The kickoff event to the Salzburger Rhythmanalysis Project (still looking for new name) brought me to boogie board/swim down from near the Untersberg to Nonntal, right before “the Alm” runs into the Monchsberg, the hill protecting and embracing Old Town Salzburg where tunnels create passage for the 1000s of liters passing through per second to reach the downtown core. Listen to Episode TEN A Canal Runs Through It of Geographical Imaginations to learn more about the history of the Almkanal.
My post-float calculations put the distance at just under 6 kilometers. That would be just under 4 miles for those of us (myself, included) working outside the metric system and still with miles.
I ran into the Almmeister, oddly enough, at the end of the day (around 4 PM) right there in the take out spot before the mountain tunnel. He was delighted to know I had just come down the Alm and wanted to share with us some of the temperature data. 17 degrees Celsius (62.6 Fahrenheit) at the time I finished. He mentioned how the temperature will fluctuate during the day as much as 3 degrees C (5.6 F) and that the best time to go is later in the day as the water will have a chance to warm up. We put in near the Untersberg at around 12 Noon but, in retrospect, we could have held off for a few hours more and avoided some of the reaction we had to the cold water. We needed to take some sun half-way through in order to get the body temperature back up. As rhythmanalysts we could have, and should have, taken into account the fluctuating temperature of the water more. We relied more on air temperature to dictate when the water might be warmest.
The water is its warmest around 6 PM to 8 PM. This makes sense now but at the time I was set on being in the water at the warmest (air) time of the day, the afternoon hours of peak sun. This year the Almkanal reached the highest temperature in all of the Almmeister’s years at his post. 22 degrees C (71.6 F) after a heat wave of maybe 10 days or so of high daily temperatures over 32 C (89.6 F). This beat the previous record set in 2003.
Look back soon for the photos from the disposable waterproof camera I used from the water….
# # #