27 January 2011

Watch out for biomass in the water

You know when you're driving on the freeway on a dark night and you hear that distinctive "bump bump bump bump" like you just ran over something? That sucks. It's bad for your suspension, sometimes chips your paint, and the poor thing getting run over rarely enjoys it.

When sailing, sometimes you bump a whale, but mostly it's just driftwood and clorox bottles. The dolphins and sea lions and halibut tend to stay out of your way.

But for this year's Three Bridge Fiasco, we are competing with biomass, lots of biomass, that might not be able to stay out of our way. The USCG sent a representative to the skipper's meeting last night to warn us that their is going to be a concurrent open water swim in the same stretch of water at the same time as our race. 30 swimmers with about 20 support boats that are supposed to stay in between them and us.

It really shouldn't be too hard; in all probability they are going to hug the shoreline even more than we need to. But to complicate matters, there are over 360 boats entered this year and I'm pretty sure we're all going CCW directly into the teeth of the open water race.

And swimmers are hard to spot despite their neon caps. Wetsuits are roughly the color of bay water. And only their pink heads stick out of the water. Look at that picture above. Now try to picture yourself in a 44' boat blasting along at a knot or two trying to see the pink cap.

This could get tricky.

Me? I love swimmers. I am one and my daughter is one. I'm going to be d@mned careful of these guys. Might even threaten one of the little boats with VALIS' anchor if they try to get too close. But, it sure is going to be crowded out there.


O Docker said...

OK, you're an experienced swimmer so this kind of stuff is easy for you.

But to me, what's in your photo could very well be mistaken for a clorox bottle.

Maybe you could do a post about ways to tell a swimmer from a clorox bottle - you know, as sort of a public service kind of thing.

Joe said...

I agree with that guy who berths his boat at "O" dock. Perhaps the swimmers could attach flag whips to their caps.

By the way, it's good to see that you're posting again. I was really getting tired of looking at WAFI. Welcome back.

Rapscallion said...

Hey, rapscallion here, long time, no see :) I just bought a new boat. Her name is Janet C. Check out the new blog: JanetcG32.blogspot.com The new boat has a PHRF rating of 12! And yes, I do plan on taking her to the west coat to race her there once or twice :)