SHARKFEST at TRONCONES ONE MORE TIME

 

We took the bus out to Troncones drop off point, and then began to walk to the taxi stand which isn’t far.  A nice young couple in a mini van with 3 kids stopped and offered to take us part way in, we were in the process of accepting their hospitality when the “combi” pull up behind them.  We thanked them for the offer, but would have greatly over crowded their rig and we took the combi to the Inn At Manzanillo Bay.

Bungalow #8 poolside with the ocean a few steps away ocean
Bungalow #8 poolside with the ocean a few steps away ocean

Our room was a charming bungalow with an ocean front view and a hammock from which to enjoy it and the sunset on our patio. It also came equipped with a 10-12 inch iguana, who had established territory in the wall pocket where the door slides.  I asked if we got charged extra for the

Our unexpected roommate
Our unexpected roommate

iguana and was told it came free of charge.  The windows are all wood louvers including the sliding pocket doors where you are cooled by an overhead fan and a nice sea breeze.  So cool that the Senor got up in the middle of the night and turned off the overhead fan.  Before dinner we went for a swim in the pool, then changed for dinner.  The Senor enjoyed a sirloin burger, while I had quesadillas of cheese shrimp and mushrooms.  We retired to our patio and had drinks before calling the lovely romantic (that translates to no TV) evening quits.  It appeared that the iguana retired else where for which I was thankful. In the morning I convinced the kitchen staff to give me a little yogurt to mix with my protein stuff and we were  ready for the short walk to Hacienda Eden to sign in for Sharkfest.

This is my second “Sharkfest “swim at Troncones . It is a 1.1 mile fun swim, not a race but still a competitive event.  It is not for novices, but for folks who swim a mile in a pool in 50 minutes or less.  I just barely make it as I average a 46 minute mile. At 70 and 11/12ths, I’m the oldest swimmer, the youngest was 21. My goal is simple, to complete and not come in last. I was successful coming in about in the middle, unofficially number 10 of 17 swimmers.

Me finishing the Sharkfest swim
Me finishing the Sharkfest swim

We start in Majahua  and swim out around the point ending at Hacienda Eden. Many paddle boarders help mark the course and keep people like me from swimming out to sea.

Paddle boarder with his dog
Paddle boarder with his dog

One paddle boarder’s dog rides with him.  As this was my second swim it was easier in respect I knew what to expect, but I think there were more swells this year keeping it interesting.  It’s a fun event!

As we walked back to the Inn at Manzanillo we noticed the sign posted on one of the residences requesting the fruit vendor to stop.  It’s like

Sign requesting fruit delivery
Sign requesting fruit delivery

businesses at home putting out the UPS sign when they need a pick up.  Near the entrance to the Inn was this huge boulder encased by the tree’s roots.  The tree was tall and the roots thick and most likely quite old.  So how did this happen?  Did the tree grow on top of the boulder and an earthquake push the boulder up, or did the tree grow in dirt and the boulder got push up into the roots, or did rain and erosion finally wear the dirt away or was it unearthed in bulldozer construction.

Tree growing around a boulder
Tree growing around a boulder

Some  things you just have to ponder . I’m the pale one in pink with fins in the group picture.

Sharkfest Class of 2015
Sharkfest Class of 2015

TODAY I SWAM WITH THE FISHES AT SHARKFEST

Today was my first open water ocean distance swim. How did this almost 69 an eleven twelfths year old lady from Port Orchard WA end up in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Mexico swimming? Well it’s been an adventure begining April of 13 when I first heard about Sharkfest in an entry on ZihuaRob’s message board. Always willing to try new adventures, I said to my self “I can do that”. Then I said to my husband, the Senor “When we are in Zihuatanejo next winter I’m going to take part in the Sharkfest swim at Troncones.  The Senor’s prompt reply was “your nuts! You’ve never swam in open ocean waters.”  True, but that got me going and the next morning I was at the South Kitsap High School swim pool at 6:00 am ready to start training. And train I did. After a couple of weeks I put together a string of 16 beads on a leather thong to count laps with and I was doing pretty good I could do what I thought was a mile in about 40 min. But the life guard set me straight you swim up and back to complete a full lap in the 25 yards.  Gee I had a long way to go if I was going to get my time down to 1 mile in under an hour. So I swam 5 days a week lost a couple of pounds and figured if I watched a little better what I ate and dropped 20 lbs it would help with the speed. In a month or so I needed a new suit, in another month another new suit, my swim mates kept commenting on the shrinking me and I got faster. So 40 lbs later, with much encouragement from my swim mates and life guard I’m in a speedo swim suit displaying my wrinkled legs and arms and not caring because I AM A SWIMMER, maybe an old one, but one with great adventures in her heart.

As the Senor and I headed to Zihuatanejo for our 2 month vacation there was the conundrum of Seahawks Playoffs vs Sharkfest, both were going to happen on the same day.    I would not have been happy if the Senor  was to miss my big moment, and he would have if the times had conflicted. But there is a god in heaven and the Seahawks  were to have their game in the  late afternoon and my swim was going to be in  the early morning. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

So Saturday January 11,2014 arrives and I put on my suit, pack my fins, goggles and under water I pod and the Senor and I head out to catch a cab to Troncones which is around 20 or so miles away. Now at 7:00 am there aren’t many cabs around but we found a willing one and headed to Hacienda Eden in Troncones . I’m already registered so we don’t really need to be there that early, but the the Senor has a thing about time. Along the way a pick up truck with 4 guys standing up in the pack passes us and then slows down and pulls partway on the shoulder motioning us to pull up. Now we both are doing about 60 and we are wondering what the heck is going on. The two drivers exchange comments and the just is the pick up driver owns the cab and wants to know what the driver is doing so far out of town.  He explains and all is good and we move on, but single file now.

Kathleen #1 at Sharkfest
Kathleen #1 at Sharkfest

It’s a beautiful day and a beautiful place at Hacienda Eden, the participants start trickling in along with folks who are doing support service on kayaks and paddle boards. Everyone is registered we each have a number written on our hands so that everyone is accounted for at race end. Mine is 1 as I was the first to register. The participants walk the 1/2 mile or so to Majhaua Palms where we will enter the water and swim out past the point back to Hacienda Eden. As we prepare to enter the water 2 pigs and one baby pig arrive to cheer us on. After a group picture everyone enters the water, putting on goggles, fins or what ever they prefer and the swim is on.  Do remember this is not a race it is strictly a group event, everyone swims at their own pace. Now I knew I wouldn’t be the first one to finish, but I really didn’t want to be the last one to finish.  The Senors parting words to me were “now if you get tired let them help you in the boat”. And I thought to myself it would be my lifeless body they would have to drag in that boat, I’m swimming the whole way, I’ve worked too hard to give in at any point now.

The only difficulty I encountered was keeping oriented, as I kept swimming out to sea and had to keep correcting my direction.  For some reason, my left arm works harder than the right. The paddle boarders were a god send for folks like me who seem to be directionaly challenged as you could see them standing tall on the boards and I could keep altering my course towards them, but I know I swam a lot further than others as my arc was much wider.

Kathleen trying to get the fins off in the surf
Kathleen trying to get the fins off in the surf
Kathleen finishing in about 50 min
Kathleen finishing in about 50 min

None the less I finished swimming strong and not the last one in and feeling quite pleased with myself. I missed being in the group finish picture as I was stuck in “el bano” but they said they might be able to photo shop me in.  I know I will hear flack from that one.

We enjoyed a nice breakfast at Hacienda Enden, called a cab and back to Zihuatanejo as the Senor was worn out and need to rest before his game started. We took a short nap and now I’m going to go out and find some ice cream.

So before I turn 70 I have accomplished a 1.1 mile ocean swim. What is next?  I don’t know but I know I will continue to swim regularly as I feel better physically than I have in many years, I wore the same dress this New Years eve that I wore the night I met the Senor 20 years ago.

Kathleen at New Years 2014
Kathleen at New Years 2014

Please don’t say he should buy me a new dress, I love that dress and look fantastic in it.  I’m just waiting for the next adventure so keep me in mind.

Hacienda Eden
Hacienda Eden

 

 

 

Signing off KO