8.31.2011

Free Open Water Clinics by USTrisports at Stansbury Lake

US Trisports is offering two free open water clinics in the coming week.  The clinics will be held at Stansbury Lake, home of the Stansbury Tri, near Tooele.  As a past participant of the Stansbury Tri, I can say it's a great race and a great venue.  This year they are offering an Aqua-Velo division, which is just the swim and bike portions (no running!).

The first clinic will be this coming Saturday September 3 at 9:00am and the second will be a week from today on Wednesday September 7 at 5:30pm.

I have been to a couple of these clinics in the past and have always learned something new and had a good time.  I am hoping to go to the one on Saturday, if so I will probably end up going for a swim afterwards.  If you are interested in attending, you can reserve your spot by clicking here.  You can also register for the tri or aqua-velo by clicking here.

8.29.2011

Mental Workout


When my alarm went off this morning, I really did not want to get up.  I laid in bed for a while trying to think of a good excuse to sleep in, but couldn't find one.  Finally, I got out of bed and headed out to GSL.

I got to the marina a little later than usual and saw Gords' car in the parking lot.  I didn't see him inside so I figured he must have gone ahead (I was about 15 minutes late after all...).  When I got out of my car, I looked out to the furthest red buoy and saw him swimming towards it.

I got in the water and started swimming out of the marina.  I wanted to just take it easy this morning, but my arms felt like lead the whole way down to Black Rock and I couldn't get in a good rhythm.  I was already in kind of a bad mood because I wanted to sleep in and struggling on the first mile was not helping my attitude.

I got an email from Steve Spencer about a DVD of the Great Salt Lake Open Water Swim that his family had made.  On the way down to Black Rock, I was thinking that it would be cool if someone made a short documentary about swimming in the Great Salt Lake, kind of a "then and now" kind of thing.

I stopped for a drink at Black Rock.  There is a porta potty out there now!  I don't know if it will be permanent or if it was left over from an event, but it would be kind of cool if they left it out there.  As I looked back towards the marina, I saw Gords making his way down the Gridley Straight.  We crossed paths, but neither of us stopped.

They say that 80% of open water swimming is mental and only 20% is physical.  Today was definitely a mental workout.  I would have much rather been in bed and I struggled to find a good pace and relaxed stroke the whole time.  In the end, I'm glad that I went.  I didn't put up great times, but I accomplished what I set out to do and felt better once I had finished.

8.24.2011

Swim 2 of 2


It doesn't happen very often, but I got to swim twice today!  The first swim was this morning at the Great Salt Lake Marina with Gords and the second was with Kate at Blackridge this evening.

When we got to the reservoir, Kate and her family were already there.  We brought one of our kayaks to play around on and got it unloaded and hauled it down to the beach.  The water was 72 degrees and felt refreshing, especially compared to the Great Salt Lake.  The water was a little murkier than I expected, but still better than Bountiful Lake.

Since I had already swam once today, I kept this workout pretty short and just enjoyed being in the water.  I did two sets of swimming one length easy and then sprinting back.  The reservoir is pretty small (only about 175 yards long according to Google Maps), but is a nice place to swim.  A couple times I was surprised to find myself swimming through some big plants (even out in the middle of the reservoir).

The rest of the evening was spent playing on the beach and taking the boys for rides on the kayak.  It was good to meet Kate's family and our boys had fun playing her her son.

Swim 1 of 2

Sunrise at the Great Salt Lake Marina.
I got to the GSL marina a little early this morning and watched the sunrise until Gords got there.  Two locations on the Great Salt Lake (Antelope Island and Saltair) recently made the list of the top 10 places to view a Utah sunset by the Salt Lake Tribune.  I would say that GSL is an equally good place to watch the sun rise.

This morning was my first of two swims for the day (the second will be later this evening at Blackridge Reservoir).  I only had time to do one lap of the Gridley Straight because of a physical therapy appointment (more on that later).

The first mile felt pretty good.  I felt like my stroke rate was pretty high and that I was making good time.  I sucked in a bug on one breath and it took me a little while to recover.  I was able to stay pretty close to Gords the whole way down.  We took a quick break for water before heading back to the marina.

I felt pretty good on the way back and was keeping more or less even with Gords.  His stroke looked really smooth and it didn't seem like he was even trying.  After a while (maybe halfway), he started speeding up and I decided to try to hang with him.  I didn't quite keep up, but was only a few body lengths behind.  At the marina entrance, we talked for quite a while while laying back on our SSD's.  

There didn't seem to be much current this morning and my splits for each mile were about the same.  As we floated near the buoy, neither of us really drifted towards Black Rock.

Gords left for another loop (bringing his total mileage at GSL to 137!) and I went to my first physical therapy session.

After seeing a new doctor last week, the pain I have been feeling seems to be caused by my pec muscle pulling on my clavicle.  He could definitely see, and feel, the swelling at my appointment.  The doctor sent me to physical therapy to try to strengthen and stretch the muscles in that area to, hopefully, relieve the pain and keep it from getting worse.  The pain was actually pretty minimal today even after the morning's swim.  The physical therapist asked me a bunch of questions and then did some strength and mobility tests, all of which came out pretty good.  Apparently, I almost have the arm rotation to be a good pitcher.  He pinpointed the area that has been bothering me and showed me some stretches and exercises to strengthen, not only my chest muscles, but back and shoulder muscles as well.  I left with some stretchy bands, a beach ball, and a bunch of exercises to do in the next two weeks before my follow-up appointment.  I am optimistic that these exercises are going to help.

Next swim will be this evening at Blackridge Reservoir in Herriman.  Since the reservoir is pretty small, I'm planning on doing some speed work.  I also have an idea to draw a picture using my GPS and swimming...I hope to see you there!

8.22.2011

Gridley Straight x 2

Two laps of the "Gridley Straight"
I met Gords at the GSL Marina this morning a little before 6:30am.  I want to bump up my weekly mileage a little before Slam the Dam and my goal was to do two laps of the Gridley Straight (about 4 miles) today.

I felt pretty sluggish for about the first 1/4 mile and then started to warm up.  I was keeping a pretty relaxed pace and was surprised to see that I had finished the first mile in about 25 minutes.  That's a pretty good one mile time for me and I was surprised because I hadn't been pushing it at all.

After we took a quick break to get a drink, we headed back to the marina.  When I finished the second mile I looked at my watch expecting to see about the same time, but instead it was about 30 minutes.

At the end of the third mile I checked my watch again and it was about 25 minutes again.  By this time I started to suspect that the inflow of water east of the marina must have been pushing us along on the way out the Black Rock and we must have been fighting against it on the way back.

Gords kicked my butt on the last mile!  I had stayed pretty close on the first three but he left me behind big time on the last one.  I clocked my last mile at over 30 minutes.

You can see in the chart below that my speed was faster on the first and third miles and slower on the second and fourth.  The only explanation I can come up with is the current from where the Jordan River comes into the lake.  It's kind of weird because you don't really notice being pushed along, even when you are stopped.


Gords was waiting on the boat ramp when I finished.  There was a swarm of tourists right down at the edge of the water.  We kind of had our backs to them and one guy yelled "Sir!  Hey, Sir!"  I turned around and he asked me if I could float in the water.  I laid on my back and my feet popped right up and there was a collective "ooooooh".  The guy wanted to see if I could float without the SSD, so I took it off and did it again.  A few of the tourists were taking pictures, which I though was kind of funny.  Another guy asked us "Is the water really salty? Like, super salty?"  Um, yeah that's why it's called the Great Salt Lake!

8.18.2011

Swimming My Name - Take 1

Beautiful evening at the Great Salt Lake Marina.

I saw a new doctor this morning at TOSH about the pain in my right clavicle.  This guy was much better than the other doctor I saw.  He spent a lot of time asking me questions and was really trying to figure out what was wrong.  We came to the conclusion that it probably is not a stress fracture and is most likely just strain from the pec muscle pulling on the bone where the muscle attaches.  He prescribed physical therapy to strengthen and stretch the muscle.  I start next week and am hopeful that it will help.

This evening I met Kate and Rachel at the Great Salt Lake Marina (thanks for letting me crash your party!).  Kate has been swimming a few times at GSL and swam the 1 mile at the inaugural Great Salt Lake Open Water Swim, but it was Rachel's first time.

Yikes!
We spent a while checking out the massive spider population before getting in the water.  It was hot outside and the water was pretty warm and it wasn't nearly as refreshing as I had hoped.

The three of us swam out of the marina and into the open lake.  As we were hanging out by the mouth of the marina, a sailboat came out and we waived and said hello to the people on the boat.

I decided to try to "swim my name", using the two green buoys at reference points.  It was a lot harder than I thought it would be!  I tried counting my strokes to make the letters even, but I think I was drifting a little.  I thought I had figured out how to work my GPS so that I could stop it after each letter and reset it so that I could have an image of each individual letter.  I guess I didn't hold the reset button long enough between letters because when I got out, it had recorded one continuous swim of 1.65 miles...nuts.

Anyway, you can see the results of my first try below.  You can see each individual letter (J O S H).  I thought the "O" and "S" were going to be messed up, but they actually turned out better than I though.  The letter I thought would be the easiest, "H", turned out the worst.  If you click on "View Details" in the bottom right corner and then "Player" in the upper right corner you can watch the patch I swam.


Next time I will figure out my GPS before I get in the water.  The "Swim Your Name" contest is going on until September 30 if you want to participate.  I will be giving away a Splish.com gift certificate to the winner...check out the rules here.

Swim Your Name Contest

My friend and fellow Great Salt Lake Open Water race director, Gords, is always looking to try new things in open water.  His latest idea was to swim a cursive letter "G" in the Great Salt Lake using his GPS to trace his course.  You can see the results of his swim below:

Here is the cursive "G" Gords was trying to duplicate in the water. (Photo from Gords Swim Log)
And here is the result.  Pretty good for a first try! (Photo from Gords Swim Log)

I like this idea so much that I have already planned out how I am going to "swim my name" at Bountiful Lake, using the two islands as reference points.  I've even gone a step further and decided to hold a "Swim Your Name" contest for readers of the blog.  The rules are outlined below:

1)  SWIM one or more letters in any body of open water, using a GPS device to record the results.  You can swim your initial(s) or your whole name.

2)  Use a GPS device to capture your swim.  (I have had good results with a Garmin Forerunner 305 tucked under my cap).

3)  Send an aerial image with the GPS overlay (like the picture above) to joshuakgreen@gmail.com.

4)  You can use landmarks and natural features as reference points, but you may NOT have another person guide you.

5)  Submit your entry by September 30.

6)  Have fun!

I will post any contest entries I get on the blog as well as the Facebook page.  I will figure out a way to have everyone vote for a winner.  It wouldn't be a contest without a prize, right?  Since several of you have been teasing me about my wild swimsuits, the winner will get a gift certificate to Splish.com so you can get your own crazy suit!

I can't wait to see what you guys come up with!

8.17.2011

Josh Green Loop - Virtual Open Water Swim

The "Josh Green Loop Virtual Open Water Swim" course.
Before you read the title of this post and think, "Wow! That guy really has an ego!", let me explain...

My friend Gords surprised me by putting together an awesome virtual open water swim competition.  He did me the great honor of giving the competition my name.  The Josh Green Loop Virtual Open Water Swim is a free "virtual" swim, which means that it can be completed on your own time.  The course is at Bountiful Lake and is 0.7 miles.  It starts at the boat ramp and goes west, around the second island, and back.  To participate, all you have to do it take a picture or video at the start and end of your swim as well as the time on your stopwatch.  Results are submitted directly to Gords, who will post them on his blog as well as on Openwaterpedia.  The person holding the fastest time will be given a sweet trophy which is passed to new swimmers as the record is broken.  Gords set the standard last week at 18:50.

Seeing how the competition bears my name, I had to take a shot at it...

It really wasn't this dark when I started, I think it's because of the flash.
I got to the lake at about 6:00am this morning to make my attempt.  I got in the water and swam 50 yards or so to get used to the water temp and then got back out to start my time.  I hit the "start" button on the GPS in my cap and rushed into the water.  When I dove in, my goggles filled up with water on one side and I had to stop to empty them out...nice way to start a timed race.

I felt like I went out too fast and was having trouble getting my breathing under control, but I also didn't want to slow down.  I knew I was going to have to push it to get close to Gords' time.  The islands are deceiving.  I wanted to stay close so that I didn't end up swimming more than I had to, but I got too close a couple times and started scraping the bottom with my hands.  I had to quickly adjust my course to get into deeper water.

At the halfway point, I was feeling OK.  I rounded the second island and headed back.  By this time my goggles had fogged and I couldn't seen anything when I lifted my head to sight.  I was just guessing where I needed to go.  Finally I had to stop and rinse them out so that I could see.  By the time I got around the first island they had fogged up again and I found myself going off course.  By this time I was breathing about every stroke.  One one breath I saw a couple guys in a canoe and it kind of scared me because I wasn't expecting anyone else there that early.

At the finish!  18:49.01
Once my hand touched the bottom near the ramp, I stood up and ran out of the water.  When I had completely cleared the water, I took off my cap to look at my time on the GPS.  I was surprised to see that I had beat the record by just less than a second.  My official time was 18:49.07 and, with all my mistakes, ended up swimming 0.71 miles instead of 0.7.

Official time: 18:49.07.  Distance swam: 0.71 miles.
I had a lot of fun this morning and I'm sure I'll be back to try to beat my time (even after someone fast comes in and destroys it).  Thanks Gords for organizing such a cool event!

8.13.2011

2011 Deer Creek Swim Is In The Bag



I look forward to the Deer Creek Open Water Swim every year.  Since I first participated in the event four years ago, I've been hooked and it has become my "must do" race each year.

I am always surprised at how cold it is at Deer Creek in the morning.  It's the middle of August and I still had to put on a jacket to try to keep warm.  Luckily the water was much warmer than the air and it felt really nice to get in the water.

After helping get people checked in, we had some prizes to raffle off.  We gave away a GSL race entry, SafeSwimmer, Aquaspotter and some Achiva Energy.  The big prize was a brand new kayak donated by Lifetime and Gords Swim Log!

After the safety meeting, I finished getting ready and watched the 10 mile swimmers start.  I got in the water and swam around a little bit to try to warm up (not nearly enough).  There were relatively few 10K swimmers this year and I knew about half of them.  Even with only a handful of 10K swimmers, it was still crazy at the start and I bumped into more than a couple people.

I didn't sight nearly enough at the start and ended up swimming into a bay instead of cutting across like everyone else...ooops.  It seemed like it took forever to get to the 5K turn buoy at the end of the bay!  I didn't realize just how far down the bay it was until we were on our way home.

I stopped for my first feeding, a mix of gel and Gatorade, and kept going.  My goal was to only stop three times to feed and to keep the stops short.  I had mixed three gels with some Gatorade in a small squeeze bottle.  It was much faster this way that ripping open a gel and squeezing it into my mouth.

I started to catch up to some people on the way to the 10K turnaround and there were about four of us that were pretty close at the halfway point.  One of the swimmers was Mark Belnap and he and I stayed pretty close until the last half mile when I lost track of him and he cruised ahead of me.

My shoulder started to hurt, but I tried to ignore it and keep going.  I felt like I was moving at a pretty good pace until the last half mile when I really started to slow down and get sloppy with my stroke.  The wake from all the boats didn't help matters either.

I really wanted to finish under three hours, but didn't quite make it.  My final time was 3:03:38 which is a new personal best for me by about six minutes.

There were some really amazing and inspirational swimmers this year.  From the super fast to those who were there to challenge themselves by pushing themselves to new distances.  As always, it was good to see my swimming friends and to cheer them on.  Thanks to my wife who paddled for me and for the rest of my family who came to support me and take care of our boys while we were on the water.  Thanks to Jim Hubbard who started this race five years ago and has done an excellent job as race director.

Next up for me is Slam the Dam in early October.

8.10.2011

Volunteers Needed For Deer Creek

 
The 5th Annual Deer Creek Open Water Marathon Swim is coming up this Saturday!  As is usually the case, there are several swimmers coming from out of state who still need paddlers.  If you or anyone you know is available to volunteer, please leave a comment below or email me at joshuakgreen@gmail.com.  Paddlers will get a t-shirt for volunteering their time.

If you would rather swim, there is still time to register.  You can do it right here.

Easy Swim at GSL Before Deer Creek

I woke up this morning with a really bad sore throat.  I was really close to just staying home and sleeping in, but I knew Gords and Kevin would be at the marina and I didn't want them to be waiting around for me if I wasn't coming.  This is proof of the motivating power of training with others.

Kevin was already at the marina when I got there.  We waited a little while for Gords, but figured he must be running late and we went ahead and got in.

Since I wasn't feeling well and also have the Deer Creek 10K coming up on Saturday, I decided to swim the short route to the end of the buoys and back.  I took it really easy and just enjoyed being out in the water and watching the sun come over the mountains.

I stopped at the entrance to the marina and looked out towards Black Rock.  I could see two bright orange Safe Swimmers and figured that one must be Gords.

I got out just as a big tour bus was pulling up.  A couple tourists came up to me and asked questions about swimming in the lake.  It's fun to talk to people about Great Salt Lake swimming.  The tourists coming in don't have the same negative stereotype that many of the locals do.

I rinsed off and walked back down to the boat ramp to wait for Gords and Kevin to come in.  You would have thought they were celebrities the way the tourists went running down the ramp with their cameras!  We chatted for a while about our upcoming races and also about the possibility of swimming through the winter (which I am totally going to try).

I'm looking forward to Deer Creek on Saturday and hope that my sore throat gets better by then...

8.09.2011

More Info on James Jonsson's Lake Tahoe Attempt

I got some more information from James Jonsson about his Lake Tahoe attempt, it sounds like it was quite an adventure!  I was happy to hear that he has not given up and will try it again someday.
After the Tahoe attempt I was able to get a few facts about the conditions I experienced.  My pace for the first 1 1/2 hours was 2.58 mph. My last hour only covered 1.48 miles. I burned through 4 kayakers who could no longer put up with the conditions. At one point one of my kayakers saw me go airborne as I lunged across the top of a wave and then had to dive under the next one. We went backwards 50 to 100 yards at each feeding stop. At the start of the swim the air temp was at freezing and there was a layer of frost on the boat. Water temp was 63. When we got back to the boat ramp it took us 3 tries to get the boat on the trailer because the wind was so strong it kept blowing us off track.

That was a tough and windy day. I will be back someday and try again.

8.08.2011

Video of Steve Spencer Talking About Orson Spencer

One of the highlights of the Great Sale Lake Open Water Swim for me was being able to meet Steve Spencer, son of legendary GSL swimmer Orson Spencer, and listen to his presentation about his dad before the 1 mile swim.  The Spencer family hired a videographer to shoot footage that was just recently edited into the video below.  What an incredible swimmer and inspirational guy!


Thanks to Steve and his family for putting this together and thanks to Gordon Gridley for tracking Orson's family down and getting this set up!

Shaking it up with Sprints at GSL

I met Gords at the GSL marina gate this morning a little before 6:00am and we had to wait about 15 minutes for it to open.  The sign says the marina opens at sunrise and Gords thinks maybe the gate has a light sensor or something on it, which makes sense.

The water seemed a little cooler getting in that it did last week.  Gords original plan was to do the "Gridley Straight" down and back, twice for a total of 4 miles.  It's going to be a crazy week at work for me and I am already behind, so I was shooting for a little less.

One the way down to Black Rock, my goggles were so fogged up that I could hardly see.  I didn't want to stop and clean them off so I kept going.  Finally I had to stop to see where I was and realized that I was pretty far off course.  I had to cut back in towards Black Rock.  I still made the first mile in a decent time.

Gords decided to shake things up and swim straight out into the lake and then east towards the last buoy and back into the marina.  I had to get to work, so I swam straight back to the marina.  I was going to keep going out to the last buoy and back but, inspired by Gords switching his workout up, decided to try something new.  I did two sets of sprints between the two green buoys near the marina.  I would sprint to the eastern buoy (maybe 300 yards) and then swim back easy to the western buoy.  My goal was to improve my time on the second sprint and was able to beat it by 15 seconds.  It was a nice way to change things up and I think I'll end some of my future swims with a similar set of sprints.

It was a really nice morning and I had a really great workout.  My shoulder / tendonitis / whatever it is wasn't bothering me at all this morning and I'm looking forward to Deer Creek this Saturday.  I've been back and forth between the 10 mile and 10K and have finally decided to do the 10K.  I haven't been able to put in the miles I wanted to for the 10 mile because of my shoulder thing.  Maybe if things go well I will try a 10 mile on my own after Deer Creek is over.

I had a nice surprise on the way home.  I had an email from Steve Spencer, son of legendary GSL swimmer Orson Spencer, with a link to the video his family made of his presentation before the Great Salt Lake Open Water Swim.  I plugged my phone into my stereo and listened to the audio on the way home, what an inspiring guy!  You can watch the video here.

8.05.2011

James Jonsson vs Lake Tahoe

I got an email from James Jonsson last night.  Unfortunately, he was not able to finish his swim due to deteriorating weather conditions and a painful leg cramp.  Here's what he had to say:

I am sorry to say that I did not make it across the length of Tahoe today due to deteriorating weather conditions and a severe leg cramp.  The weather forecast called for southwest winds 5 to 15 mph, same as yesterday and would have been perfect for a south to north swim.  However, two miles into the swim the wind switched to the north at 25 mph with three to four foot breaking waves.  I fought the tough headwinds for ten more miles and this resulted in my left leg to seize up and become useless, and once that happened I knew the swim was over.  My team pulled me out after 12.01 miles.  The wind and waves were so strong that my kayak escort was being swamped and my power boat had to keep both engines in low speed just to stay in one spot or else they would go backwards.  Needless to say the lake won this one.
 
I am disappointed that I didn't make it, but that's how it goes in marathon swimming; mother nature will always win.
I'm sure James is disappointed after training so hard for so long, but this is the nature of open water swimming and is to be expected sometimes.  We wish James the best of luck on his next swimming adventure.

8.04.2011

Open Water Clinic at Deer Creek

This is why I love open water. Beautiful.

We had a little scare this afternoon when severe thunderstorm warnings threatened to cancel our clinic at Deer Creek.  I kept checking the weather and it looked like the storm was going to blow right over the reservoir.  Sure enough, when I met up with everyone else at Deer Creek, we watched the storm move right towards us.  Luckily, it didn't last very long and after about 15 minutes of heavy rain and lightning, the sky cleared and the sun came back out.

We talked a little bit about the race and what was to be expected on race day.  We also talked about the course, turn buoys, swimming with kayaks, race nutrition etc.  We purposefully left out a lot of the nuts and bolts that we usually cover so that we could spend more time in the water.

Gords did an incredible job having us run through various drills in the water.  We practiced breathing, sighting, drafting and at the end had a friendly little competition.  I would really like to start working some of this stuff into our weekly Thursday evening swims at Bountiful Lake.

I had a great time and, from what I could tell, so did everyone else.  The sun was setting as we were getting out of the water and was a perfect way to end the day.  Driving home the sky over the mountains was a deep purple and I could see another storm rolling in with occasional lighting. Beautiful.

Thanks to everyone who came and waited out the storm, you guys make these clinics a lot of fun.

I'm still trying to decide what distance to swim on the 13th, but am leaning towards the 10K right now.  If you haven't registered, there is still time...click here to get it done.

8.03.2011

Update on James Jonsson's Lake Tahoe Record Attempt

I got this update from James Jonsson on his attempt to break one of the Lake Tahoe records and thought some of you might be interested in it:

Hello to all my friends and supporters,
 
As you are aware, my Lake Tahoe attempt is coming up this Thursday and I want to thank you for your support and kind words.  There are actually three lengthwise crossing records at Tahoe; one is the fastest overall record from South-to-North that finishes at the Hyatt Pier at Incline Village on the north shore (but is NOT the longest distance between 2 points on the lake), one is the fastest "longest distance" record from South-to-North which starts at basically the same spot but finishes at Incline Village further to the west of the Hyatt Pier which is the longest point-to-point swim on the lake, and the third record is the fastest longest distance from North-to-South.  The North-to-South swim is slower due to the prevailing south-westerly winds.
 
I have attached a page from the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame which shows these records and their times.
 
The weather forecast for Lake Tahoe on Thursday is for typical afternoon south-west winds so I will be starting on the south shore at Camp Richardson and swimming towards Incline Village.  My final destination will be determined during the swim and I hope that one of the two South-to-North records will fall.
 
Thanks again for your support.

--
James Jonsson

James will be making his attempt tomorrow and is doing this swim to raise awareness for organ donation.  For those in Utah, you can get more information about organ donation as well as register as an organ donor by clicking on this link.

Good luck tomorrow James!

Review of the GOAT Gear Aquaspotter

 

I have been using the ISHOF SafeSwimmer for a while now, but there is a now another open water safety product on the market.  The GOAT Gear Aquaspotter consists of a lightweight flagpole and a bright orange flag that attaches to a neoprene belt.  The neoprene belt also holds a waterproof bag that is large enough to fit a cell phone and car keys.  (You can read more about the Aquaspotter on their website).

I bought an Aquaspotter last week and have been waiting for an opportunity to test it out.  This morning I was finally able to take it for it's maiden voyage in the super salty water of the Great Salt Lake.  I met three other swimmers at the Great Salt Lake Marina, all very curious about what this thing might be.


The neoprene belt is very comfortable and I hardly noticed that I had it on.  I was worried that in the salt water it would start to chaff, but I didn't have any problems with it at all.  I put my car keys and my wedding band in the waterproof bag and also could have easily fit my cell phone.


I have to admit that when I first saw the Aquaspotter, I thought it would be awkward to swim with.  It has a pole and a flag that attach to the neoprene belt and stick straight up in the air while you are swimming.  I was surprised that I hardly felt it at all.

Here is some video of the device in action from their website:



The other swimmers all said that it was very easy to see and even started to sight off of the Aquaspotter flag instead of the buoys.

Overall, I am happy with the Aquaspotter.  It is comfortable to wear and makes me more visible in the water.  Did I mention it's made in the USA?  That's something I can totally get behind.

Morning Swim at the Great Salt Lake


I met Kevin, Bernice (visiting from Chicago) and David at the marina this morning.  There was a slight breeze from the east when we got in the water, but other than that it was pretty calm.

Kevin is now a Great Salt Lake veteran, but it was Bernice and David's first time swimming at the lake.  Kevin decided to swim the "Gridley Straight" to Black Rock and back for the first time.  The rest of us decided to go the opposite direction and follow the line of buoys.  We were swimming against the breeze on the way out, but it had more or less stopped by the time we got to the last buoy.  There were some extra warm spots near the marina and some colder spots to the east.  It was a short and relaxing swim.

GOAT Gear Aquaspotter
I bought a new safety product last week and this was the first opportunity I have had to test it out.  The GOAT Gear Aquaspotter is a neoprene belt with a small waterproof bag inside.  It has a small flag on a short pole that attaches to the belt that helps make you more visible to watercraft and other swimmers.  Click here for my review of the Aquaspotter.

Instead of swimming at Bountiful Lake tomorrow evening, we will be at Deer Creek Reservoir for a free open water clinic.  The clinic starts at 6:30pm.  Click here for more details.