I just finished reading Beth Barnes' book "Escort" on my new Kindle Fire last night. It was not only packed with useful information on how to paddle for an open water swimmer, but has also inspired me to think about swimming the Catalina Channel.
The book is based on Beth's experience guiding 20+ open water swimmers across the Catalina Channel as well as on training swims, marathons swims and open water races. She is clearly an expert on the subject and this book is a much needed guide for paddlers who are supporting open water swimmers.
Most of the book focuses on the Catalina Channel, but much of the information is general enough to carry over into paddling in other bodies of water.
Not only did I learn about what a professional paddler goes through while supporting a swim, I also learned some tips that will help me to be a better support paddler in the future. I would even suggest that support paddlers for the Great Salt Lake Open Water Swim and the Deer Creek Open Water Swim download and read the book before the events.
The book also did a good job of inspiring me think about a possible swim across the Catalina Channel. Depending on how my Bear Lake swim goes, I might make it a goal in the coming years. If nothing else I would really like to do a relay with my swimming friends.
I recommend "Escort" for both paddlers and swimmers. Right now it is only available as a Kindle download (you don't have to have a Kindle to read it though) and you can get a copy for only $3.99.