Observer's Observations - Any tips or lessons learned from seasoned observers?

loneswimmerloneswimmer IrelandAdmin
edited April 2013 in General Discussion
What have you done wrong or not done that you should have?

What advice would you give a new observer assuming the new observer is a marathon swimmer and/or someone with swim crew experience?


  • NiekNiek Heiloo, NetherlandsCharter Member
    edited April 2013
    Make a list of things to bring along. (sunglasses, live-jacket, stopwatch, food, drinks, sweets, towel, extra clothes, paper, pencils etc.)
    Make a list of the things you have to do. It's easy to forget things. (start the stopwatch(es), check the stroke rate every 30 min and write it down) - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!

  • TheoTheo Oxnard, CAMember
    I always wish I had written down more comments in the official logs. When the swim is done this is a record of the event that many swimmers cherish having. Instead of just keeping it a cold record, i.e. stroke rate, temperature, location I have heard many swimmers appreciate the side notes, e.g. observed dolphins, comments of the crew, comments from the swimmer, comments from the captain that happen during the swim, if they had special feeding requests, etc.

    I always forget to add more of those in there and I wish I did it more often.

    But I second Niek above. I put together an observers bag that I keep set aside just for observing swims. Many times little things are forgotten by the swimmer and his crew that can really help make a difference, e.g. a few extra glow sticks, safety pins, twine, rope, stopwatches, clipboard, zip ties. Most importantly I pack a large bottle of motion sickness meds (Bonine chewable). Not only for myself but it is amazing how many crew members forget to have some and I inevitably pass them around.

    I have also found bringing some hand warmers (the chemical pack ones) can really help keep you comfortable during the cold night.
  • NiekNiek Heiloo, NetherlandsCharter Member
    edited April 2013
    I almost forgot my light.
    Black Diamond Cosmo
    You have your hands free and the light shines where you're looking.
    Better than a torch or spotlight in my opinion. - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!

  • msathletemsathlete Victoria, British Colubia, CanadaSenior Member

    I am putting together an observer training program and kit for an up coming swim and was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for what the might like to see included.

  • david_barradavid_barra NYCharter Member


    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

  • JimBoucherJimBoucher Senior Member

    speaking only from English Channel experience, get there early, meet the team be it solo or relay amd talk with them and their support crew.Make them feel at ease, not about to take a high school algebra exam. bring that bag of bits and food items, as they will have forgotten something. Always bring your own set if printed forms never assume anything. without impairing neutrality be part of the swim not some cold addition to the crew manifest....

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