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!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Whither the Wind?

Windy conditions at West Neck continued into the weekend, with the nearly 20 swimmers that showed up for the 8:00 Saturday morning swim muscling their way through a vigorous chop. Conditions were otherwise quite pleasant, with the water still a comfortable temperature, and the sun shining brightly in a cloudless blue sky that was eerily reminiscent of a never-to-be-forgotten day exactly nine years before....

I am still getting acquainted with my new digital camera swim mask, and practiced shooting videos with Tommy Capobianco as my swimming model....

By Sunday the wind had died down substantially and the water was virtually unruffled, although the temperature had dropped several degrees overnight, making for a chilly experience for those not wearing wetsuits. The overcast sky meant a smaller turn-out for the "Big Swim III," but Tommy Capobianco, Rob Martell, Gae Polisner and Cathy Kabat went the distance to Fort Hill Beach, while Margot and I cut it short at the sailboat mooring, returning to West Neck on an incoming tide. Rob Ripp, Rob Todd, Helen, Ken and Colleen had taken the southern route, swimming between the buoys. The harbor was thickly populated with an unusually large number of fishing boats, which fortunately kept their distance from the swimmers, but their presence left me wondering if those weren't just "moon jellies" I kept bumping into!!

Monday was a day off for all, and Tuesday's solo swimmer, Ken Longo, reported a relaxing swim in glass-like conditions. On Wednesday the northwesterly wind was back with a vengeance, blowing away plans for an early morning swim, as Gae, Evelyn, Carole and I again huddled in the parking lot watching the flag whip madly in the breeze and the few remaining boats rock like broncos at their moorings.

The early morning chill felt even chillier in the wind as we stood there trying to decide whether what was sure to be a grueling swim was worth the effort. In the end, we decided not... I headed to the Y, for only the third time this season, to reacquaint myself with "closed-water" swimming and the smell and taste of chlorine rather than sea salt. The pool was virtually empty and I had my own lane for nearly an hour, but the 83-degree water temperature felt unpleasantly warm, and I swam like a bloated slug. Pool swimming is going to take some getting used to....but hopefully not for a while yet!!

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