My friend Heather posted this video on her Facebook page this evening. South End Rowing Club (SERC) is a club in San Francisco that, among many things, fosters the sport of open water swimming. They are nested right at this cove near Ghiradelli Square and many swimmers new to Bay swimming get their start with SERC. Folks can swim in the cove (typically sans wetsuit) and have the comfort of a nice sauna afterward to get their body temps back up.
All of my serious open-water swimming friends are/were with SERC. In the open-water swimming world, it's known as one of the best places to train for big swims because the Bay has so many changing conditions.
One of the most challenging club-sponsored swims is the Pt. Bonita -> SERC swim. Below is a video of it.
While I never felt a desire to swim more than 3 miles in the open water, I always sincerely appreciated my friends that did. I crewed for my girlfriends Jessica, Alice and Amber when they swam the Maui Channel and I tried to help out as often as I could when they were training for other big swims.
Open water swimming is just downright HARD! Besides the physical aspects of swimming hours upon hours in training, there is so much coordination involved. Getting your crew for training swims. Making sure you have a boat. Making sure your crew is fed. Etc etc etc. Then there's the acutal SWIM DAY. Again, making sure you have your boat and driver AND a back-up plan in case something goes wrong.
I think I really just appreciate the will it takes to want to do something like this - whether it's 5 miles, 10, 20 or beyond, I would get SO BORED! The Donner Lake swim is 2.7 miles and I do enjoy that swim a lot, but by the end I'm definitely ready to be done.
These people put so much time, effort and dedication into this - I really think it's just awesome. Enjoy the video. :)