The Floating Coffee Bar

KLR Coffee Barge

Yesterday morning, Leon was telling me about a floating coffee bar that would be out at the St. Anthony’s Triathlon. Apparently, at Ironman Kona, the floating coffee bar is a tradition that has been going on for many years. In the days leading up to the race, a local coffee shop puts a barge out in the Pacific Ocean and provides a hot cup of coffee to any swimmers who make the trek out. It serves as a great warm up swim for the athletes and is pretty darn cool!

Kennedy Law Racing, a local race team in the Bay area, decided to bring that tradition to the St. Anthony’s Triathlon in St. Pete.  From 7 AM to 7 PM on Saturday, the coffee barge would be floating a few hundred yards from Vinoy Park. They would be serving Kahwa coffee to the swimmers out in the water. Given our love for coffee, Leon and I decided we just had to go and participate in this fun tradition.

We headed down to St. Pete and explored the expo area for a bit before making our way over to the swim exit of the triathlon.

KLR Coffee Barge

KLR Coffee Barge

We could see the coffee barge out in the distance. The water was actually pretty calm, but I was starting to feel a little nervous.

KLR Coffee Barge

We both had not spent much time in the pool lately because of Leon’s recent achilles surgery. We weren’t really prepared for a swim of this distance, but decided to go for it anyway. It wasn’t that far!

We left our bags at the table and headed into the water. The swim out wasn’t too bad, but I could tell that I was not in great swimming shape. About half way out, one of the ladies on a paddle board asked if I wanted to hang on to rest. I sort of laughed it off…apparently, I looked like I was struggling!

I definitely didn’t need to rest, so we kept on trucking. We finally made it to the barge and they instructed us to hold on to the rope. Then they took our orders. We had a choice of coffee or chocolate milk. We ordered 2 coffees and they were served with cream and sugar. I’m not sure if it was the salt water or the fact that I hadn’t had my morning coffee yet…but it was absolutely delicious! I pretty much devoured my little cup in no time flat.

Leon and I chatted with some of the volunteers on the barge. They even took our picture and sent it to us!

KLR Coffee Barge

We eventually decided it was time to head back, although I could have stayed out there all day just floating and drinking coffee. We put on our goggles and swam back to the park. I was so happy that we conquered the 400 yard swim!

It was such a fun tradition to participate in and one that I hope they continue for many years to come. Leon and I were so happy that we drove down to St. Pete to swim to the floating coffee barge. Seriously, so cool!!


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