Sunday, June 15, 2008

Competition Day #1 and Accidental Bus Tour

Time to handle business!

The solo and trio techs were scheduled for Monday afternoon. Because it was such a small meet, the events didn't actually begin until 2:30p. A bonus of the extra time was that everyone had a 45 minute Open Solo training that could be used however you wished.

The meet began with the 80+ age group and went down from there, so Jenni and I hung back at the apartment since we were in the last group to warm up. Apparently, we shouldn't have been left to our own devices because we kinda got lost on the way the pool.

What had happened was....Lea figured out a more efficient route to the pool via the bus system. She sent it to Jenni in a text message. All we had to do was walk up the street a bit and flag down the bus as it came along. "It would take us straight there."

First, we totally missed the crosswalk. Thankfully, there wasn't a ton of traffic on the four lane highway that was traveling backward. It's the weirdest thing. You never notice how ingrained it is to check to the left first when crossing the street until you have to remember to check right.

We made it across safely and flagged down the correct bus. Jenni was listening to her ipod as is her custom before competing and I was checking out the parts of the city we hadn't seen yet. When we got to the familiar Claremont train station, Jenni and I kinda waved at it, glad that we didn't have to transfer there. You know, 'cause we're headed straight to the pool.

We admired neighborhoods, huge front lawns that had sidewalks set back a ways from the street, and a gorgeous array of sun beams that streaked the sky over a very picturesque Indian Ocean.

Along the ocean, the bus stopped. For some reason, everyone got off. Including the driver. Silly me didn't think too much off it. From where I was sitting directly behind his caged in seating area on the right, it just looked like he was adjusting his mirror.

Still, I asked Jenni if she thought we should confirm with the man that his route would take us to Challenge Stadium. She agreed and tried to text Lea.

When the guy got back on the bus, I asked him about the pool and he gave us this startled look. He totally thought the bus was empty. We're just sitting there, a couple of confused Americans. He said no, we needed to get off at Claremont. We were at the end of the line and he wasn't fixing his mirror. He was turning his sign to Out of Service. It was his break time.

Jenni and I just stared at each other for a few "oh crap, what do we do now" moments. Lea wasn't answering her text messages. We were at a loss.

However, just to show you how wonderful the Aussies are, the driver fired up the bus and drove us back to Claremont station so we could catch our connection. After many profuse thanks, we hopped on the shuttle and got to the pool. And we weren't even late.

The competition began! A judge was late arriving, so Dawn had to fill in during the oldest age groups, but she was all coach again by the time Sylvia swam. Next up was Karen's nemesis, Carol Fitzsimmons from the Calgary Aquamums.

Lea, who'd been battling a shoulder injury, swam next.

Karen was the final swimmer in the 40's age group.

Everyone was a bit disappointed at how low the scores were. It wasn't long before we realized that the scores were just low in general.

I was the next Unsyncable to swim. I went 7th in my age group.

I gotta say, hearing those low scores really hurt even though you know everyone is getting them.

Finally, Jenni swam 12th in the 20s age group.

We found out the next day that she got a penalty for going over the allotted 10 secs on her deck work. But as you can see from the video, she was absolutely in the water well before the 10 seconds were up. The best we can figure is that the timer started the stopwatch from the whistle instead of the music. Unfortunately, you have to contest these things within a half an hour of the score posting. Even though we found out about it late, Dawn still tried. But they wouldn't budge on the decision.

The trio techs ended the day. Lea, Karen and Lindsay had an awesome swim.

We headed back to the apartment where it was Lindsay's turn to cook. Karen helped her out since it was salad night and she makes amazing salads.

On the shuttle back to Claremont, Jenni and I told the team all about our earlier bus adventure. Amid much laughter, Lea clarified that, "it would take us straight there" meant to Claremont, not Challenge Stadium. Adding to the hilarity, guess who was our bus driver from the train station back to the apartment. I only wish I hadn't been so embarrassed at first then laughing too hard the second time to get his name and picture. I'd love to show you all who the nicest man in Australia is.

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