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Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Sensory Deprivation In The Open Water

Photo of Penny Palfrey courtesy of Spike, Cayman Islands.

In the open water, sensory deprivation is not an option...it is simply just a cold, hard fact.

Swimmers cannot see far in the water. Even sighting is tough, especially in turbulent conditions. At night, it is impossible. Most of the time with their eyes only centimeters above the surface of an unpredictably dynamic body of water, swimmer's views are often blocked by the ocean swells, the sun's glare, or the splash of someone's kick in front of them.

And swimmer can hear even less. With ear plugs in their ears and a swim cap over ears, audio perception is limited.

And what they can see almost never changes once they get beyond the surf and coral reefs. In swims in tropical seas, the open water swimmer sees an almost endless blue below them with various hues and shades depending on the sun's position. In swims in more temperature locations, the open water swimmers see a dark green or dull gray that often does not extend beyond 2-3 meters below.

What the swimmers hear most definitely does not change, the splish-splash of their rhythmic arm stroke, except for an occasional shout from a coach, crew or official or, if they are very lucky, the whistle or dolphin or whales. This is why a wink, smile, nod, wave, signal or any gesture from a kayaker or support crew during an open water swim means so much to an open water swimmer.

Swimmers and their relationship with their support crew and escort boats are analogous to the relationship between an infant and mother. The swimmer/child cannot exist without the crew/mother and all nutrition/direction/protection come from the boat/mother. This may be why the term, mother ship, has so much meaning for a marathon swimmer.

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1-Year Anniversary of the monthly Open Water Swimming Magazine
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Open Water Swimming Magazine


Open Water Swimming Magazine

The Open Water Swimming Magazine is the monthly magazine entirely focused on open water swimming heroes and heroines of every age, ability, and background. Published by the World Open Water Swimming Association, the Open Water Swimming Magazine is a free benefit to WOWSA members.

WOWSA Member Benefits include 12 issues of the Open Water Swimming Magazine, the annual 276-page Open Water Swimming Almanac, a free listing in Sponsor My Swim, outstanding product discounts from FINIS, an entry in Openwaterpedia and more...
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The Other Shore


The Other Shore follows world record holder and legendary swimmer Diana Nyad as she comes out of a thirty-year retirement to re-attempt an elusive dream: swimming 103 miles non-stop from Cuba to Florida without the use of a shark cage. Her past and present collide in her obsession with a feat that nobody has ever accomplished. At the edge of The Devil’s Triangle, tropical storms, sharks, venomous jellyfish, and one of the strongest ocean currents in the world, all prove to be life-threatening realities. Timothy Wheeler’s documentary brings Diana Nyad’s extraordinary adventure to life as Diana sets out to prove that will and determination are all you need to make the unimaginable possible.
LEARN MORE...

2014 Open Water Swimming Almanac



An Almanac for Open Water Swimming

An almanac is essentially a body of knowledge which is so complete that it enables people in different fields to make predictions about the future of their respective industries.

This, for example, was the purpose of the traditional farmers almanacs. It enabled farmers to determine as accurately as possible which crops to plant for the greatest harvests in a given year.

But the farmers almanac was just one example among many.
There are, of course, many different kinds of almanacs.

In fact, there is even one for open water swimming...

Preview the Open Water Swimming Almanac:
https://www.worldopenwaterswimmingassociation.com/preview-open-water-swimming-almanac


The trends are very clear.
The tide is rising for open water swimming.

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