Is swimming in the pacific ocean safe? - SailNet Community

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Old 07-27-2006
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Is swimming in the pacific ocean safe?

I am used to lake sailing, and swimming for recreation, exercise and to cool off at the end of a hot day. We recently bought a boat to sail the Gulf Islands and Strait of Georgia in BC, Canada, and would like to continue to swim there. However, I'm wondering if it would be safe to do so. I am aware of currents, and will avoid being swept away, but am not sure about any dangers posed by sea-life: seals, dolphins, larger fish, starfish, etc.--will they keep their distance, or are we at risk of becoming "fish food"?

Also, is it o.k. to simply towel off after swimming in salt water, or does one need to do a fresh water rinse to avoid skin irritation or other potential problems?

Thanks for any comments, advice.

Frank.
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Old 07-27-2006
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You mean other than the fact that this area is a breeding ground for Great White Shark?
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Old 07-27-2006
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Swim it up!

Hello there - I swim once or twice a week in the Pacific and have not had any problems.

I do rinse immediately with fresh water when available - but so far have not grown a third eye.

I swim right off the dock behind my boat, but do look at the water quality and try to time my swims with the clearest days.

No problems with sea life - there are the occasional sting ray, but if you shuffle your feet when you get in - this problem will take care of itself.
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Old 07-27-2006
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Yes, but the Georgia Strait is in fact a Great White Breeding Ground....Besides professional courtesy in your case doesnt count
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Thanks for the replies so far--I hadn't heard any local talk about great white sharks out there--is that fact, or are you "pulling my leg". And I don't understand the point about "shuffle your feet" in relation to the stingray....So far, this doesn't sound very encouraging! Are you both suggesting that I'd be quite stupid to swim in Strait of Georgia or Gulf Island waters? I certainly don't want to be fish food, but would like to continue swimming if at anchor, etc.
Am I interpreting your posts correctly?
thanks,
Frank.
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I am serious. But I would google your area and check with the locals.
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Old 07-27-2006
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Other than issues with Hypothermia due to the water being a mellow 50 degrees and the occassional hungry seagoing predator, you'll be ok.
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thanks for your replies. I am used to cold water, so am not worried about that, but the "occasional predators" are a concern. Are there any precautions one can take to minimize the risk? I will check with local folk as well.
Thanks,
Frank.
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Try not to look like a seal!
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O.k., I think I'm starting to get it--I'm supposed to wear ugly bright-coloured swim suit, eat lots of garlic for lunch, perhaps smear my body with unsavoury sauce of some kind, and carry a large knife!!

Seriously, I live in an area where there are black bears close by, which generate great fear in some people, but I have never had a problem with them. Us locals raise our voices when hiking to ensure any bear in the area knows we are coming so we don't surprise them, especially when they have their cubs with the. We also avoid carrying food with us, but aside from those precautions, it's no big deal. Are there similar precautions one can take when swimming in the ocean (ie. how do I avoid looking like a seal to a hungry shark?).

Thanks for your help with this--I really would like to continue to swim after a good sail, but also would really, really like to avoid being eaten by a predator, if they exist in that area.

Frank.
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