Halfway to France

Well, I’ve made it over halfway to France as I attempt to swim the equivalent distance of the English Channel this summer.

If I flounder now, it’s on France’s shoulders to come rescue me. Who knows what my French rescuers may throw to me as floatation devices in case I am in distress? Maybe empty champagne bottles and merveilleux fromage français (or wonderful French cheese for our English-speaking readers). The French have so much cheese that they use for so many things that I just assume that they also use it for water rescues. But will it float? Fortunately, we have an expert on the buoyancy of cheese (good name for an album) standing by who can answer that question.

In that case, I guess I will keep on swimming if I can. I’m not sure I will be able to do so as I am battling a nasty case of mustard algae. Not me personally, but in our little backyard pool. I couldn’t bring myself to take a picture of the pool when it looked like a “pool full of urine” according to my wife. It made me too sad. I disagreed just a bit with my wife (Pro Tip: Never a great idea) and thought it looked more like a pool full of urine mixed with some diarrhea. Although I couldn’t bring myself to take a pic, I found this one online that recreates the effect.

Even I won’t swim in such water. I added pool shock, chlorine bleach, and an algaecide. It went from a mustard-colored algae stew to a nice blue toxic mix of chemicals. I am afraid if I swim in it too much I will come out looking like Elon Musk.

Oh, well. Life’s a bleach sometimes.

I had hoped for an even 50/50 split between pool and open water swims, but it looks like it may be closer to a 2:1 ratio with pool swims in the majority by the time I finish. My chance to get in another long open water swim last weekend vanished as rain rolled into the area Saturday morning, and the swim was canceled. Rain? Really? We’re already wet in the water. What harm can rain do? Sure, the lifeguards are in kayaks holding metal paddles, and there was some thunder and lightning. But you can hardly see the lightning during the day, and the lifeguards are getting paid. They must know there is some inherent risk when they take a job as a lifeguard.

Anyway, I’ll try and literally get to 7 miles of open water swimming by the time I figuratively get to France. Lake Michigan actually gets warmer throughout August, so I may be able to get in some long swims in one of the magnificent Great Lakes in August and September.

My 14 year old daughter and I take off for a mini-vacation tomorrow, so I will likely get in some heavy pool mileage this weekend. We do plan to hike to some waterfalls, and where there’s a waterfall, there typically is a pool of open water at the base, so you never know. I could get in an open water swim after all. However, judging from this video, I’ll have to settle for wading in shallow water.

Oh, well. At least I can splash around a bit to cool off.


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