Susan Kirk of Long Valley, New Jersey is typical of the very passionate swimmers looking forward to the summer. “We have an absolute blast doing all of our swims and the camaraderie that we share is electric. The season is ready to open for us northerners.

My passion is open water swimming. I fit in as many open water swims each open water season as my family life permits. Last season, I swam in 17 open water swims ranging in distances from 1 mile to 10K.

The majority of the swims are in the Atlantic Ocean, but I’ve also participated in lakes, the Hudson River, bays, sounds, a lagoon, and the Gulf of Mexico.”

But despite her passionate interest, she remains respectful of all conditions. “In years past, I’ve had to put into play my own personal safety action plan and withdraw from two events after traveling to the venue and evaluating that the conditions were, in my opinion, not safe. In one race, there was severely compromised visibility with heavy fog, but no course control over the motorized ocean water craft. In another race, there was very rough, overhead pounding surf with short period swells. Disappointing yes, but there’s always another open water swim. In both cases, the event directors surprisingly went ahead with their events, although I was not alone in withdrawing from the events.”

Better safe than sorry.

Copyright © 2011 by Open Water Source