I now swim in OW most every day. I can breathe sustained, however, only to the right, with a half-assed left breath attempt every once in a while. It's very uncomfortable to the left.
I'm painfully sloooow; much slower than when I used to swim on a single breath. Dunno how I could get faster. Incorporating breathing has slowed me down significantly.
We also swam in seriously rough water and I managed. Everything goes better in a wetsuit, but not absolutely necessary.
There's little to no relaxation in my swimming now, other than the occasional bliss for a short while, only to go back into struggle mode the next day.
Plus I have a serious assimetry which causes me to swim to the right even if I compensate as best as I can to the left. My lead arm does not drift inwards (anymore) so I don't really know why. Breathing to the left to balance it out feels like mission impossible at the moment.