A 5hr20min training swim up in Seattle. Seattle has colder water than San Francisco, so I wanted to do this to make sure I’d be prepared for my upcoming North Channel swim.

The swim was everything I hoped for: the water was colder, the wildlife was wilder, and it was tough.

The water temp was “only” 59ºF which should be fine for me, but since the bay has been so much warmer recently, it was a bit of a shock. It’s good to know how this feels, because the North Channel may even be a tad colder than Seattle.

The water was crystal clear, I could see my entire hand so clearly. This is great compared to the bay’s water, which is often murky. However, it meant I could see what was out there, which included jellyfish. Luckily there were not too many jellyfish, and the ones in Seattle are moon jellies, which are not harmful.

On top of that, there was a ton of seaweed floating around. Seaweed is not harmful or dangerous, but it scares the crap out of me, beacuse it’s never pleasant to reach your arm out and pull back a slimy, sticky piece of anything.

On the pleasant wildlife side, at the midpoint of the swim, I swam in to the beach to pick up some rocks as swim mementos. As I was walking back in the water, I saw a family of river otters staring back at me! They must have been 25 yards out. I made sure to give them some distance and then kept on for the rest of the swim.

The swim provided great views of the Seattle skyline. The first half of the day was a little gloomy, and as soon as we turned around to head back, the sky cleared up and it became an incredibly gorgeous day.

Nicki, who had been crewing for me on the boat, hopped in for the last 30 minutes and we swam to a “#2” buoy and finished the swim.