Planning a LONG event in new body of water
I'm at the very beginning stages of planning a long personal event across a body of water that I don't think anyone has crossed before. I've gotten sample safety plans, attempted to contact various people in the US Coast Guard, Harbor Patrol/Police, and Marine Police, trying to find out whether I need special permission for the swim. I've even chatted with a Naval Officer to get a better understanding of shipping behavior in shipping lanes, as one possible route crosses a shipping lane twice (out and back) and another route would cross it once (point to point).
So far, no dice on a definitive answer about whether I need permissions.
Navy officer suggested that I find a different planned landing site, and avoid the shipping lane altogether, "unnecessary complication and risk".
I'm also planning on visiting the "officials" (if I can find them) in person, so as to avoid getting put on perpetual hold on the phone.
But, how do you know whether or not you actually need permission to cross a body of water? I know that some locales just need notification of swimmers in the water for safety purposes. Others you need permission.
If, after much inquiries, I still have no definitive answer.....rather, an answer that's "we don't have any idea about anything about that" (the answers I've gotten so far)..... at what point do I "press on" and just do my planning but make sure that a strong safety/comms plan is in place?
Is it really true that forgiveness is easier to obtain than permission?
I'm much more concerned that I find a place that's public to land, or get permission from any private property. My launch point is public land, so that's reasonably set.
I swam through a torpedo testing range. 😬 Their official response was ‘you shouldn’t go in there’, but the actual condition was that they only kicked you out if a test was planned. The only way to get that info was to talk to the local boaters and marine people. Yachters are chatty and happy to give you their knowledge. Tug boat companies are also good to get to know, and they gave me safety and current info that I didn’t even think to ask for. Government ferry companies are torturous, labyrinthine entities that don’t know how to communicate with themselves, let alone you, but still worth a try. Talk to shipping companies that actually sail across your route, as they will know the relevant marine rules there too.
It is exciting to swim new waters, and pioneer, I hope you keep us posted on your progress!
The logistics of a swim beyond a long training swim are definitely "uncharted waters" for me. My target timeline for the swim is December 2021, so I'm starting plenty early, at least. A big hurdle so far has been getting people to get over the idea of what I want to do. lol "People DO that????" or, like one very young watch-stander kept saying to me during our conversation, "Ma'am?".... just that, "Ma'am?" over and over. lol
I won't have torpedos to dodge, at least!
I finally decided that cold-calling marinas and yacht clubs would be a fun way to spend a Friday afternoon. Surprise, surprise! I got a handful of takers on interest in being my escort vessel. PLUS, the two most promising people didn't hesitate or question the project at all. In fact, one of the captains said that when he was younger he did adventure racing on land, so he, "[figured] that this is the same sort of thing, only on water. Sounds like fun."
So, planning is progressing.
I also found that authorities did'nt really want to give an official approval, I found they had more of a we can't give you approval but we also wont stop you unless something specific is going on
I have found 3 different boat captains who have expressed initial interest in assisting me on this swim. We've only had preliminary conversations, but all had reactions from pretty generically "commercial" (quoted a price, and was amenable to the idea) to outright excitement "heck yeah! That sounds cool!"
So, now, it's time to have more detailed conversations, and hopefully arrange to meet with them this summer in order for everyone to decide whether the project is a good fit for all involved.
@Copelj26 -- you're right about the inability to get outright permission. Consensus after speaking w/ all the boat captains and the NROTC officer here on campus is that as long as I stay out of the shipping lane, using the "forgiveness is easier to obtain than permission" strategy seems reasonable.
So far, I've gotten lots of little important pieces of information...
It's starting to feel more possible than hypothetical.
@AngieSwims you may have seen this thread already, but thought it might be a good location to share thoughts on planning your Willamette swim. This way everyone else can witness my ramblings and hopefully contribute as well.
Congratulations on doing the route last summer—you did an awesome job and very cool you are doing it again to document it!
The main thing you need (IMHO) that I think you didn’t have last time (?) is a motor boat. There are some swims where the observer was in a kayak, but for 24 miles, I bet the observer(s) would appreciate a ride . (Not to mention being more visible in the Willamette)
For some tips on documenting, definitely have a look at the rules and instructions on the msf website, early in the planning stages of the swim. I also found the discussion on this thread very helpful also: https://forum.marathonswimmers.org/discussion/1687?
I did my first documented swim (Lake Billy Chinook) with completely inexperienced observers, but they took the time to give everything a very thorough read through and asked a million questions, and in the end they did a great job.
Sometimes people miss important things (don’t wear a gps watch, make sure the route is repeatable etc) or less important things (the video looks better if you shoot it in landscape format). I’m totally happy to try to answer any questions or talk with whoever is observing (or even be an observer, if needed).
Question: I'm planning a swim that is 14-15 hours long and will need to swap out observers (I mean, really, who wants to observe a swim for that long?) and will likely need to swap out pilots on my support boat. I believe that alternating observers is fine, but what about pilots? What would be an appropriate "ask" for someone to pilot a boat for?
Professional charter captains in the US are subject to a "12 Hour Rule" - they cannot work more than 12 hours in any consecutive 24 hour period. Effectively, this means that any marathon swims piloted by a charter captain must have more than one captain if the dock-to-dock swim duration is >12 hours.
I would suggest using a similar rule of thumb for amateur boat pilots - recruit at least two, if your swim is >12 hours.
I had a charter boat captain who suggested that "that's only if money exchanges hands" that we need to worry about those rules. If we don't exchange money, it's not commercial, and we're just out having a day on the water.
THAT made me feel pretty hinky.
While I appreciated the apparent willingness of said captain to basically volunteer to escort me on a 12-15 hr. swim, I definitely feel like personal and aquatic and maritime safety are issues that should NOT be shortchanged. So, lesson I learned: "get a written contract that spells everything out!" Protect yourself, protect your Captain.
What about BB rules?
If somebody know.please tell me?
Have they some rules?
I plan if im so lucky to swim ow in BB will swim one 12h or more realistic 12 days vacansion and every day swim 1h! Total 12h!
All the best to all
Ps BB= Bora Bora
Where the end movie XXX)))
Vin Diesel is not stupid)
Okay, I'm back in planning mode for my second (and hopefully official) Lower Willamette swim. I had a minor shoulder injury this winter that is healing up well and wasn't sure for a while if it would be a go or not, but things are looking up! My question here is picking a date. The Willamette is tidally affected and so this plays a major role in deciding on a date. Originally, I was thinking July 16 but would appreciate a little more time to train/taper and now I'm considering July 30th. This link will take you to tides for July in Portland: https://tides.net/oregon/2614/?year=2022&month=07 It's important to note that I'm swimming from a confluence to a confluence so the power of tides and current at my exit site could be very swift if I get out at peak low, so I'm planning to finish at high tide. This is what I did last year, and while the last 5 miles totally sucked, it was better than getting sucked out into the channel. What are your thoughts on the date? July 16 or 30? For reference, the swim took about 14.5 hours last year and I'm anticipating it taking the same this year.
Okay, well never mind on the last post (unless there is some valuable discussion to be had there). I am now thinking about how to ensure that my route is repeatable. After reading Evan's blog post on it the topic I realize my previous route was not repeatable (mainly due to avoiding a large harmful algae bloom) and so this year's route will be slightly different out of necessity. The challenge is that the river is quite twisty in places and while there are identifiable landmarks at the get in and get out, over the course of 24ish miles well, a river takes the path of least resistance. I plan to still go around the big island to the left (staying in the main channel) that's about halfway through the route and follow the Portland Bridge Swim course from there, with another 5 miles added to the end. In the attached image the ping-ponging is largely due to switching out paddlers throughout the swim, but I did have to cross to the opposite bank at one point to avoid an area where there had been a large algae bloom. My question is: Is this even a feasible route to consider for ratification? It's similar to Ned Hasting's 2020 Columbia route
Anyone want to weigh in about my route? https://earth.google.com/earth/d/1TlcTHW04Mr3iEQv-w7Lxzotlk5_MkMNj?usp=sharing
I’ll take a stab at trying to answer, although others can correct my wording if it’s not quite right.
I wasn’t able to see the route when I clicked the link— it just opened my google earth app and I didn’t see anything marked when I zoomed in on the Willamette.
Based on what I’m reading, it sounds like if the route has a start and a finish that are clear, then it’s repeatable. In terms of the distance you get official credit for swimming, my understanding is that it goes by the minimal distance between geographical points. So if you go around Ross Island, that could be part of the measurable distance of the route. Whereas, you can ping pong around the river as much as you want, it just wouldn’t add to the official mileage of the route you’re creating. Another swimmer could come along and do a more direct swim and it would still be the same route (measured by the shortest possible distance).
For an example of a cool, repeatable route using an island to add to the repeatable route distance, take a look at this one: https://marathonswimmers.org/swims/2020/batchelder-lake-washington/
Perfect explanation by @LakeBagger !
@AngieSwims - it may help to distinguish in your mind between the route (the abstract, minimum path between start and finish, which is the official distance), and the track (where you actually swam, including all the zigs and zags). The issue of route repeatability is about how the distance is measured.
Thank you @LakeBagger and @evmo
This makes perfect sense. I appreciate the feedback.