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Salem Swim Festival July 22 (rain date July 23) Concluded


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After much trepidation regarding having enough people for the event, the members of our great club stepped forward to offer their help with the Salem Swim Festival. It happened to be the first running of the event for Salem Sound Coast Watch as well as our first time as a club providing safety partrols. The weather caused a lot of uncertainty, for the fog turned out to be quite thick this morning, but as race time approached, the organizers decided to continue. We had significant presence on the water with 8 kayakers, which along with two lifeguards in a row boat and the harbor master keeping watch from the sidelines, meant we had the safety of the swimmers well in hand. The first short race of 500 meters had us on the sidelines, shadowing those who did not seem to be fairing very well; however, all racers made it back to shore satisfied that they had completed it.

The second 1500 meter race along a larger triangular course had us basically channeling the swimmers so as to keep them on course per their request. At the start of the race, all adorned with yellow skull caps, their flurry of water activity was remniscent of a fish feeding frenzy and the view of the slew of yellow caps against a very gray day was simply artistic. As the last swimmer reached shore after that final race, a chorus of applause broke out for all the swimmers and yes, for all of the kayakers. We were offered profuse thanks from both the organizers and the swimmers :)

With some of us on shore, there was an outbreak of some long missed NSPN antics, as Bob L mysterious fell out of his boat (in the vicinity of Bob B), although it didn't seem a mystery to him. When I was asked if I had ever seen a reverse endo, I honestly said no, at which time Bob L decided to demonstrate on Bob B (the pictures are great) :)

With some members deciding to leave for the day, the remainder of us chose to paddle a bit around Salem Harbor. After poking around in the South river, stopping for great coffee at Jaho near the Friendship and visiting the Rockmore (Salem's floating restuarant), we headed back into shore. Only after getting the boats on the cars did the sky open up with a deluge :)

http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=313864

Overall, an uncertain day turned out fabulous. Good people, good kayakers and good fog made for a good day. Special thanks to all who helped out today to once again show the communities around which we paddle why NSPN is such a wonderfully special club. Bob L, Bob B, Bob M, Jerry, Gay, Judy, Anne, and Joan represented us very well. Additional thanks to Jerry for sticking it out at our literature table to answer questions from the small number of people milling around on shore and to Bob B and Jerry for posting the cancelation notice for my late afternoon SNG.

For pictures of the day, take a look at:

http://photos.yahoo.com/onlyonebeckers

I was under "orders" to take pictures from Gilly, who unfortunately couldn't be there today. I will admit I can't quite master the self portrait with the same level of proficiency that she possesses. She'll be disappointed to know there were also no manly hugs;)

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okay, these are the FUNNIEST pics i've ever seen . . . bob l., i know we've never met, but can you please do that to my boat!!??? i will even flip you over if you need provocation . . . . .

awesome trip report kev and great pics . . . sorry i couldn't be there but it sounds like you guys were well equipped . . .

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