Saturday Jan 9th 2016 I participated in my 3rd Sharkfest swim at Troncones Mexico. This is the only international swim in the Sharkfest swim series, other locations are Alcatraz to San Francisco and Lake Tahoe in California and many other locations around the country. Troncones is a sleeping little fishing, surfing village on the Pacific ocean. At this time of year the surf is usually quite flat making it an ideal time of year for an open water swim. At other times it is prime surfing teritory. Troncones is about 30 miles from where we spend our winters in Zihuatanejo. To get there we ride 2 busses. When we got on the first bus in Zihuatanejo we were 2 of 3 passengers on a 16 seat bus if you include the 2 seats up front by the driver. By the time we traveled through the multitude of miniscule villages along the way we were 20 mexicans and 3 gringos, us with a small suitcase and my swim bag and a variety of bags and boxes the other folks acquired on their shopping trips. No chickens or pigs.
Once at Troncones we transfer to a small minivan converted to a bus to take us the 3-4 miles through the village to the Inn at Manzanillo Bay where we choose to stay the night before the event. It is as beautiful a spot as I have ever seen.
We stay in a thatched roof poolside bungalow, steps from the pool and the ocean. A fantastic restaurant with friendly service. This is about 1/4 mile from where we assemble and register for the event.
Saturday morning is bright and sunny, but the surf is a little high, I usually swim in the bay where there is no surf to contend with. We head off to our starting point and due to the surf conditions we have to go a little further along the beach than we have before as we have to swim around a point with lots of rocks where the surf is pounding.
Our instructions are to swim out around the boat that goes with us to keep every one away from the rocks. No problem, but I’m thinking this is definately going to be a little more than the 1.1 mile it’s been in previous years. I can definatly feel the rolling ocean but I’m swimming strong and enjoying the music from my swimmers ipod that is attached to my goggles. I do have difficulty staying on course as I am directionaly challenged even on land, but the folks an the paddle board keep us all on course. I’m at the point where I need to turn and swim straight for shore and our finish point, I’m getting closer, and closer and then I get slammed by a wave, it knocks the breath out of me, and I loose one fin as I come up to the surface catch my breath I get hit by the second wave, then the third. By this time I have lost both fins, my goggles have been ripped off head along with my cap and I know I need help. A young man comes out and grabs me just as a fourth wave pulls us both under, but I know I’m OK as this man has a firm grasp on me, a second young man comes out and the two of them help me walk in. Not exactly the finish I was hoping for but I did finish and once again in the midddle of the pack of 23 swimmers.
As the oldest swimmer in group I really don’t want to be last. But I seem to be the only one who didn’t know how to handle the waves. Guess I’ll have to paractice up. My fins did float up and were rescued, but not so my googles with my beloved Ipod, maybe they will show up in Japan.
As the Senor and I walk the beach back to our Inn we watch a dog who is very intent on watching some surfers. We surmise that his owner is one of them. And then we watch this dog swim out and give a real demonstration on how to handle the waves. Gotta love this dog, I could learn a lot from her. The video won’t insert on the blog so I will have to post it to face book. Signing off. KO