Tuesday, December 16, 2008

More Eagle Harbor day 11

I'm ready to get out of the harbor and back to the open coast. The Swim Around Bainbridge is showing me much, including better and worse than I expected. And now, I've got my first malady. It's industrial disease
of the psychic sort, caused by prolonged exposure to the dim views under the dire straits of a developed harbor.

(Industrial Disease: a disease arising out of, and in the course of employment, resulting from exposure to, the absorption of or intoxication from harmful chemical, biological or physical agents to which the general public would not normally be exposed.)

What a surprise, it's not the toxic sediments of the Superfund site, nor the E. coli hazard from swimming in someone's toilet. I'm brought down by the mundane underside of an everyday sight.

The mirror-like surface of the water hides an ugly view. Now that I've seen it, I'll never look at a harbor the same again.

air temp: 46F
water temp: 50F
Dec 11, 12:00 pm partly sunny
wind from North, 5mph
high tide, falling
visibility 10-20 feet
today's distance: 1.19 mile
total so far: 11.56 miles

today's notables:
clams, clams, clams

Today, Swim Around Bainbridge friend Rob Dryden helped with the shuttle. He contacted me via email and offered rides. Since the start and end today are in town, I wanted to avoid the typical hike. We left my car at the exit and Rob dropped me at the entry point. Thanks Rob (photo at right).

The first part of the swim was muddy, boring, and quite nice. It's not being in a harbor that's bad, I like this bit. One especially nice part is a shallow sandbar that I pull over using my hands, too shallow to swim. I'm face to face with acres of clams. It's mostly the dead shells that show, but also siphons and little water jets coming out of burrows in the sand.

But soon, I re-enter the hazardous harbor and clarify my diagnosis. I'm sure now, it's the marina that makes me feel bad swimming through the harbor.

I get out at Waterfront Park, take a quick gaze at the ferry yard coming next, and hustle off to my car to get back to work. My view of the wet underside of Bainbridge Island is modified by Eagle Harbor, and I think I understand the change.

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