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Day 309: Swimming in big swell waves yesterday

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Saturday, September 26, 2020

Happy weekend, SparkPeople!

Yesterday was Day 309 of my streak. My highlight was doing the cold ocean water training with my son. This was our CRAZIEST experience in the ocean yet. There were large swells that led to large waves.

When we first started swimming in the cold ocean early this summer, my son asked me if the waves would ever get very big. The waves then were around 2-5 feet. This is deceiving though. When you are standing in the ocean with the water up to your shoulders, a 2-5 foot wave is way over your head. But these summer waves typically aren't very powerful. I told him that at one point in the fall, they would start getting so large that you wouldn't dare go out to the breaking waves because of the danger. He was skeptical.

We hit that point yesterday. Now he gets it :).

If you aren't familiar with this, waves are typically fairly thin. But a larger swell is when you visibly see large ripples out in the ocean making their way towards shore and they typically form very powerful waves at the shore. Swells can be more than 10 feet wide. The waves from these swells yesterday were in the 6-10 foot range. We saw online that other places near us had waves up to 15 feet high.

I went in the water and my first sign this was different was when a very small wave hit me (after it broke farther out), but it was so powerful that I realized if I stood my ground against these waves it could cause a knee injury, so I either had to stand backwards so it would just cause my knee to buckle forwards without injury, or I jumped into/over the wave.

The second thing we noticed was after the initial wave hit, there was a huge mass of water behind it from the swell. This was fun to try to swim against.

Here is an image of a group of swells (not my photo):
miro.medium.com/max/10104/1*0x4JXVxScB0sHzg7IlcsLQ.jpeg

It's hard to tell from photos, but this breaking wave is probably at least 10 feet high from the size of these swells.

We brought a waterproof football into the ocean and tossed that around as the remnants of the waves hit us.

We didn't go out very far to stay far away from the large breaking waves. And the water was so powerful that a rip current could have pulled us out into the ocean, so we stayed safe.

This was an exhilarating fitness goal that was fun to do with my son.

Update: We just read that the waves were 17 feet high at our beach early yesterday morning. Would have been fun to get in just a tiny bit to see those!

I hope you are having a great Saturday! Anything fun planned?

SparkCheers!

Chris
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