Really sorry for the late RR..The Great Chesapeak Bay Swim Race (Bay Swim) was held on 6/12/11 this year, and I was selected in the lottery, as thera too many who want to do this swim race.
The Bay Swim started later than normal, (11:30 am), due to timing of the start during "slack" current, between ebb and flood stages.
Other than the high temperature of about 95 degree air temp and 82 degree water temp, conditions were ideal....little current (except for the main shipping channel), slight wind and almost no chop, and NO white caps. Water looked like glass on the trip over to park at the finish and take the bus to the start.
Even with the warm temps, I wore a wetsuit to keep my legs from sinking (7.5 % body fat).
As we started, I walked until could not make progress and then started swimming. Almost no current until we got to the main shipping channel (highest point of the spans). Curren picked up significantly, and had to swim at a 45 degree angle, just to get closer to the center of the spans. Even with this current, it was not as bad as it had been in other years. This higher current area is only about .25 - .5 miles long. After that, current was no-existent and could continue swimming directly to the Easter Shore.
At mile 2, looked for the food boat, and was dismayed that it was at the main shipping channel ON THE WRONG SIDE. It was too close to the souther span (where I exerted a lot of effort to get away from), to want to go back there. Normally, it is anchored in the middle.
At mile 3, did not even see a food boat.
I was on pace to finish in about 3 hrs., was making steady pace, and was almost 4 miles into the 4.4 mile swim (the last .3 miles can be walked as the water is relatively shallow on the Eastern Shore near Heminway's Resteraunt), and was within 100 yards of crossing out between the Chesapeak Bay Bridge 2 spans (swimmers are required to be between the spans, or can be disqualified), when I was told that the race was being cancelled due to approaching tunderstorms.
I argued that I can see the finish and was very capable of finishing. I turn around to look at the approaching tunderstorm clouds, and saw a lightning strick the highest point of the Bay Bridge. I VERY reluctantly agreed to go to a boat....hey, it was unlikely that lighting would strick anything other than the Bay Bridge, as the main span is approx. 160 ft about the water..but was told I would not be allow to continue...so 2.75hrs / almost 4 miles of swimming and I did not finish.
Definitly finishing next year....just more swim traiing earlier in triathlon training from Jan-Apri