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Monday, March 30, 2015

How The Mind Wanders Aimlessly In The Open Water

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

We find that strange thoughts occasionally come and go while swimming in the Pacific Ocean...

We were thinking, if open water swims were analogous to liquor, what would those swims and drinks be? Thinking way too far outside the box, this is what we came up with.

Although modern cocktail culture has created a number of exotically delicious yet complicated drinks with myriad gourmet ingredients, our thoughts drifted elsewhere.

That is, the taste is easily distinguishable between popular distilled beverages such as gin, vodka, whiskey, tequila, and rum. In the same way, the English Channel has a color, flavor and ambiance that is as different from the Strait of Gibraltar as it is from the Molokai Channel. Similarly, the Waikiki Roughwater Swim is about as close to the Midmar Mile and Great Swims as are gin, whiskey and rum.

And just as cocktails can be mixed with one or more types of liqueur, juice, fruit, milk, cream, and spices, so do channel swim and open water swims have other flavorings in the forms of waves, winds, currents, tides, marine life and start and finish points.

1. The English Channel would be a whisky. Just as whisky is a complex beverage chemically speaking, the English Channel can come in many flavors on any given day and any given hour.

2. The Catalina Channel would be a rum. Just as rum can be light and dark, the Catalina Channel is swum in the night and day. Just as rum can be consumed either straight or iced, the water temperatures at different points between Catalina and the California mainland can vary widely.

3. The Strait of Gibraltar would be more of a sherry or sangria. Just as the Spanish wine drinks are fruity and full of flavor often most enjoyably consumed in a group, the Strait of Gibraltar is a fun swim between continents that can surprise swimmer with zest and a kick and is often enjoyed with more than 1 swimmer.

4. The Molokai Channel would be tequila. Just as tequila is made by blue agave and produced only in specific areas in Mexico, Molokai is a special blue water wonderland specific to a distant land mass that arises from the middle of the Pacific.

5. The Tsugaru Channel would be sake. Just as sake can be subtle and complicated despite it mellow appearance consumed in small cups, the Tsugaru Channel is subtle and complicated in its difficulty.

6. The Cook Strait would be vodka. Just as vodka can leave one breathless, the stark beauty, cold waters and shark encounters of the Cook Strait can do the same to a swimmer.

But we wonder if open water swims were beers, what would they be?

Of course, drinking and swimming next mix and drinking before or during open water swims must always be avoided in all forms and at all times.

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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