11.04.2011

48.5 Degrees at Bountiful Lake

Three of the Wasatch Front Polar Bears (Gords, Goody and Josh)
Tonight was our weekly Wasatch Front Polar Bear Club swim at Bountiful Lake.  When my family and I got there a little after 5:30, Gords, Goody and Cathi were already in the parking lot.  Last Saturday the water temperature was 51 degrees and I thought it might be about the same today.  Oh, was I wrong!  Gords measured the water temp at 48.5 degrees!  That's getting close to the same temperature that we started swimming in at the start of the year.

Goody and I stripped off some layers of clothes and headed to the dock.  I got my official WFPBC hoodie tonight and it was cool to see the three of us in our "uniforms".  We had decided to swim from the dock back to the boat ramp.  At the dock, we stripped off the rest of our clothes and, without warning, Gords jumped in and started swimming.  The more I think about the water and how cold it's going to feel, the more I psych myself out, so I jumped in after Gords.  I wanted to swim hard to the boat ramp, partly because I knew it was going to be cold, but also because it was only 200 yards.  I took off after hitting the water and was so focused on going fast and getting my breathing under control that I didn't sight.  When I finally took a peek at where I was I noticed I was way off course and I could hear Goody yelling at me.  I corrected my course and finished the swim.  I was able to keep my face in the water pretty much the whole time.  As I got near the boat ramp, the "burning" cold was just starting to wear off and I was thinking that I could have stayed in a little longer.

My new piece of cold water swimming gear: The Poler Magic Tarp-It
My friend Rachel's family has started a cool company called Poler.  They make camping stuff and apparel.  I really like the look of their products, you should check them out!  I was especially excited to find a product they call the "Magic Tarp-It" and ordered one as soon as they were back in stock.  Basically the Magic Tarp-It is a tarp lined with Mylar (same material as emergency blankets) with a hood and a place to put your hands.  I've been excited to put it to the test ever since it arrived earlier this week.  After I got out of the water, Cathi helped me wrap up in my towel and Sabrina helped me get the Magic Tarp-It on.  My experience with Mylar blankets is that you don't immediately warm up with them.  They are excellent at reflecting body heat back at your body, but after swimming in 48.5 degree water, my body wasn't very warm when I put it on.  After wearing it for a while, I did feel warmer.  The one thing it did really well was block the wind.  This alone helped me to warm up faster.  I will post a better review with some more pictures later.

I had a lot of fun with my friends tonight and wished that Jake could have been there too.  I can't wait to see how much colder the water is next week!  I invite anyone to come and join us.  Even if all you want to do it "plunge" (jump in and right back out).  It is an experience that you won't forget (and you can also brag to your friends about it).  Check the Wasatch Front Polar Bear Club Facebook page for details on the next swim.

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