Back from my travels. Unfortunately my planned swim with the TI group in Israel did not materialize. They canceled the swim the night before due to conditions!
Anyway I have done a bunch more open water swims here and enjoying the warm conditions. I continue to get more DPS with a slower and more deliberate stroke in the open water. I have been swimming alongside a very fit and strong instructor with the Marines who does 2000 yards at each outing. It's been great being able to sight on him and to concentrate more on my stroke mechanics. I even find myself having to hold back a little as I sometimes start to edge in front of him when I get everything together (he's strong, fit about 20 years younger than me but his mechanics are not great).
I'm going to continue doing this twice a week until the water gets too cold.
Thanks for all of your input.