Charts, weather reports, supplies, radio, … check, check, check, check … and after all that, sometimes it just goes out the window … or maybe it went down the river; wherever it went I’m trying to pull it back together.
The swimmer has a lot going on below the water. I can’t even imagine or pretend to know. But I’ve seen the smiles, tears, screams, wild emotions, rejoicing … you name it. That’s the swimmers’ world and they are an amazing bunch of people.
As Erica’s kayaker [and significant other], there’s also a lot going on above the water. Before the event, I’m watching the weather, calculating tides/currents, figuring out a schedule for the days ahead, checking the course for the best path, going over feeds, checking the schedule to make sure she’s where she needs to be, etc. I try to keep Erica focused on the swim and deal with all the logistics. It doesn’t always work out that way, but that’s the goal 😉
Once the swim starts, I’m keeping her on course, providing the feeds, monitoring her condition and stroke count, keeping my ears on the radio and steering around whatever needs to be steered around (small and big). When needed, I try to throw out some words of encouragement. It doesn’t always get received as I hoped, but I hope she knows. We have a saying: “What happens on the water, stays on the water.” Except for the good stuff … we take that with us! In the end, we keep a good attitude and have fun.
Oh, and then there are the sights!! I try to snap a picture when I can so Erica can see all the cool things she swam past. And the Hudson does not disappoint. It is a very scenic river to travel down.
The 8 Bridges event is really amazing and well organized, even for kayakers. During the event, the safety boats are in communication with the kayakers and any and all boats in the area keeping everyone safe. It’s kind of fun to listen to the chatter as a large tug goes by. At least one will ask about the event and the reactions are priceless.
Dave and Rondi are great, and everyone is so down to earth, friendly, and warm. I just can’t say enough about how well organized this event is. The fact that they have a core set of kayakers that return every year says a lot! It’s also great for the swimmers to know that they are getting linked up with folks that know what they are doing. Keep doing an amazing job Dave and Rondi! We’ll be back for more!!
Ps: Erica likes any swim that ends with a beer and a chocolate chip cookie …. Hey, make that an order for two!