Sunday 28th July – Wet Suit Tried Out in Sea Waters
It was Sunday, Galia’s day off, hot weather with her daughter-in-law and grandson dying to get the Black Sea Coast for the day.
There was no hesitation from me taking everyone to the beach, but I did make a condition. This was namely to leave early and get on the beach before 09:00 so I can try out the wetsuit, beside which, we would have prime position on the beach and not too hot as the forecast was for 34C today.
We left at 07:00 and arrived as a place called Sarafovo, right next to Burgas Airport. We have been there many times before as it is overlooked by many tourists due to the more popular resorts north and south of this location. With this, it still has a seaside village feel to it and that the appeal.
We arrive and were set up on the beach by 08:30. The ladies and grandchild who was 3 years old and his first visit to the beach, had their plan to relax and enjoy the sun, sea and sand with a few beers alongside. I, however, had another agenda and couldn’t wait to get into the waters donning a wetsuit for the first time.
The technique of using plastic bags initially before trying to ride up the legging and arms of the wetsuit actual make it possible to get into it. Without this aid, I don’t know how anyone can get into a wet suit.
The temperature was already approaching 28/29C and the time it took to get the wetsuit on I was sweating like a pig making it even harder to get the skin to ride up, even with a plastic bag to slide along. There was also no way IU could zip up the back on my own as the back needed to be pulled together to enable the zip to ride up.
It took a while, but the wetsuit was on. I decided not to use the tow float just yet. Needless to say, I was the only person on the beach dressed in black but felt nice to be different and individual.
The sea temperature was around 26C, but even at this temperature many cringe entering with the water once it goes above the waist line. This was the first thing I notice, absolutely no sensation of change of temperature on my body as I wade into waters up to my neck. I was more than impressed with the insulation effect. That was a major advantage which in colder waters should react in the same way.
As I began to swim breaststroke, I couldn’t. My legs rose so high when I kicked it was air I was kicking not water with no propulsion at all. The legs up meant my front end was down I had to use more energy in the arm stroke to get my head up for breath. It felt very uncomfortable in terms of trying to get any forward movement with this kit on. Even after 10 minutes of trying to adapt, I just couldn’t swim breaststroke in this outfit.
Breaststroke was a style I so used to be so comfortable with but now could not sustain it. I went onto freestyle and this was easy. More buoyancy for breathing on the side, more than comfortable strokes and seemingly gliding through the waters much quicker than before. I can see why it is a godsend to speed merchants. The table had been turned, I felt much more at ease with freestyle than breaststroke and this now leads to a dilemma.
Lying on my back I didn’t need to do any waving hands or kicking legs to remain buoyant above the waterline. I could have fallen asleep and been completely safe with no danger of sinking even with air expelled from my lungs. It was like lying on an airbed!
The dilemma however remains. If I do the 2-mile event in London with a wetsuit, I won’t be able to make out any progress with the breaststroke. Breaststroke was my lifeline in terms of endurance and recovery from freestyle if it was entertained. What do I do now?
Well, all in all, the wetsuit experience was a bittersweet one. If the London waters are below a certain temperature the wetsuit will become compulsory and the choice would have been made. This would mean that freestyle would have to be used otherwise I’d be going nowhere. As experienced, I’d be exhausted by the energy needed to get my head above water and my legs underwater.
My preference would be without a wetsuit and mixing breaststroke and freestyle with a tow float there for panics and breaks. Either way, I have to focus on the freestyle now if water temperatures dictate wetsuit wearing.
So, after a non-alcoholic beer after the swim with the wetsuit, which only took 1 minute to take off, my horizon now it the 1st August for the final push and work on freestyle to the best of my ability.
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