Alcatraz acclimatisation

ColmBreathnachColmBreathnach Charter Member
edited August 2014 in General Discussion
Warm showers for inmates to keep them out of the water.

http://www.wired.com/2012/03/march-21-1963-the-rock/

Comments

  • Alcatraz was a huge mind game, when i swam it the guys at swim-art said they'd never seen one shark out there, i guess to much salt collects in the bay for their liking. The current was strong but just pushed you to the golden gate, even a weak swimmer would hit land before strewn out to sea and i didnt think the water was that cold. However i had a 5mm Mares vest and swim jammers on.
  • DanSimonelliDanSimonelli San Diego CASenior Member
    I think all 5 made it! ;-)
  • suziedodssuziedods Mem​ber
    Actually @ swimm4r, one theory is that it's the LACK of salinity , due to the flow from the Sacramento River. There are actually 7 species of sharks in the bay and no one has yet to be bitten , attacked or even noticed by any of them. It's all a marketing ploy.
    You can swim Alcatraz on pretty much any tide, you just have to pick your landing spot.
    For most people the biggest problem is when they realize they have to jump 8-10 feet off a boat, into dark green water... and that there are anywhere from 200-1900 people behind them , that ALSO want to jump. It's only about 2k or 2.5 k depending on where you finish.
    It slays me when I see Aquatic Park PACKED w swimmers the DAY BEFORE an event, swimming for 30 m in or so and thinking they are acclimated. Or when they ask me what "the weather will be like tomorrow , or the next day or next week". Honestly? I don't know! It is an iconic swim, w fab views and it can be challenging but sharks are not the issue. :)
    Parking is. It's SF.

    Looking for the next big thing.. ... @suzieswimcoach
    www.suziedodsswimcoaching.com

  • loneswimmerloneswimmer IrelandCharter Member
    Always good to remember the 2013 Escape from Alcatraz video of hundreds of triathletes literally lost at sea.

    loneswimmer.com

  • @Suziedods, It is possible i remembered that one backwards about the salt or was simply told wrong. I swim out of a very small barely known local beach in Tahoe so aquatic park is a bit of a highway for me don't get me started on swimming pools. I always appreciate the buoyancy and consistency of ocean water temp compared to lakes. I remember on the swim looking down into the abyss and thinking it looked like i was swimming in a used toilet bowl, used to seeing greens and blues not so much yellow to dark nothingness. When i did it it was a small group of people that signed up with swim-art maybe like 7 of us we (late January), so no huge drop off the boat holding hundreds of swimmers (thankfully), but I agree if you can navigate that city in a car an 8ft drop into water probably shouldn't be a fear.
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited June 2014
    There is an elitist school of thought within certain quarters of the South End Rowing Club (maybe the DC too, I don't know) that the only REAL Alcatraz swim is from the rock to the beach at Aquatic Park.

    If you define an "Alcatraz" as the rock to/from anywhere on the SF cityfront, then potentially you could just ride the ebb from Pier 20-30-ish to the rock (or do the opposite on a flood), which is a very short swim, and call it an "Alcatraz." (The swim in the video above posted by @loneswimmer finished at Crissy Field on a strong ebb).

    @ForeverSwim and I recently did a quote-unquote "real" Alcatraz (finishing at SERC) across a 3+knot ebb tide, and it was a thrilling challenge of a swim. Despite our best efforts, we got pushed west all the way to Ft Mason and had to crab our way back along the shoreline to Aquatic Park. It was awesome.
  • IronMikeIronMike BostonCharter Member
    edited June 2014
    evmo wrote:
    @ForeverSwim and I recently did a quote-unquote "real" Alcatraz (finishing at SERC) across a 3+knot ebb tide, and it was a thrilling challenge of a swim. Despite our best efforts, we got pushed west all the way to Ft Mason and had to crab our way back along the shoreline to Aquatic Park. It was awesome.

    That last sentence there is the essence of "the spirit of marathon swimming." That's why I love this sport and its adherents.

    [edit: bold and italics in Evan's post mine]

    Just here troubling deaf heaven with my bootless cries...

  • Dangit now i don't feel like i did the swim, thanks evmo. I didn't start with my feet on the rock. Who do you set up a true rock-aquatic park swim with?
  • edited June 2014
    Always good to remember the 2013 Escape from Alcatraz video of hundreds of triathletes literally lost at sea.
    @loneswimmer that's why I quit triathlon and decided to learn how to swim. :)

  • suziedodssuziedods Mem​ber
    edited June 2014
    I would say swim-art gets you closest. And yes, those boats and a couple of others do not have the8 ft drop. The problem w the mass swims is that, well, they are mass swims and cater to the median. With a smaller group you could conceivably do a 'rock to AP" on a massive flood/ebb take your pick. It is important to know that on one of those swims you do have to have a certain level of not only competency but the pilot/s must also have confidence in the swimmers. such is not always the case w the public swims, mass or not.
    """Always good to remember the 2013 Escape from Alcatraz video of hundreds of triathletes literally lost at sea."" the same day Cathe Delneo was blissfully swimming oh, about 3 hours.. It's all relative..

    Anyone remember Bill Cosby's "Why is there air ' album? He does a riff on the hills of SF
    " Look Martha! We caught another one"!!

    Looking for the next big thing.. ... @suzieswimcoach
    www.suziedodsswimcoaching.com

  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited June 2014
    Suzie is right on.

    The Sharkfest & South End Invitational Alcatraz swims are also Rock-to-AP.

    Don't expect to actually touch land at the start on a mass public swim, though. Technically I think you can get ticketed.
  • SharkoSharko Tomales BayGuest
    I think a cross Channel swim (the Rock to Aquatic Park) is something an aspiring EC marathon swimmer should choose....I think it is also a more rewarding swim to be engaged in figuring out the sighting yourself and using triangulation in the process and then when you miss the opening you start crying and then "crabbing like hell" to make it in.

    "I never met a shark I didn't like"

  • I didn't see any sharks this year but I did have my eyes open enough to see a sea lion go right below me upside down checking out the action. It did help me pick up the pace a little.
  • DanSimonelliDanSimonelli San Diego CASenior Member
    evmo wrote:
    (The swim in the video above posted by @loneswimmer finished at Crissy Field on a strong ebb).

    Wow, that's all the way west by the GG bridge, (as I recall from having just been there for the first time the other day), right?
    How far is that...2-3 miles?
    That's a factor to contend with!
    evmo wrote:
    @ForeverSwim and I recently did a quote-unquote "real" Alcatraz (finishing at SERC) across a 3+knot ebb tide, and it was a thrilling challenge of a swim. Despite our best efforts, we got pushed west all the way to Ft Mason and had to crab our way back along the shoreline to Aquatic Park. It was awesome.

    After this past weekend, (with my first visit to AP and foray into swimming in the Bay), I've said this to people about the "thrilling challenge" and "added factor of the tides/currents", both in planning and execution, that swimming there includes! It really does add an exciting aspect that I enjoyed.
    And not to take it lightly, since this past weekend was relatively weak tidal flow...still, it was fun to have to think about it and manage it (even though I wasn't alone either on the Sharkfest Alcatraz swim on Sat or Sunday SERC Sunrise swim plus a couple more hours with a few others) and could presumably rely on the event support (Sharkfest) and, more confidently, the pilots (SERC swim) to steer us right!

    I liken the feeling to going out with big waves around La Jolla Cove...it's a whole different kind of swim! ;-)
    Challenging and Exciting, but ever vigilant...

    Certainly, for me, my Sunday swim was more to my liking than the Sharkfest swim, because it wasn't with a mass of people (and rubber) zig zigging all over the place (and my first priority and focus was on the group of young swimmers I trained and took up there for their first event). Still, I really enjoyed the "Alcatraz" swim and look forward to doing it again...though preferably without the masses.
    And although our original Sunday plan of going around Alcatraz was thwarted by the fog (disappointing!) I did then get to experience a bit of the "challenge" and excitement of heading back to AP from the West as the ebb tide was starting!

    It's interesting what info sticks in your mind when you don't think at the time that you'll ever need it...but I remembered Evan saying about his swim he referenced above with @ForeverSwim that while Darren and their other friend tried to take the straighter line back to AP, he snuck along closer to the shoreline, Ft Mason and AP pier, (home field advantage!) to squeeze back into AP! Although the flow wasn't as heavy on our day as their's, it was a tip I'll always remember now that I was at least mildly faced with that similar situation of managing the extraneous conditions and added factors of an open water swim in SF Bay!
    Thanks @evmo! :-)

    I hope to follow my first fun and thoroughly enjoyable trip to AP with many more to come...love the friends I've made and friendships that continued to be nurtured in wet, salty/silty, wind/choppy, ebb/flow conditions of SF Bay!
    :-)

  • heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member
    Every year, my students organize an auction to pay for public interest lawyering over the summer. I always auction two Alcatraz swims. This year's winners, both terrific swimmers, want to do Alcatraz to Angel Island, arguing that the Anglin brothers and Frank Morris probably ended up heading that way in their famous escape. I agreed, so we're on for September 6.
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