Journal Entries for Calvin Swimming and Diving Team in Puerto Rico
Sunday, January 05, 2014
(Editor’s Note: The Calvin men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams spent part of their Christmas break time training in Puerto Rico. Below are journal entries by various members of both teams).
DAY FOUR CALVIN SWIMMING AND DIVING JOURNAL (JAN. 4, 2014)
Hello from a lovely 86 degree climate! Today the team tackled another double. The morning session consisted of breaking off into three groups: sprint/single strokers, IM, and distance crew. Each group had to come together to make it through the workout as one. It was great to see the team communicating well with each other.
Afterwards, we had some time to kill before gearing up for the afternoon practice. Most took advantage of this prime opportunity to take a nap, while others baked in the sun or played in the ocean.
After a couple hours off, we headed back to the natatourim to finish the day. Thankfully this practice was scaled back in distance compared to this morning. The hotel was gracious enough to throw us a pizza party for dinner. The party continued into a white elephant gift exchange that brought lots of laughs and great memories.
We can’t wait to see what this beautiful island of Puerto Rico has to offer us for our last couple days!
JOURNAL ENTRY #3 (JANUARY 3, 2014)
By Brett Stoughton (Day Three Calvin Swimming and Diving Journal Entry)
La vida puertorriqueña…
Today marked the third full day of training trip 2014 for Calvin Swimming and Diving! Jumping into the pool after breakfast for a morning workout, the swimmers focused on technique with pull and drill sets along with a kick set to maintain aerobic conditioning. The divers worked on approaches and other fundamentals to set up for “big” dives tomorrow. With only one practice in the morning, the team had more time today to experience the natural beauty and lively culture of Puerto Rico.
With another day of warmth and sunshine as an escape from the wintery mess and frigid cold back home in the States, more time spent at the beach was a must! Many caught the biggest waves of the trip thus far with body and board surfing. Others caught rays of sun while relaxing after the morning workout.
The afternoon activity included a trip to the north side of the island to Fajardo to visit the famous Pyrodinium bahamense bacteria of Bio Bay. These creatures emit a blue glow when the water around them is stirred. To get to Laguna Grande, where these rare bacteria live, the team kayaked from the harbor to a lengthy, narrow channel of water. Under the cover of night and covered by a canopy of tree limbs, the team had to navigate through the dark rainforest, with a few water fights and kayak and tree crashing along the way. Once into the bay, everyone saw the fascinating sparkle of the glowing bacteria in the water. Some even caught jellyfish while exploring the lagoon.
Broken up into guys and girls for the excursion into the Bio Bay, while one group kayaked, the other experienced the local restaurants and souvenir shops of the surrounding area. A favorite was a food stand selling beef kabobs. When asked to have the “regular” or “picante” (spicy) version, some bravely chose to experience the true flavor of Puerto Rican food. To soothe the burning spice of the picante version, a few had fresh coconuts from a street vendor. Using a machete to cut the coconut in front of us was quite the show.
Having the afternoon off from the San Juan Natatorium, the team awaits another two-a-day tomorrow to finish this week on a high note.
JOURNAL ENTRY FOR JAN. 2, 2014 (Rebecca Mumby)
Buenos Dias from Puerto Rico!
Today the teams took on our first set of two-a-days! The morning session was a great start of JMI (just make the interval) sets..the swimmers did great! Over in the diving well we spent most of our time on the three meter working 1s and 4s (fronts and inwards) while soaking up some sun.
After practice the team hit the beach for a day in the sun..or so we expected but as we have learned thus far it’s Puerto Rico anything flies and we were caught off guard by random periods of rain and shade. But that didn’t stop the team from getting in the water; body surfing seems to be a new team hobby. Out of the water the team did back flips and played a little volleyball.
We wrapped up the afternoon with our second practice- a little cooler this time but still productive. The swimmers took on another difficult set but finished strong this evening even dealing with some rain. Survey says- this was the swimmers favorite workout so far! The cardio side of the diver workout, however, was not. (; The divers bounced around from 1 meter to 3 and then progressed to some tower work.
We ended the evening with a dinner free for all- some of the team went to Denny’s while others stayed at the hotel to spare their legs.
Now we’re off for a little TLC before we take on another morning workout followed by a bio bay excursion!
JOURNAL ENTRY #1 By Alex Baumann (January 1, 2014)
A new year for the Calvin swim and dive team began with team breakfast and the promise of adventure. We were full of anticipation for a morning free from the pool, and spending some time in the Puerto Rican rainforests. Through the direction of some locals at the hotel we were given the location of a somewhat secret waterfall in the nearby National Forest. A short drive and a little bit of interpreting trouble later, we found our mark. We proceeded through a tight, muddy trail to the waterfall we had heard about. As promised by our trusty friends at the hotel, there was not a soul in sight.
Once at the falls the team couldn’t resist the urge to swim in the shoots, pools, and directly in the torrent of water falling from over forty feet above. To our pleasant surprise we found more trails leading higher up the mountain that revealed more of the stream that feed the falls below. Many members of the team chose to explore further, while others remained content in the pools under the main waterfall. After re-gathering to take a team picture (attached to this journal) we were off to explore a better known trail.
This trail promised a larger waterfall at the end, but also lacked the privacy of the first. Never the less, the trail description did not disappoint and offer exactly what was expected. The falls were massive and gushed water at much greater rate than the first. While making our way back to the trail head we experienced the well known fact that rain forest weather is unpredictable. In a span of ten minutes we went from hiking in the sun, to being drenched by rain, then back to sun. After the showers, it was time to return to the vans and later the hotel.
After a brief time on the beach, it was back to business. We returned to the pool for our evening session. Practice was successful on both ends of the pool and everyone could walk out with their heads held high.
Overall, the day was successful; now we are buckling up and preparing for our first double tomorrow. Wish us well!