Monday, August 13, 2012

Gorge Swim Fest

Curtis Point on Sunday


On Sunday there was the first Gorge Swim Fest organized by the four community associations bordering on the Gorge.   I have been trying to get more people to try swimming the Gorge for the last couple of years and I was therefore very happy the major goal of the Swim Fest was to get more people in the water.

Stephen the seal
We spent most of the day at Curtis Point, after five hours in the sun without a shirt and no sunscreen I actually got a sunburn.  I also swam enough to have very sore biceps today.  I promised Rob Wickson I would have a canoe on hand for emergencies and be available as one more person with First Aid training.

Part of the dock at Banfield Park
Stephen basically spent the whole day in the water and is getting close to being able to dive properly.  Stephen has been going swimming as often as he can this summer.   Getting kids into the water more often means their own swimming skills improve

People hanging out at Banfield Park
The water at Curtis Point started at 23.5 degrees just before none and then fell about a degree over the course of the day.   The water was cooling because of the incoming tide.

Most of the day there were 30 to 40 people in the water and another 50 to 80 people on land at Curtis Point.  I think it was a decent turn out for a low key community event.   I tried to talk to as many people as I could to ask them if they had been swimming in the Gorge before.   About 2/3s of the people had never done so before which means one of the goals of the Swim Fest was met, getting more local people in the water.
This is me in the water, not a whale

Banfield Park Dock
We checked out Banfield to see how crowded it was, we were only there a few minutes.  This incoming tide meant that it was significantly cooler to be swimming at Banfield Park than Curtis Point and we only jumped in a couple of times.

The Banfield Park location is sort of hidden away at the north west corner of the park and not very connected to the rest of the park though it does have a very nice dock to swim from.

We did not check out the swimming at Esquimalt Gorge Park so I have no report of what it was like.

I could see from the 100" dock from the GVHA that there were upwards of 10 people on the dock at Tillicum bridge where I normally swim
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