The "Freedom Swim" is a yearly tradition that was started by a man name Mike. He is a local attorney, and I am sure he never thought that this event would develop into what it is today. It's a celebration, a right of passage that has no rules, no awards, and no entry fee. Swim at your own risk, and swim with a buddy. You don't have to swim, you can paddle, or even float across the stretch of 1.5m of greenish/brownish water. You can't see the bottom, but you can feel fishy touch your hands every so often.
It's a point to point swim from the beach of Port Charlotte under Highway 41 to Harpoon Harry's bar and grill in Punta Gorda. I was so excited to do this swim just because it's a local event, and it gave us the chance to see the adorable Fisherman's Village in Punta Gorda. The Village houses a plethora of quaint boutiques that extends for at least 1/4 mile plus a Military museum!
I was happy to have my mascots along with me to meet me at the finish too!
There was a trolley that served as a shuttle to the start on the other side of the river. I rode the trolley to Port Charlotte while Russ and Yigo chilled out in Fisherman's Village. I sat next to a very nice woman on the ride over, and her name was Danny. We had a nice conversation as we patiently waited on the beach for the start.
You might notice that she is holding fins. There were quite of few people that swam with fins, wore cute costumes, and floated on rubber ducky rafts. It's quite a spectacle, and I can't wait to participate next year! There was a small team of youngsters from a club swim team which made for a nice group to start the swim with. Eventually I passed the blue caps, and was flying solo. The conditions were absolutely perfect. Hardly a current to speak of and calm water all the way across. The paddlers served as good navigation guides. Spotting the green building of Harpoon Harry's was not too difficult either. I knew there were a few swimmers ahead of me, and just as I approached the ladder to the sun deck of the restaurant, I could see a swimmer finishing. I figured I was somewhere towards the front. After I climbed up the ladder, and stepped onto the deck, there was a huge mass of people standing wall to wall. I could not see Russ, and I was not sure which way to go since no one was there directing the swimmers. I decided to go through the restaurant (big mistake, since Russ was on the side deck waiting outside!) where the band was playing loud music and non spectators were drinking and eating. I walked barefoot through the entire Village, across the parking lot to the car. Still no Russ. Where is he? I walked back, and finally found him. He said he saw me approach the ladder, but he could not see me once I was out of the water, because there were too many people. Next year, we'll have a better plan! He said I was the 4th. one to finish. The water was very hot!
We spent the rest of the afternoon hanging around the pool in Naples. The next day we needed to move a large piece of furniture from out of my parents house. I insisted we needed the following: 4 guys, ropes, a truck with a ramp, and or a professional mover.
Well - it turns out our trusty little truck was able to handle the job with just the two of us. I am confident that the piece of furniture is worth more than the truck!
I am missing training with the T2 master's group. :-) I was so fortunate to have the opportunity to be apart of there group for a few months. Their practices are creative and actually have a purpose, and will improve your swimming.
Since we were still in Naples on Monday morning, I enjoyed a good practice with coach Kevin.
3 x 300 (all rest :15)
#1 - 75 swim, 25 stroke drill
#2 - kick
#3 - 75 swim, 25 breakout
4 x 25 under water breast stroke pull out (3 or max) @ :35
4 x 25 human stroke (evolving to normal stroke) @ :30
4 x 25 catch up pause
Main (four rounds)
1 x 150 pull (long) @ 2:15
3 x 50 @ :50
6 x 25 using chutes @ :30
2 x 75! go for it @ 2:15
Compare the T2 practice with this one I did with Cape Coral Masters:
2 x 200 swim
4 x 200 @ rest :15
odds - swim with buoy for 100/ditch the buoy and swim with high velocity kicking
evens - pull 150/swim with strong kick 50
10 x 75 @ 1:15
5 x 50 @ :50
10 x 75 kick (last 25 fast) @ :10 rest
I am happy to find a group in CC to swim with, however, the practices will be different. The pool is very warm, but it is very salty creating more of a floating sensation which is nice.