time the swim was going to start. Fortunately, the storm hit a little sooner than anticipated and it left calm air (and water) in its wake.  Everyone got a late start leaving the marina around 7 and not entering the water until about 8 am.
The swim itself was every bit as challenging as I had expected.  We swam along the east side of the bridge north to south.  Things started off calmly.  Water was 65 degrees and very minimal waves.  About an hour into the swim, the winds picked (12-15 mph) up and the calm gentle rollers turned into 3-4 foot waves.  In addition, the west to east current was stronger than anyone had anticipated.  Most teams were blown off course a bit.  The last 3-4 teams (including myself) landed far east of our intended landing spot.  The boat’s GPS claims we swam 8.5 miles.  I wouldn’t be surprised if it was closer to 9-10.  In total, we were in the water for a total of 6.5 hours.  I'd guess the water temp was about 62 in the middle of the straits.

There were two surprises during the swim.  First, a huge freighter came through the straits while we were swimming.  Prompting us to hop on our boat, travel south, and then back north after it had passed.  Second, myself and several others became severely sea sick due to the waves.  There is actually a pretty good video of the event at the following link.

Also, I had a wonderful opportunity on Saturday (5th) to do a training swim on Mackinac Island.  It was perfect.  Water was 68 degrees, sandy beach, and 30-40 foot visibility.  It made me a little jealous after our August of 48 degree temps.



Mark MeyerRD said...

Steve's mighty swim adventure and the slight uptick on the buoy temperature has inspired me to attempt a swim this evening if anyone is interested, although if I see a dead deer in the water I'm calling it quits.

Patriarch said...

Oh what the heck, I'll give it a shot. 6PM?

Mark MeyerRD said...

Yep, same bat time as usual.