“I found this notepad on the beach after a storm in February [see above]. I think the image implies an unfinished story, as we all are. Happiness is a choice,” explains the Oak Streeter member.
The owner of Random Acts of Soap and one of the most active observers and experienced crew members of the Catalina Channel Swimming Federation and the Santa Barbara Channel Swimming Association explains the DNA behind that ubiquitous smile. “People see pictures of my beautiful mother and her lovely smile and remark that I was fortunate to inherit her smile.”
We asked her random questions about her open water swimming:
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What makes you so happy when you are standing on the shoreline?
Lynn Kubasek: The feeling on the shoreline is not what would be described as happiness, but more as anticipation. “Oh no, it’s cold”, “This is gonna hurt”, “Oh look, dolphins!”, or trying to time gnarly sets so you don’t get thrashed on the way past the breakers.
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What makes you so happy when you are swimming in the ocean?
Lynn Kubasek: Getting to swim in the ocean is the chance to be a part of something bigger than yourself. I was once fearful, but now I embrace it.
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Would you rather swim solo or swim in a group? Why?
Lynn Kubasek: Each scenario has its benefits and joys.
Solo swims are a chance for focus, introspection, and evaluation. There is no need to worry about being too slow or too fast…just being.
Swimming with someone else or in a group can be delightful. Sharing the joy of a passing pod of dolphins or seeing something wonderful and new multiplies the excitement and gives you a shared witness (like that egg yolk jellyfish I saw with Morgan Empey right after my camera broke, or all the mola molas in Emerald Bay with Carol and Lisa). See? I’m not imagining things!
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What do you do after you finish a swim?
Lynn Kubasek: Hahaha…rinse with warm water, towel off, put on dry clothes, and try to not flash my friends.
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Does food taste better after an ocean swim?
Lynn Kubasek: Everything tastes better after any swim!
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Are jokes funnier after an ocean swim?
Lynn Kubasek: Lots of things are funny after an ocean swim and it doesn’t even need to be a formal joke. A dog running up the beach is funny. The bird that the dog thinks he’s chasing is funny. The dog’s owner trying to extract the dog from the surf is funny. That diver…oh no! That diver, falling down in the surf is funny.
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Do problems seem far away when you are swimming far from shore?
Lynn Kubasek: No, problems are never far away. However, they become more manageable during the course of a swim. The problem of the hulking monster is really just a group of docile folks that can be easily addressed.
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What types of people do you enjoy swimming with?
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Where do you most enjoy swimming: cold vs. warm, rough vs. calm, ocean vs. lakes, mid-day vs. night?
Lynn Kubasek: Like most open water swimmers, we all take what is given and it is a gift to get to do it. I love warm water because I am not that competitive and won’t burn up, but also adore the bite of the cold and the delightful shiver after.
Rough water is a carnival ride and calm waters are a smooth dream. Although I especially adore aquarium-clear water and there is where it is fun to swim with others.
I thought I preferred the ocean, but after getting to support Peter Hayden at the S.C.A.R. Swim Challenge in Arizona this year, I have come to appreciate the majestic beauty of lakes – and Kent Nicholas puts on a SUPER event.
After getting diagnosed with melanoma [see article here], I am not so much a fan of mid-day swims. Although I love the feel of the sun on my back, the price may be too much. Early morning swims are awesome and night swimming are the best for me now. Night swims are like slipping into cool black velvet and if there is phosphorescence, it is like the starry night beneath you.
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: How long do you foresee swimming in the ocean?
Lynn Kubasek: I don’t know and I am certainly concerned about what my dermatologist says. While I would like it to be my lifelong passion, I may transition to more of a support role, such as kayak support or paddler where I can cover my skin or observer. I love doing videos [see As Seen On The Internetz Catalina Channel relay below].
Upper photo is from Shaw’s Cove, “the happiest place on earth to me”.
Lower photo shows Kubasek in middle of the bottom row with a yellow swim cap with her fellow Fear No Pier participants under the pier at Huntington Beach, including Julian Rusinek, Ray Meltvedt, Theo Schmeeckle, Natalie Merrow, Tanya MacLean, and Scott Zornig under the Huntington Beach pier.
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