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Old 01-26-2009
Suddethb Suddethb is offline
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 94
Default Clean Water for Open Water Swims?

I've been reading about people swimming around Manhattan Island and similar open water swims. I've got to say that it worried me. I've been to Manhattan, and seen the water, and was disgusted. I can't imagine wanting to go in there for a minute, much less several hours.

I live in Maryland near Washington, DC, and there isn't much better water here. We have a "Bay Swim" each year, but each time I've been in the Chesapeake it's smelled bad and the jellys were thick. I swim much farther than that swim now, but have no desire at all to swim there.

Is there anywhere that folks can share the best open water places to swim for those of us who are more concerned with the taste and safety of the water than the distance? If I knew that the water was not going to endanger my health I'd be more likely to join the fun.

I feel like a wimp for bringing this up, but it is the biggest mental barrier I have to wanting to start in open water.
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Old 01-27-2009
Rhoda Rhoda is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 402

Unfortunately, you may have to travel farther from large cities to get really clean water. If you think you might be on the west coast this summer, there are some ocean and lake races in the Vancouver (British Columbia) area that might suit you. Sasamat Lake was really clean and clear when I did it on Canada Day, but then it was also calm. Windy days will turn even the clearest water into brown soup.
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Old 01-27-2009
CoachEricDeSanto CoachEricDeSanto is offline
TI Coach
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 384

I agree completely. I have done a few open water swims in San Francisco Bay. In the main bay it wasn't bad, but in the harbors, the fumes were terrible. I have had great experiences with lake swims. And the Bahama swims in the DVD look amazing. But the cold and fumes are not for me. That is why I focus on pool swims. (I don't mind being a wimp.) I also have a hard time, when in nice open water, getting myself to race. I find a good lake so relaxing, that I swim half speed and don't get much of a workout. I like the relaxing part. But I also like racing. So pool swimming fits my personality better. To me that is part of the beauty of planet water. There is water to fit any personality.
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