Tuesday, July 21, 2015

21Jul15 - Bridge swim

Today I was able to do a swim I have wanted to do for several years.  Each year when we drive down to the Outer Banks, we cross over the Wright Memorial Bridge.  It is just under 3 miles long and I've always wanted to swim from one side to another.  I planned the logistics a few weeks ago and acquired all the permission needed.
Up at 0545 with Patricia.  Our 24 hour rental kayak was already loaded on my sisters van and we were off.  On the way, I called both the Currituck County and Dare County non-emergency numbers to tell them what I was planning on doing.  I also received clearance from the Coast Guard.  It was the same Officer of the Day so he was cool about whatever I wanted to do.  The biggest reason for the calls was so that no one will see a swimmer in the middle of the Sound and call the authorities saying a swimmer is in distress.
We drove over to the west end.  The wind was blowing west to east so we might as well make it easier.  We parked in the lot of an abandoned restaurant.  The docks in the back were missing half the planks so walking across with the kayak was an adventure.  Patricia was not very happy but was a great sport.  We dropped the kayak in then Patricia carefully sat on top.  I walked to the end and had Patricia stick the paddle in to see how deep the water was.  She could not touch the bottom so that was good.  I lowered myself in nice and slow.  I was unable to touch the bottom.
Let the adventure BEGIN

The swim was on!  There is a row of power lines that runs parallel to the bridge.  We went right between them.  The wind was going pretty strong and the current was with us.  Patricia was having to paddle carefully so she did not get slammed into me constantly.  I just relaxed and enjoyed the sunrise.
The time ticked along and the farther we went, the choppier the water became.  Patricia was soon feeling "not so great" and was grateful she had not eaten any solids before the start.
Soon enough, we were almost at the end.  It was a possibility to do an out and back but that was out of the question.  Patricia called ahead for a ride from my brother back to the van.  I swam under the bridge and kept stopping to ask Patricia to take pictures.  I did have my GoPro and I will load those pictures later.
Going under

Just a cool shot!

When we hit the shore, Patricia and I had to drag the kayak out and carry it a few hundred yards just outside of someones farm house.  As I waited for Patricia to come back with the van, I just sat on the side of the highway in my speedo inside the kayak....sexy as hell!!!
I had a great time and was glad I did the swim.  Another adventure swim to check off.  I need to keep looking around this place each year for more bridges to swim parallel to.
I am grateful I was able to share this adventure with my wife.

3 miles OW

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