Waiting for Spring

It is March, and I have started to haunt the US Geological Survey National Water Information System website. I have it bookmarked on my home computer, my office computer, and my phone. It updates every 15 minutes, and it will give you all kinds of information in graphs or tables (take your pick), but I’m looking mostly at one thing: the water temperature of my lake.

My lake temperatures in Fahrenheit from Jan 1 to Mar 22. From the USGS.
Water temperatures in Fahrenheit from Jan 1 to Mar 22. From the USGS.

I like swimming in pools. I grew up swimming in pools. In fact, I get somewhat grouchy when people make a point of dividing swimmers into pool swimmers and open water swimmers. You run into it here and there, especially open water swimmers who talk in tragic tones about the deprivations of swimming with walls. But I love to swim, anywhere, anytime. I will swim inside or out, I will swim in a pool or open water, I will swim in fresh water or salt: look, if you give me a body of water big enough, I’ll swim in it.

The truth is, given where I live and how I live, I’m just not in a position to be choosy.

Nonetheless it’s March. The daffodils are out. I’m checking the USGS site. I love swimming in my pool with my pool people, but it’s time to go outside and swim under the great big blue sky of South Carolina. It’s not just me: S the triathlete said in the locker room the other day that she looked up the email about group open water swimming last year, and it was scheduled to start in 2013 on April 2, the first Wednesday of April. She wanted to know if I had heard anything about 2014. I said I hadn’t heard anything about 2014. She said she was ready to go. I said I was ready to go. It’s spring. We’re ready to go.

Another friend sent me a link to a site from the Outdoor Swimming Society: Wild Swim Map. The Outdoor Swimming Society is based in the UK, and you can tell, given the proportions of swimming sites mapped in the UK and Western Europe to those in the rest of the world. But all that means is that the rest of us need to join in; I added my lake, putting the first marker on South Carolina, and made a comment about the joys of swimming at Lucky’s Lake Swim in Orlando, FL, which already had a marker.

The weather is beautiful today, but there’s cold coming in tomorrow. Still, I have hopes for April. I’m willing to wear my wetsuit if I have to. It’s time to go outside and play.

My lake, May 2013
My lake, May 2013

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