Swim bits – July 2020


With pools opening up and lakes warming up in Oregon, swimmers are emerging from a required break.  Hopefully everyone will remember to use sunblock, not sunscreen, when swimming outdoors.

The rules for sunblock while swimming are simple: use nothing that is only chemicals, especially oxybenzone.  The only real sunblocks are zinc oxide (ZnO) and titanium dioxide (TiO2).  Outside of water, cover up.  That’s it.

I speak from experience.  The second Monday of this month (June), I went to my dermatologist and had a reasonable appointment.  I had about ten actinic keratoses taken off my face with frozen nitrogen.  There was also one small basal cell carcinoma on my left ear that I have to have completely removed on a second visit.

I say this with some aplomb as I have spent 65 years swimming outdoors, and that’s all that came up in this appointment.  I’ve accepted the situation as it is, and I see a dermatologist twice a year.

So should any swimmer who swims outdoors regularly.  Swimmers who swim mainly indoors should get a yearly checkup.  Protect yourself properly with sunblock when outdoors, swimming or not, and see a dermatologist regularly.

Pool swimming has started up again on the southern Oregon coast.  Several Masters swimmers have been swimming in two nearby lakes since about May 20.  The water temperature at the start was near 60° F and is now up to 67°F.

Mingus Park Pool is now open as part of Phase Two.  Swimmers are restricted to one per lane.  Maximum swim time is around 45 minutes so far, to minimize congestion in the locker rooms.  Some swimmers have chosen to come to the pool ready to swim and leave after swimming without using the locker rooms.

The first week has gone fine with 36 swimmers on Monday, 36 swimmers on Tuesday, and 48 swimmers on Wednesday.  As the pool is open from 5 AM to 2 PM weekdays for lap swimming, it is anticipated that the attendance will increase.

Masters swimmers also plan at least one lake swim a week, usually Saturday at Eel Lake.  Compliments go to the Mingus Park Pool staff for setting everything up to open the pool so easily.

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