With only a stiff northwesterly wind left behind as a memento of Tropical Storm Nicole's Long Island visit, the second day of October dawned clear and bright at West Neck Beach, to the delight of Salt-deprived Pod members who convened on the Beach at 8:00 this morning raring for a rollicking swim. And rollicking it was, as "the Robs" Martell and Todd, Carole, Gae, Annmarie, Evelyn, Joan, Bonnie, and I (joined by Rob Todd's friend Pete and his kayak) were tossed hither and yon in the chop created by the northwest wind's going head-to-head with the outgoing tide.
The wind appeared to have won, but the scintillating swim left Pod members smiling as we reconvened in front of the bathhouse at Rob Martell's ingenious floating "Pod-Sandal Station," designed to help protect the Pod's "pods" from the treacherous, barnacle-encrusted rocks for which the North Shore is famous. Inspired by a nasty foot gash from a loose pool tile which left Rob sporting a heavily bandaged foot double-wrapped in plastic (and they say open-water swimming is dangerous!!), and by the persistent whines of tender-footed Pod members no longer able to tie up their sandals on the swim lines offshore, Rob ransacked his basement and concocted his new foot-saving invention using "50 lbs of diving weights, secured flatiron and 50 feet of climbing rope." (Oh, and the ubiquitous fluorescent green child-safety figure anchoring the line on the beach!)
Secure in the knowledge that our "pods" would be safe, and unwilling to leave the deliciously temperate water (and face the wind on the beach!), Rob, Carole, Gay, Annmarie and I continued swimming northward as far as the yellow "No Passing" sign along the Causeway before returning to the Beach and the "Pod-Sandal Station."
When we finally, reluctantly, left the water, Rob carefully packed up the "PSS" for safekeeping...
Rob and his fellow C.W. Post "poolie" cohorts will be duking it out in their first meet of the season tomorrow (hopefully putting an end to their recent swashbuckling exchanges via e-mail), so he won't be joining us for tomorrow morning's 8:00 open-water swim, but he promises to try to have the "PSS" installed on a more permanent basis before then...In any event, "Good luck" to the Posties tomorrow -- break a fin, guys!-- and we'll See you in the Salt!
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!