After checking the weather forecast all week, today looked like it would be the best day for swimming. I was excited to get out to the Great Salt Lake for the first time this year.
When I pulled up to the marina it was pretty windy. I got my thermometer and headed down to Silver Sands Beach. On the beach, I met Kate who was there to swim. She said she had seen online that the water temperature was 54 degrees. I had a hard time keeping my thermometer in the water because the wind was making a lot of waves that kept washing it back to the shore. When I pulled it out it read 56 degrees, but I don't know if I left it in long enough. I put my hand in and it actually felt nice, I would have guessed around 55 by touch.
After watching the waves and whitecaps for a while, Kate decided that she was going to back out of the swim. I completely understood her decision, it was ROUGH out there. I decided to stick it out and see if it got any better.
Jake showed up a little later with my dad and grandma. By that time, the wind had calmed down a little bit. My grandma was telling me that they used to come out to Black Rock Beach when she was younger. We walked up to the lookout point and I showed them where the 1 mile Great Salt Lake Open Water Swim would be. It is going to be an awesome course for spectators. You can see the starting point and half of the course from the lookout point.
The clouds were getting darker and we decided to get in before the weather took a turn for the worse. There were a few people around and a couple ladies started taking pictures of us from a ways off while we were getting ready. As we walked down to the boat ramp, about 10 people followed us to see what we were up to. We waded in until the water was about waist high and they dove in. One side of my goggles started filling up with water right away and was stinging my eye. Lucky me.
We swam out of the marina and out into the open lake. The water was much rougher here since it was less protected. We swam out to one of the racing buoys and then followed the line back towards the lookout point and Silver Sands Beach. Jake and I were surprised to see that the crowd had all moved over to the lookout point and were all watching us. We stopped and waved and then kept going. The swim back was fun since the wind and waves were pushing us. It was kind of like body surfing at times.
As I was heading towards the beach to get out, I suddenly hit my arm on a sharp rock. After I got out of the water I noticed that I had a couple scratches that were bleeding on my forearm. I also had a little scratch on my ankle from another rock. Jake was smarter and went around the rocky area to the beach and got out with out much trouble. It was fun to run through the knee high water along the beach.
I guess the crowd had given up on us because by the time we got back up to the parking lot, only my dad and grandma were left. We got dried off and Jake checked his GPS that he had tucked into his cap. We had been in the water about 15 minutes and swam a little less than half a mile. Not bad considering we stopped several times to talk, wave at the tourists and pick out way through the rocks.
It was a fun swim and I was completely comfortable at that water temperature. Even after getting out and standing wet in the wind, I didn't shake at all. I'm already looking forward to the next good weather day to head out to the Great Salt Lake again.