Friday afternoon we went out to the village of Troncones and checked into the beautiful Inn at Manzanillo Bay. Checked into our beach bungalow to discover they have been completely redone since last year. Very luxurious, complete with a private outdoor courtyard shower. Had a lovely dinner, a couple of drinks and retired to listen the sound of the rolling surf.
Saturday morning at 8:00 am we walked a short way down the road to check in for the swim at Hacienda Eden, get our numbers written on our hands which is how we check in and out of the water. We walked about a 1/4 mile down the road to the beach at Majahua, giving us a chance to meet each other and get to know one another. Several of the group have swam the Alcatraz to San Francisco Sharkfest and other like me are mostly pool swimmers. At just short of 73, I am one of the oldest swimmers. My goal is always to finish strong and not come in last. At Majahua we got our instructions on how to swim way out past the rocks and the current at Punta Majahua, then make a left turn and use the light house on the beach as a beacon to head for. We counted out our numbers and into the water go 15 swimmers. The 8 paddle boarders serving as spotters and guide posts were already in the water. One paddle boarder was accompanied by her small dog with his life jacket on. A panga (small motor boat) accompanies the group for anyone who might choose not to finish.
The distance is a little over a mile. The challenge for me is not so much the distance but swimming in the open ocean. It is very different considering the waves, currents and no black lines on the ocean floor to keep you oriented. At one point one of the paddle boarders placed her board in front of me so I would run into her so she could give me a course correction. I was swimming way to far out to sea. That’s their job to keep everyone on course and account for all. Being a crawl stroke swimmer all I see is sky and sea as the land is on my left. So you swim awhile and stop to check the direction and swim on.
Last year I had a great deal of trouble at the finish point as the surf was very high and I needed help getting oout after being tumbled several times.. This year was so much easier, but I did come in with a side stroke so I could keep an eye on the waves and made it “no problema”, proudly calling off my number to man checking the swimmers in. I don’t know and really don’t care where I placed, I’m not fast, but pretty steady. Friends said they thought I came in about 6 or 8. Middle of the pack, feels good, and I know I’ve had a good work out.
This year we were awarded medals, kind of a nice touch, had a group picture, and were busy congratulating ourselves. What made this year special for me was I had my own rooting section. Along with Doyle, friends Faye and Paul with two of their friends and Bonny were all there at the finish line to cheer me on. Hopefully some one has a picture of me coming in as Doyle was on guard to help me if I got caught in the surf.
Bonny went back to our hotel and we had a great breakfast and returned back to Zihuatanejo. Will I do it again, probably, but will just have to see what next year brings. Signing off KO