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Open Water Swimming Worth Its Weight In Lead

Courtesy of WOWSA, Kailua Beach, Oahu.

English Channel, Catalina Channel, Molokai Channel, Manhattan Island and Ederle marathon swimmer Michael Miller of Honolulu has a habit of training with long board shorts during his long ocean training sessions to create extra drag.

But he also drags around a lot more than heavy board shorts during this training swims.

Somehow, during the years I have trained in Kailua Beach [on Oahu], I got in the practice of picking up fishing weights. Everything from a 1 ounce weight to anything ‘metal’ anglers use, including wrenches, tire balance weights, plumbing fixtures, boat anchors and yacht-sized bowlines. They have all made it to my house, after dragging them around in the water.”

Developed over decades of ocean swimming, his habit is irresistible and irreversible. “The shape of a weight is unmistakeable. Therefore, I cannot swim over one, I MUST stop, dive down, pick up, and pocket it.”

Miller has trained long hours, occasionally interrupting his steady strokes with a dive to the white sand bottom. In his case, his habit has led to a lot of lead. “I have accumulated nearly 500-600 pounds (227-272 kg) of fishing weights. With spot lead price appreciating, I am preparing to find a seller.”

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