I have decided a few things:
1. While I am not perfectly straight, it isn't enough to justify the time difference. I recently swam alongside my hubby in a kayak who was tacking straight (I just looked to him on my normal breath) and still got slow times.
2. My OW 2-mile-could-keep-going swim pace is not as different from my ow 400 yard pace than I expected. So some of my perception of 'swimming faster' is seemingly just determined by my energy expenditure and not really whether I am actually going faster.
3. So something is going on OW that is not present in the pool that's messing me up. Or likewise, I have skills in the pool that are not presenting in OW. Whatever it is, it is not obvious enough for Caleb to tell the difference by watching from the kayak.
I need to figure out what is going on and I'm looking for suggestions. So far I have thought of videoing eyes-closed laps in the pool to see if I can get the issue to appear in the pool, and to capture it for analysis. Anything else?