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Category Archives: 2015 Season

Issyk Kul

January 7, 2016 | 2015 Season, Grand Plan | Permalink

I originally thought of trying to cross five lakes while here in Kyrgyzstan, but I’m learning that logistics in this country are something else entirely. My first foray was my (early 2015) attempt to find a boat and/or kayak for a crossing of lake Issyk Kul. It was an up and down affair. One week I had […]


October 11, 2015 | 2015 Season, Grand Plan | Permalink

Context is a wonderful thing. My embassy put a little blurb on my Issyk Kul swim on their FB page. They asked for the five W’s and I submitted. They translated it into Russian and Kyrgyz and put it on there for all to read. Bad enough the embassy put pictures of me on the front […]

Lessons Learned from Issyk Kul

October 3, 2015 | 2015 Season, Grand Plan, Swimming Anthropology | Permalink

OK, here’s the lessons learned from my Issyk Kul attempt. Logistics. Organizing swims here is hard. Not just because of the language. Other issues pop up. For one, whenever I mentioned swimming across the lake to Kyrgyz living on the lake, they all looked at me funny. Most told me only one person has done […]

Issyk Kul Swim Review

September 30, 2015 | 2015 Season, Grand Plan, Swimming Anthropology | Permalink

I know I promised this earlier, but I’ve been sick. I was sick as a dog on Sunday, pain in the stomach and moving to the back. Lay down in bed and whine to the wife kind of sick. My swim was on Friday and this was Sunday, so certainly couldn’t be Issyk Kul’s water, […]

Quick update

September 26, 2015 | 2015 Season, Grand Plan | Permalink

OK, home from Balykchy. Uploaded my GPS data and saved the screen shot so I can do this quick blog entry. Tomorrow I’ll compose a lessons learned and in-depth swim review. I still love that damn lake so much. But boy oh boy did I learn a little bit about timing, dammit. Look at the […]

Live-blogging the crossing

September 23, 2015 | 2015 Season, Grand Plan | Permalink

1323: Back at the hotel. Swim did not go well. A measly 4.6km over 2:31. 13C water temp and hug swells combined to give me nausea and the unstoppable shivers. A good puking session on the boat ride back took care of one problem, and Dr. Oleysa, chiropractor extraordinaire on my crew, massaged blood back into […]

Logistics trip to Balykchy

September 20, 2015 | 2015 Season, Grand Plan | Permalink

So, Talas and I went to Balykchy today to check out the boat, meet the Captain, and walk through the hotel. All in all a good day. So, starting with the boat: There she is. The Appak. Not sure what that means (damn, shudda asked). She’s plenty big for my crew. Below my feet is […]

You’re gonna need a bigger boat

September 15, 2015 | 2015 Season, Grand Plan, Swimming Anthropology | Permalink

That’s what the boat company in Cholpon-Ata told us today. They are not “comfortable” taking the small, 10-person boat all the way from Cholpon-Ata down to the southern shore near Kara-Talaa, a trip of 62km and 7 hours according to them. So we have to take their bigger, 25-person boat. Which multiplied the cost of […]

The crew

September 14, 2015 | 2015 Season | Permalink

So, I got my volunteers for the crossing. Chris C. is ready as crew chief and doc. He’s a PA so I feel confident that if I show any signs of hypothermia or other problems, he’ll pull me. He’s in charge on the boat. Talas I. will be the English/Russian/Kyrgyz translator. He’s been a big […]

All going, er um, swimmingly!

September 8, 2015 | 2015 Season, Grand Plan | Permalink

Everything seems to be falling into place for my crossing. I’ve got a Russian-speaking volunteer finding lodging for me and my crew in Cholpon-Ata. My crew chief is busy arranging the volunteers, determining how many I really need. And me? I’m swimming. I swam 4 total hours this weekend, and while that’s not a lot […]