49 Degrees at the Great Salt Lake Marina


The color of my skin matches the color of the sunset on the water!
I met Goody and Gords at the GSL Marina late this afternoon for the weekly Wasatch Front Polar Bear Club swim.  It's been a while since we have been out to the Great Salt Lake, so it was nice to be back.

The water temperature on the GSL Marina website was reported to be 42 degrees!  Everyone was excited to be getting in some pretty colder water.  However, when we measured the temperature near the boat ramp it was much higher.  Gords thermometer said about 47 and mine said 49.  I have still never been in water below 46 degrees and am excited for it to drop into the low 40's.

After watching a video about cold water survival, Goody wanted to have a safety plan in place.  His idea was to have one swimmer go at a time while the other two waited on shore in case of an emergency.  Gords was first and he got in without any hesitation.  He swam out to the marina entrance and back, about 350 yards.  I was up next and was planning on going about half that distance.  Once I stated going though, it didn't feel too bad so I kept going and turned around near the marina entrance (but not quite as far as Gords).  Goody was the last one to get in.  Rather than swim, he wanted to try running in place for a few minutes until he got over the cold water reflex (which according to the video above, lasts about 1 minute).

Gords at the end of his swim.
I've been waiting to get a picture with snow in it!
Goody after a few minutes in the water.
 When I was swimming back to the ramp I saw Goody and Gords talking with a couple people.  When I got out I was surprised to learn that it was Shirley Gorospe, who has been working on a documentary of the Great Salt Lake called Evaporating Shorelines.  We had been in contact a little through email earlier this year and she was going to come out and film the Inaugural Great Salt Lake Swim from the water, but ended up not being able to come.  She said that she wished she had her camera to get video of our polar bear swim and we all agreed to meet next week at 4:15pm so that she can get some video.  It would be really cool to get a whole bunch of people to show up next week when she has her camera.  If you've ever thought about taking a polar plunge with us, be sure to come next week!  Shirley also told us that she is screening a "rough draft" of the film on December 1 and invited Goody, Gords and I to attend.

I was telling Gords about the International Ice Swimming Association.  You can apply to be a member by completing an "ice swim" which is 1 mile in water that is 41 degrees or below.  They have all kinds of rules that you have to follow for your swim to count.  I don't know if I could, or would even want to, do a swim like that but I think Gords might be just crazy enough to try it.

In other cold water swimming news, the film Extreme Winter Swimming should be coming out soon.  Gords and I are both expecting copies when it is released and I thought it would be fun to get together to watch it.  More details when the film is released...


Katie said...

Great post! The picture of you in the water is a classic

Josh said...

Thanks Katie! I've been reading about your cold water experiences and am glad to hear that you are getting more acclimated to it.