I’m a big fan of cross training for Half Dome. Yes, you have to get your legs and upper body muscles in shape, but it’s good to occasionally trade off with biking or swimming, for example. I’m not a big swimmer, although I scuba dive. Most of the “swimming” when on tanks is aided by fins. I can do the breast stroke but stink at the freestyle, thus I’ve not even attempted a triathlon.
The inherent boredom of swimming can be overcome with music. Being a gizmo freak, I have had a few MP3 / radios with waterproof headsets from Asia that tend to fail. I recently acquired a new solution. It’s an underwater MP3 player made by FINIS. The unique angle is that sound is transmitted via bone conduction and not by headphones. Thus, the whole device is waterproof. It has a water-tight seal on a USB connector through which you charge it and download up to 2 GB of music or podcasts.
The model I have is the SwiMP3 X18. It has controls for power, on/off and volume. It plays both MP3 or WMA songs. The rechargeable battery goes for 8 hours. When you put the earphone-like “speakers” on, you place them against your skull near your temple. You can hear them on the surface, but the quality goes way up underwater. They are awesome. They are secured on your head by attachment to your goggle strap. You can also wear them under your beanie. As long as the surface of the plastic is contacting your head, the sound is great. Again, you do NOT put them into your ears. When you come up to breathe, there is a slight change in quality. But very nice. I’m thinking of bringing a snorkel to keep my head under and still do a decent breast stroke.
The unit is strongly waterproofed, but I assume it’s only for shallow depths. I think this would be a hoot to get on scuba down to 50 feet and rock out. I have not seen the depth rating in their specs. Give them a try. FINIS is a local compnay out of Livermore, CA.
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “C’mon! Holdtight! Though it’s cold and lonely in the deep dark night. I can see paradise by the dashboard light.” – Meatloaf
MrHalfDome™ – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com