DISCLAIMER: Open-water swimming is inherently dangerous. Open-water swimmers risk drowning, hypothermia, hyperthermia, heart attacks, panic attacks, cramping, jelly fish stings, fish bites, boat or jet-ski collisions, collisions with floating or submerged objects (including other swimmers), and other calamities that can be injurious, disabling or fatal! The "West Neck Pod" is an informal association of open-water swimmers who swim "outside the lines" with no lifeguard protection, it has no formal membership, organizational structure or legal identity, and its participants, including the author of this blog, make no representations and assume no liability with respect to its group open-water swims. All swimmers who participate in West Neck Pod group open-water swims do so at their own risk. Be careful out there!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

"Big Swim" a Big Success!

Conditions for this morning's one-way, tide-assisted swim could not have been more perfect for the nine swimmers who set out from West Neck Beach, accompanied by Nancy Reycraft in her kayak! Unlike the tempest of the last several days, the water today was flat and calm, and the cloudless sky was clear and beautiful as Rob Martell and Ken Longo (the "Lewis and Clark" of the West Neck Pod who pioneered the route we swam today), Cathy Kabat, Adam Acerra, Gae Polisner, Sue Robinson, Armand D'Amato, Bonnie Millen and I left West Neck Beach on an outgoing low tide shortly after 7:00 a.m. We headed north to “the sailboat at the end of the Causeway” and then, instead of stopping there as we usually do, continued northward, past the “second sailboat,” reconnoitering at Fort Hill Beach – directly opposite that great, hulking concrete channel marker that looms in the middle of the harbor.

Three swimmers left the water then and were ferried back to West Neck Beach by Armand. The rest of us continued northward -- where Cold Spring Harbor widens as it approaches Long Island Sound, the open water becomes even more spacious, and the distant horizon seems infinitely far (as far as that channel marker used to!). We swam as far as the last dock just short of the Lloyd Neck Point, then returned to Fort Hill Beach, where three more of us somewhat reluctantly left the water for the drive back to West Neck Beach. Gae and I “high-fived” each other, congratulating ourselves and each other on having finally swum as far as that channel marker – and beyond!

Rob, Cathy and Ken decided to forgo a ride back and swim the rest of the way to West Neck Beach, apparently earning them Neptune and Salacia’s blessing: The tide having turned in the interim, they got the benefit of a tide-assist in both directions – a swimmer’s dream! Adam, Gae and I saw them as we drove back along the Causeway to West Neck Beach – swimming strong, sure and fast, each leaving a long wake behind them like the tail of a comet. Tired as my poor arms and shoulders were, I regretted not following in their wake...Next "Big Swim"....!

Until then, it’s Back in the Salt on Tuesday at 6:15 a.m.....

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