Many of us are missing the water in a serious kind of way right now! We realize now more than ever what the swimming experience did for us! You may be wondering, “Is it warm enough to swim outside?” The short answer is, YES! Here in Maryland we have a great resource provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). We can access current water temps and other useful data in our region. The South River typically runs a few degrees warmer than Thomas Point, so today Crossing Currents stomping grounds is posting around 53 degrees! We could be ready for small group, social-distancing swims in no time! Presently we are prototyping how logistics work to offer the safest access to open water amidst our reality. If you are forecasting pursuit of an early start to open water swimming this year, there are some considerations.
Gear Needed for Under 60 degree OWS swim:
Wetsuit. Most folks enjoy a wetsuit in water under 65 degrees. Sleeveless or with sleeves becomes one of your choices. Fancy folks may have both styles, but faced with choosing the recommendation is: sleeveless. You’ll enjoy a longer season of comfort. XTERRA is a solid bet in the wetsuit market and seems to always have a sale in motion.
Ear Plugs. Seems to just help. Cold water bouncing in and out of the ear canal is uncomfortable at best, painful and even disorienting at worst.
Neoprene Booties. These are for the particularly cold water squeamish, no judgement.
Anti-Chafing Agent. For use with and without a wetsuit for spot checking abrasive hot spots.
BRIGHTLY colored swim cap. Whether you’re subscribing to doubling caps to retain heat or wearing a single one, let it be a contrasting light color to the water!
Waist Belt Visibility Buoy. This is non-negotiable. It is ESSENTIAL to promote our presence on the water to our crew and other patrons of waterways. It also offers a layer of personal safety protection and hydration tote to boot!
Winter Hat & Cozy Socks. Post cold water swim essentials!
A Plan to Deck Change. Upon water exit, getting dried off and prepared to road travel ensues. Finding comfort in street clothes by way of bathrobes or parkas and a thought out disrobement plan makes for smoother transitions to vehicles!
Know Weather. Lightening and/or Heavy Winds not our friends!
Swim in a Pod. Swim with similarly speeded folks. Safety in 6 foot distanced numbers!
Wear a Buoy. For boater visibility and personal safety. CCA offers pink or green. $30!
Include a Paddler. A support paddler can see and do what you cannot.
Be HONEST. Listen to your body and take appropriate action.
Establish Water Exits. Know your waterway and plot multiple points of emergency exit plans.
Share Swim Plan with Land Based Supporter. Let someone on land know your plans and communicate upon water exit of your team safety.
There will be no sweeter place to celebrate the open water than the Chesapeake Bay Open Water Camp still planned for May 15, 2020 and the Swim & Paddle the South River Event on May 24! In the interim, scope out your gear and see if you are ready for the open water this year! Stay tuned for Crossing Currents Aquatics offerings!