Labor Day has come and gone, marking the unofficial end of Summer...For Pod members, Labor Day also marked the end of the ferocious westerly wind that for two days had turned the harbor into a tempest and the Causeway swim into a carnival ride. Anticipating yet another day of pitching and yawing, we'd cancelled the planned Labor Day "Big Swim II" and opted for the difficult-but-survivable beach-to-sailboat sortie.
Confounded yet again by Mother Nature (thanks, Mom!), 16 Pod swimmers converged on Monday morning on a sunlit, windless, waveless beach, which made our swim out to the sailboat mooring a seemingly effortless delight! So delightful was it, in fact, that most of us opted to continue onward past the second sailboat to Fort Hill Beach, where we lingered for a while, enjoying each other's company and the exquisite beauty of the morning, before setting out on the still-incoming tide for the return trip to West Neck Beach.
Late arrivals Gae and Joye were apparently not challenged enough by the 2.25-mile round-trip and continued northward to the farthest dock before finally turning around. The tide having begun to turn in the meantime, the "Moxie-Pod" had the added challenge of swimming against an outgoing tide the whole way back -- which they did in good spirits if not in good time!
There are at least several weeks more of open-water swimming on the horizon (I hope!), but this 2010 open-water season so far has been memorably bracketed by the Memorial Day weekend which inaugurated it and the Labor Day weekend which we commemorated with our second Pod-wide "Big Swim"! When the OWS season finally does end, there will certainly be much to remember and reflect on over the winter months until we are able to hit the Salt again...
But until then, it's back in the Salt tomorrow (Wednesday) morning at 6:15!
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!