Monday, August 2, 2010


Deep thoughts for Day 3:

Hyun-mi's help. Long-time Maze Park employee Ms. Park Hyun-mi is going well beyond helping in these first four days of The Jeju Big Swim with accomodations, driving, and English phone conversation/translating. You name it, she is taking care of us all and especially throughout Sherrin's stay at the Park. Most importantly, she is acting as our first line of aid if anything goes wrong for the duration of the trip. We trust her English phone speaking skills and her knowledge of Jeju.

Piledriver. Not WWF-style, but a true rock splitter was spotted west of Woljeong. I'm surprised Sherrin did not feel or sense anything from this while swimming. I could hear the underwater impact aboard the kayak. Sherrin noted to me this is resulting in habitat destruction at its finest.

Larger pieces of debris. This was one of two mammoth-sized debris pieces, with no useful relation to the nearby vessels. I wasn't close enough to understand what this was, but it was floating bathtub or portalet size, most likely metal, and out of place.

Subtle plans. After completing the next 25 kilometers (maybe a bit more), we are eyeing a rest day Thursday. Monday we are planning to arrive at Sehwa. Tuesday another split day, morning and afternoon/twilight swimming, Wednesday dawn to noon in the water. We would be a bit more than one-fourth complete. Sherrin does not know yet, but I am planning to casually drive a bit more the next two days, we may be able to get a few extra kilometers before a 42-hour break spanning Wednesday afternoon to Friday morning.

Two mistakes. One, more than 1 kilometer east of Gimnyeong there were rocks everywhere and I drove straight through running aground, no movement. This was not dangerous, though. A barefooted, 6-year-old with arm floaties could have handled this area. Two subsequent waves filled the kayak, and I was sitting in water. I hopped out, we both hoisted it on the closest high spot, started bailing water out with an empty water bottle before starting to drain the back two plugs and back two twist plugs in back of the seat. Portaging is a very common practice throughout Wisconsin rivers. I think portaging 3 meters is acceptable, 3 kilometers is not. Off we went. A minute later the second mistake happened. Sherrin was thirsty. I offered one of our many plastic bottles. She drank. "Ptew! This is sea water."


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