2014 Open Water Swim Clinics

We gave our open water swim clinics this past weekend and here’s what folks say about them!

Thank you for providing so much information-your team did a great job of preparing me for open water swimming!  What a great service you provide for all of us who want to spend time in the beautiful water that surrounds us!” – Kim

The open water swim clinic was a great introduction to the swimming portion of a triathlon. All members of the instructor team gave great tips on what to expect at an event and how to prepare for it. Well worth my time and investment!” – Ryan

Open water swimming presents unique challenges over swimming in a pool. Swimming in the lakes and salt water surrounding South Whidbey is a delightful experience when the challenges of open water are safely managed. Whether you are a new swimmer, a triathlete, or interested in endurance swimming, come learn techniques or refresh your skills for mastering the open water. Enjoy ‘swimming in your own backyard!’

Open Water Swim Clinics

Saturday, July 12, 3:00-6:00pm, Seawall Park & swimming in Saratoga Passage

Sunday, July 13, 3:00-6:00pm, Goss Lake Public Access Area & swimming in Goss Lake

Course topics covered in both classes, but customized for the aquatic environment (sound or lake):

Sighting Techniques

Starts, Finishes & Turns

Pacing for the open water

Breathing Techniques

Swimming Safety

Training & Fueling

Open Water Swim Gear

Wetsuits 101: sizing, choosing, putting it on

Currents & Tides, Weather & Critters

‘Getting Past the Panic’

Price: $40 per clinic; scholarships available

To register: http://www.swparks.org/programs

The instruction team is comprised of very experienced open water USA Masters swimmers and Red Cross trained water safety instructors.

Note, the Whidbey Adventure Swim, scheduled for August 2nd, is an open water event in the sound that may be of interest for stronger swimmers. The July 12th saltwater clinic is ideal for swimmers interested in participating in this event, as well as swimmers who are looking to take advantage of the wonderful saltwater swimming opportunities here on the island. More information about this event can be found at: http://ow.swhidbey.org/.

The July 13th clinic in Goss Lake will be a great way for triathlon swimmers to refresh their open water racing skills and those who are new to open water swimming.



Eat a Book! (March 29th)

The Edible Book Festival is returning to Whidbey Island

Bring an entry – or just come ready to eat one!

Brought back for a second helping after its debut last year, the second annual South Whidbey Edible Book Festival returns on March 29th. The Festival is seeking clever cooks and hungry readers to participate in this annual international celebration of books, art and food. It is both a contest and fundraising event – this year all proceeds will benefit The South Whidbey Parks and Aquatics Foundation. We will donate the funds to The Rotary Basketball Court.

The guidelines are – it can look like a book, it can act like a book, it can be a pun on a book. It can be inspired by a book cover or character. The only rule: it must be edible! Contestants may enter an appetizer, entree or dessert so get creative and have some fun. All entrees should be family friendly.

Entering is free – and there are six categories this year. Categories include Best In Show, Best Visual Presentation, Most “Pun”derful, Most Appetizing, Teen, and Children under 12. Winners are chosen by an audience vote.

The event is scheduled for 1 to 4 PM at Bayview Hall on March 29th. All entries should be on site by 1:15 PM. Judging and photography will take place between 2 and 3 PM. Once voting is done and the winners are announced, forks will be provided.

To see examples, get inspiration, and register an entry, visit the event’s Facebook Page at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/South-Whidbey-Edible-Book-Festival/809055852568614

Alternate Breath by TJ Wiley, 2013

I’m already in over my head
treading lightly, waiting for you
reader, to swim out, join me
where you cannot touch.

But how can you trust me
not to fill your pockets
with the bricks of mourning,
sands of an abused childhood or
an anchor of barnacled love
(so many word-sailors lost to that brine).

These words formed wet
in some waved harbor of Sound
will come to you from a dry page
in a dry room where you haven’t
even thought about your next breath

until now.
But believe me when I tell you
even the bones that hold you up
are 22% water, and doesn’t that
make you just a little wary
of your blue-marble world
which spins and hangs from nothing?

We all begin with a crawl stroke
pulling toward the horizon—
that seam where life and darkness join
beyond our high-elbow reach.
Jump. The sea’s surface cries and sings
at every wave’s white break.
This is why we must learn to breathe
on both sides of our bodies.

TJ Wiley


Written one year after Teresa “escaped” from Alcatraz and published in Floating Bridge Review, No. 6.  She is a long time swimmer who can be often seen swimming in Useless Bay and Saratoga passage.