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Dry Bags are Not Always Dry, and iPhones are Not Waterproof

Last Friday I headed over to Dutch Springs Aqua Park quarry on Friday for some open water swimming. I contacted Dutch Springs earlier in the week and they said they were open and water temperature was around 50-55 degrees F. Perfect temperature for some Lake Coeur d’Alene training. The folks at Dutch Springs are also introducing some new reduced pricing this year for triathletes which I mentioned in my previous post.

Dutch Springs Aqua Park May 2015

Dutch Springs Aqua Park May 2015

Dutch Springs was pretty empty that afternoon. There were a handful of divers and myself in the whole place. I suited up and filled up my SaferSwimmer “Dry” bag up with a few items.

CleverTraining DC Rainmaker SaferSwimmer Float inflated

CleverTraining DC Rainmaker SaferSwimmer Float inflated

I put my GoPro camera in there in case I wanted to take some pictures along with my iPhone so I could try the Garmin LiveTracking with my 920xt and my old Garmin 910xt just to compare the tracking from above the water. I put my iPhone in a ziploc bad as some added protection just in case some water got in and that was the only thing that was not waterproof.  I also through in my car keys. I have used the SaferSwimmer bag a few times and have never had any water get inside the bag part, so I was pretty confident everything would be ok.

Bass under the Buoy Dutch Springs 2015

Bass under the Buoy Dutch Springs 2015

I had a really nice swim. The water was cool, but not bad at all. Especially with my full sleeve wetsuit and my neoprene swim cap on. I noticed a lot more fish during my first loop around, so I stopped at the dock where I got in and pulled out my camera so I could take some pictures during my swim. When I pulled the camera out, everything seemed to be nice and dry inside. I stuffed my camera in my wetsuit and headed back out again. I got some cool shots of the trout and bass that were swimming around that day. I also managed to get a couple miles swim in too.

I swam around underwater with my GoPro a bit getting some video and pictures of some of the trout that were near the “reef” where I start my swim. There were some nice size rainbows and palominos. I also managed to get a little underwater selfie action too.

Underwater Selfie - Dutch Springs 2015

Underwater Selfie – Dutch Springs 2015

When I finished my swim, I unclipped my dry bag from around my waist and threw it on the dock. When I opened up the bag, my stomach dropped a bit as I noticed a large amount of water inside. I remembered that I had my phone in ziploc, so I hoped that that had protected it. I reached for the phone immediately. I held up the ziploc bag and saw that it too was filled with water. Ughh!

 

Now what???!! I was LiveTracking on iPhone with my Garmin 920xt and had it send my wife a email telling her this. Now, if she looks at the tracking it would have probably stopped in the middle of this quarry. I had no way to text or call her to tell her this either.

I got changed and packed up my stuff and headed out. There was no one around or I would have asked to borrow someones’ phone so I could let my wife know I was ok. I was trying to think of where the nearest AT&T store was so I could upgrade my phone. I am almost paid off on my phone so it isn’t a big deal to upgrade. Thing is I really didn’t want to move to a bigger phone which is why I haven’t upgraded my iPhone 5s to begin with. I guess I have no choice now.

It is amazing to realize how much I use my phone when you don’t have one.  I would have searched Google Maps for the closest AT&T store, but could not do that. It was also Friday afternoon, so I would have checked traffic on the highways too. I decided to try going to the Apple Store and see if I could upgrade there. I thought I could use one of the devices in the store to let my wife know I was ok too.

I was not able to upgrade my phone at the Apple Store since I still owed a few dollars on my AT&T Next payments, so I had to go into the mall AT&T store and upgrade. I was finally online again with a new iPhone 6 after a couple hours. I immediately iMessaged my wife.

My wife called me after I sent her a message. She had gotten down work about a half hour before and texted me several times. There was no response. She then opened the Garmin LiveTrack email and viewed my GPS track which had stopped dead in the middle of Dutch Springs Quarry. She tried calling and it went right to voicemail. She had started to worry now. Fortunately it was for only 20 minutes before I finally talked to her.

Crazy day! Lesson Learned: Don’t put anything that cannot get wet into your SaferSwimmer DryBag!

Dutch Springs Open Water Swimming Update

Hey swimmers…

Dutch Springs is making some accomodations for open water swimmers ! I recently received the following email from them which contains the details. If you want to get on the mailing list, give them a shout by going to their contact page  

Open Water Swim Training at Dutch Springs – You spoke and we listened!

Over the past few months, we have spoken to many of you to get ideas and feedback about swim training here at Dutch Springs.

We are excited to announce a special Swim Training Only ticket package!

 Three ticket package for $45 – that’s only $15 per visit!

Valid seven days a week, Memorial Day through Labor Day

With this offer, we do have some concerns so we have established a few guidelines to monitor use of this package.

  1. This is a special offer for those entering Dutch Springs only to do open water swimming.  It is not valid for entry into Dutch Springs to scuba dive or visit the Aqua Park/Sky Challenge, or any other non-swim training activity.
  2. Upon purchasing this package, you will receive a pass with three $15 entries loaded onto the card.  We will scan the card at entry, keep the card at our Gate House, and scan the card again and return it to you upon your exit.
  3. Maximum time in the park is two hours per entry.  If you should need more time, you must notify us upon purchasing the package.

Dutch Springs will contact violators of these guidelines and privileges may be revoked.  We hope you understand these guidelines and take advantage of this offer.  We feel it’s a win-win for both Dutch Springs and Open Water Swimmers!

As a reminder, during shoulder seasons when the Aqua Park is closed (April-May and September through November), the normal general admission price is $15 with no time restrictions!  Therefore, during these time periods you do not have to purchase the three-ticket package.

Remember!  A variety of season passes are also available to meet your needs!

  • $175 Summer Pass; Valid seven days a week, Memorial Day through Labor Day.  Visiting Dutch Springs only 12 times will make up for the price of the pass!
  • $120 Weekday Pass; Valid MondayFriday from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day Weekend.  Visiting Dutch Springs only eight times will make up for the price of the pass!
  • $290 Unlimited Pass; Valid seven days week from the time of purchase until March 2016!

PLUS, with these passes, you have unlimited time inside the park during park hours*! 

If you have already purchased a season pass and determine that one of these options is better suited for you, contact us by May 15 to transfer your pass to the option you’d prefer. 

*Dutch Springs has extended park hours in July and August! Starting July 1, the park will be open from 10am-7:45pm Wednesday throughSaturday! More time to swim!  Sunday through Tuesday, park hours will remain 10am-5pm.

 Wednesday Night Clinics Run by Endurance Multisport Experts

On select Wednesday nights, Endurance Multi Sport will be hosting special swim clinics, created to teach skills and tactics of open water swimming, as well as fitting you for the perfect wet suit!  More details on these clinics including dates and times will be coming soon!

Open Water Swim Challenge at Dutch Springs

As we are getting more involved in the swimming community, we are committed to providing more opportunities and exciting events for swimmers.  We’d like to know your thoughts on Dutch Springs hosting an Open Water Swim Challenge on September 13, 2015.  We understand it is after most competitions, but because of our busy summer schedule, September is the best time for us to host it.  Please send us a short response, letting us know your interest.  If we receive good feedback and have interest, we will host the swim – our first one ever!

 

Dutch Springs Survey

Tell us more about you!  Please click the link below to fill out a short survey to help us create an even better environment for your open water swimming at Dutch Springs!

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/5L9LV9G

Beltzville Lake High Bacteria Levels closes again to swimmers

It is not even two weeks ago since I swam 1.2 miles in Beltzville Lake for the Black Bear Half Iron Triathlon and they are closing it to swimming again due to high bacteria levels. So, what was the level when we swam in it? Or was all those triathletes peeing in the water that caused it? I guess since I was in the second to last wave it doesn’t really matter then.

This is just another reason in addition to the poor road conditions why I am thinking I am not do this race again.

 

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Black Bear Triathlon

Beltzville Lake closes again to swimmers | Regional: Poconos & Coal – Home.