Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Dilworth H2O - Cold, crisp and lovely

Somewhere in that blue puddle off Vashon's east side, I took up an invitation to swim with two great ladies on a recent (effin' cold!) Friday. The sun was out so at least I could pretend it was warm. Besides, there was that recent steal-of-a-deal XTerra Vortex 3 wetsuit purchase that was screaming out for its maiden voyage. I peeled off the packaging and the smell of freshly molded neoprene filled my nostrils. We had a date with destiny.

Let me just say that there is a group of wonderfully crazy ladies on the island that makes a habit, rain or shine or sleet or icy weather, to swim Dilworth. There is another hardy lot that swims Burton - the Whulgers - which I've enjoyed swimming with this past year. Dilworth for me was first-time territory. There is a nice little inlet stretching north to Glen Acres that was a great introduction as I swam with the ladies. The shocker was the cold water on the face. Imagine walking straight to your freezer, pulling out the ice tray and pressing that to your skin. Katie said, "don't worry, it'll get numb." I asked, "WHEN?! When exactly is it going to get numb because it hurts." She was right. After 10 minutes my face numbed out.

I thought swimming without a wetsuit in the La Jolla Rough Water swim last year (56 at noon!) was torture enough. Or doing the Dockton to Burton in a sleeveless - bone chilled me into rational thought. Not so. For all the cold endured recently at Dilworth, looking at the sea floor - checkered with incredible periwinkle starfish, clouds of anemones, and mysterious, swaying plots of seaweed -- it was truly awesome. Sometimes your imagination takes you to dark places with those seaweed formations - so I love having a buddy nearby. Sort of like being afraid of monsters under the bed as a kid. It's always good to swim out doors with a buddy or get someone to paddle or kayak near you.

PS XTerra if you're snooping in on me, the Vortex 3 performed incredibly well for 46-degree water - especially since we're talking 3mm arms. I will say that the sizing could have been a tad less curvy. I'm 5'9" and 130-135 depending on the time of year, and those thighs were welled up with "lotsawatta. " Given the chance I'd have ignored the advice online and sized down. They need to come right out and say "Sir Mix-a-Lot prototypes or those with birthing hips - go large; lankier types do a men's small or women's med!" But then it's high water city. Ya can't win. LOL. Stepping off soapbox now.

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