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Come hell or high water…

 

If you are just joining the club, you might hear some of the veteran swimmers talking about the lake water level. I’ve been swimming at Shadow Cliffs for nearly 30 years. Back in the late 80’s we had some very wet winters and the lake level had risen quite far, two summers ago, we saw just the opposite. I don’t think I’ve photographed the lake either at its lowest or highest water level, but these two sets of photos come close to showing these two recent extremes. Personally, I prefer the high water mark.

Two years ago, the drought had gotten so bad, they were not refilling the lake and over the summer you could see the water level dropping. At one point, it was at least a 100 yard walk from the benches to the water. The paddle boat dock was completely high and dry. It is perhaps not as startling as the Aral Sea in Kazakhstan, but a lot closer to home.

 

 

 

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Happy 2016, have you renewed?

Hi folks,

The 2016-2017 season is almost upon us. If you are a returning member, please remember to renew by April 30, 2016 so that you will have un-interrupted access to the lake.

For new members, you can contact us here to start the process to become a member.

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We will have our first Friday night Bracket race on Friday, June 7.

please click here to REGISTER FOR THE RACE: Register for the Bracket Race! please include your name, and your estimated swim time to the rock pile and back.

Here is the overview:
5:30-6:00 Collect contestant entry cards
6:00-6:10 Setup staging time for race assign racing numbers
6:10-7:00 Race to the rock pile and back
7:15-dusk Announce winners, eat pizza, clean up

Your entry card:
We’ll have 3×5 cards to fill out. You will put your name on the card and then your ET (estimated time). Your ET is the time you think it will take to start at the warning sign on the beach, get in the water, swim to the rock pile and back get out of the water and cross the start/finish line. We suggest you figure this out over the next few weeks when you go to the lake to swim.
We suggest you figure out your “fastest, most consistent time” to do the race. If you swim faster than your estimate (lower than your ET) you will be disqualified even if you finish fastest. The person that comes closest to their ET without going under will win.

Race staging:
Once we have all the contestants entry cards we will rank them slowest to fastest, if we have 10 people, and the slowest ET is 47:10 and the fastest is 22:14 the first person is assigned number 1 and will start at 00:00 on the clock, the fastest person will be assigned the number 10 and will be given their start time.

The Race:
Using the two swimmers listed above
Swimmer 1 (slowest swimmer) starts when the clock is 00:00
Swimmer 10 (fastest swimmer) starts when the clock is 24:56

Since the fastest swimmer can do the race in 24:56 less time than the slowest swimmer, they are held back. During the course of the swim they will catch up and in theory everyone should finish at the same time. The race is more about consistency than top speed.

After the race:
The winners will be announced and we will have drinks, snack and food for dinner. Then clean up.

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This event is FREE and open to all current Orcas Members, but if you are not a current member you can join or renew on race days.

We are looking to determine folks interest in Friday Night Bracket Racing.

What exactly is “Bracket Racing”? Well let’s start by saying you don’t have to be a fast swimmer, here’s the chance to kick Michael Phelps butt. What we do, is set up a course, probably to the rockpile and back.

When you enter the race, you give us the time that you think you can complete the course in, say 00:15:45 (15 minutes, 45 seconds), the closer you are to this time, the better your chances of winning.

In fact the winner would be the slowest person in the race, so long as they are the closest to the time they entered at the start. So even if you take around 45 minutes to go to the rockpile and back, you could beat out some one who can do it in 28 minutes, if you come closer to your entry time than the faster person, you would win.

We are still dialing in the process, we will likely dial in the process to make it more fun. The important thing is to have a good time, maybe step up your game a little and maybe even win. We’re working out some prizes for the fun of it too. And we might have some refreshments. Oh, one more thing, you can’t wear a watch during the race…

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RSVP here: I’m coming to the Full Moon Swim July 15!

For those of you who made it to either of the Full Moon swims last year, you will recall what a great time we had. Well, it’s that time again. Those of you who have not, here is a quick overview/preview. Swim start at 8:30 PM
Friday the 15th is for real a full moon, there are werewolves know to swim on these nights. The moon should be just clearing the horizon along the back wall (over the point) as we are swimming towards the far wall.

As we have in the past, before our swim, we do a quick beach clean up, it’s a help to the park staff, who will have to work a little longer day for us.

For more background information refer to these previous posts: Full-moon-Deux 2009 and Full Moon Swim Recap

Here’s the tentative “schedule”
Friday July, 15th
6:30 PM get together and Hosted Buffet at the beach!
7:15 PM start beach cleanup walk
7:30 PM set out light sticks at rockpile or point or both (TBD)
8:00 – 8:15 PM Full head count of all that are swimming, additional sign in
on the beach
8:30 PM Swim start
9:30 PM Last person out of the water and accounted for
10:00 PM Park gates locked, you’re spending the night if you ain’t
out by then.

How dark will it be?
Moon rise 8:46 PM
Sunset: 8:32 PM
Civil Twilight ends (horizon still visible) : 8:59 PM
Nautical Twilight ends (getting dark): 9:36 PM
Astronomical twilight ends (okay it’s dark now for sure): 10:18 PM

Keep in mind we will have glow stick markers showing the point, rock pile and return to the beach as well as kayaks and everyone will have a glow bracelet. It should be a colorful event. When we start the swim, it will still be light enough to see the far wall, (the point and rockpile). On the return leg to the beach, the buildings have lights on them and are easy to spot. We’ll have kayaks in the water to track swimmers in the water. One kayak will set out the light sticks and follow the last folks in. There will be TWO escorted swims, one to the rockpile and back (1600 yards) and the second, that group will continue onto the point before returning to the beach for about a 2400 yard swim.

To mark the occasion, we’ll have Full Moon Swim caps available ($5) or free if you are bringing food or providing logistics help with the kayaks, etc.
Full Moon Swim caps

The night swims are really fun and different. The evening should be incredibly pleasant, the water warm, and glass smooth. This will be the earliest Full Moon swim we’ve done in the season, in the past they’ve been in mid August, it won’t be quite as dark, but should be as fun as those in the past.

Anyone not a member yet is welcome to sign up earlier in the evening, though please let me know if you are interested ahead of time at: sign_up@shadowcliffsorcas.com

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Membership hits 250!

Well today was a great day, not just weather wise, but Al and I had the chance to test 20 new swimmers. The Team-In-Training group coached by fellow Orca, Dave Stark, were out for an early season training session and many members of that group have decided the Orca’s are a great way to get more open water training.
Testing march 2011
I’m not sure what Dave has been sneakin’ in their Cliff Bars, but we heard nary a complaint about cold water (and believe me it was cold at 54 F!). Everyone was in great spirits and sailed right through the swim test.
March 2011 swim test
Once again, Al and I would like to all the folks that came down today and joined. We look forward to seeing you out there and hope you enjoy this upcoming season.

John

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