That’s Rangitoto, the largest and youngest volcano in Auckland. The early Maori saw it erupt… must’ve been something! It’s about 3 miles off shore, and forms an important part of the scenery.

I have been to Rangitoto before, but this time I wasn’t able to bring my camera. The photo above is from Wikipedia, but that’s about what it looked like on Sunday. I participated in a swimming event where we got ferried out to the island, and had to jump in and swim back to shore. Space for gear was limited, only whatever you were swimming in and the minimum amount required to keep warm while waiting for the start.

Although I have swum further on a Sunday morning, this was the longest I’ve ever attempted to go hard, in race-like conditions. Unfortunately, my electronic timing chip failed to record me getting out of the water, so the official results had me down as DFL — dead fucking last. But after an email with the timing people they updated the results so I take my place proudly in the bell part of the bell curve.

After a very nice lunch with my fellow swimmers (by coincidence at the same restaurant where my former clarinet teacher plays on Saturday nights), I only had enough energy to get home, sit in the hot tub for a while, and take a nap.

It was chilly and choppy in the water, and the complicated logistics of registering, taking the ferry, having gear shuttled to here and there, etc. all made for a long and not entirely enjoyable day. So, it’s an event that I can take off my bucket list, if I had a bucket list, but won’t likely feel an urgent need to do again. More importantly, it is another volcano to take off that list!

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