Kim and I headed to the Albany Bulb for an early swim this morning and even as I was standing at the circle bundled in my layers, I was cold. The air temperature had dropped drastically and I felt it in my hands and face. It’s going to be a cold swim, I thought.
It was. Getting in was hard. Shards of ice shot up my wrists and down my neck. I tried to guess the temperature (my thermometer is on the buoy that I still can’t find the strap for—I also failed to bring my dry bag for my phone, which explains why on a morning as brilliantly gorgeous as this one, I only have a handful of pictures).
“58? 59?” I guessed. It seemed possibly colder than that, but given that the last time I swam in the bay (Monday), it was 61, I figured 58 was as cold as it could reasonably be.
I was wrong.
“54,” said Kim. “Maybe it’s still registering the outside temperature.”
She checked again and it was 55, but then it was 54 again later. So 54/55 was the temperature in the bay today. Whew! What a dramatic drop.
I definitely felt it as I swam along. When I finally built up the nerve to put my face in, the freeze was like I’d gobbled down a huge helping of ice cream; that dagger in the forehead.
We hadn’t gotten too far out when I decided to turn back. I felt a little light-headed and funny. Not bad, just different. The tingly well-being of the cold water wasn’t working its magic and I didn’t want to take any chances. Kim went ahead and I returned to the shore. Once there, I felt great and so I did laps back and forth until Kim came back in. I think I just needed to remember what the bitter cold felt like and it was more comfortable to do so in the safety of the shallows. That 6 or 7-degree drop since Monday didn’t give me a chance to acclimate slowly. The good news is, this cold bay water will help me acclimate to my even colder adventures in Victoria later this week!