14 December 2006

Documenting the Dark Days of Winter

The dark, cold mornings of winter are here. The temperature of the bay has dropped about 7 degrees in the past month. It now ranges between 51-53 F and fluctuates daily. As the winter solstice approaches the days are getting shorter and shorter and my morning bay swims are getting darker and darker. The sunriser swimmers of the South End don't swim early enough for me to get to school on time so I swim with a group of Dolphin Club "pre-sunriser" swimmers. Cory and I are often timid entering the water, but Bob and Nigel run ahead and practically leap in the water. Sometimes Steve gets in 15-30 minutes ahead of us to log in the miles for what ever challenge the Dolphins are up to. If we are lucky, he doesn't scare us by the flag by sounding like a barking sea lion. Jim (Cory's husband) starts a few minutes ahead of us and follows our course. We catch up with him sometime during the swim.

I brought my new camera (a shockproof, waterproof Olympus Stylus 720 SW) for a swim on Tuesday in hopes of capturing the allure and mystery of swimming in the bay in the dark. Tuesday was one of those days where as I walked towards the water I repeated out loud "We're crazy, We're crazy, We're crazy". It was a different kind of dark out. The sky was covered with clouds and there wasn't even a hint of light from the moon. On top of that it was raining. It is a cold, rainy, dark December morning and I am jumping in the San Francisco Bay. Crazy. After about 30 minutes of swimming in the dark and running into debris from the recent rain, Cory and I swam into the beach. My dear friend Amber met us on the beach and gave Cory and I a sip of her warm mint tea. What a treat! We chatted a bit and then Cory and I ran off to hit the showers at our respective clubs.

The photos didn't work as well as I had hoped. Maybe I'll get some better photos this weekend when I get to swim in the light.

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