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!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Never Say "Never"....!

At 7:30 this morning West Neck Beach was a tumultuous riot of white-capped waves racing across the harbor and crashing on the beach and the jetty.  The waves were driven by a raging northwest wind that blew unceasingly against an outgoing high tide.  Scott Kessler having joined me on the beach shortly before 8:00, we reluctantly called it a "No-Swim" day, and he left while I e-mailed the bad news to the Pod....Don Bond met Scott at the beach entrance and, unconvinced by his report, came on in to see for himself, followed shortly thereafter by Rob Ripp.  We stood there in the wind-tossed parking lot, gazing wistfully out at the roiling water, which looked both forbidding and tempting in the exquisite morning light....

Carefully weighing the pros and cons of swimming anyway despite the conditions, insanity prevailed, and we suited up (Rob still in his "shorty") and plunged into the thundering surf!  The water was actually a relief from the relentless wind, surprising us in its warmth as we turned our backs to the wind and stroked south towards the buoy.  The surging waves lifted us and all but threw us down the beach, the outgoing tide no match for the raging wind.  

Persistent goggle problems were hampering my otherwise thrillingly perfect swim, and I turned back first -- into a veritable wall of water!  The oncoming wind and waves felt like an assault, and I was relieved when I finally made it back to the Pod-Sandal-Station to retrieve my camera-mask so I could film Rob and Don on their return trip (I had inadvertently left the camera in the video-record mode as it was tied up to the PSS -- now that's an interesting video for another post....!). 

Weather/wind conditions for Sunday are predicted to be much the same as today's....See the craziest of you in the Salt tomorrow!   


  1. After Sundays swim, I think we are done for the season ( very sad to say )

  2. Say it ain't so, Joe!! Pulling the plug at 56 degrees? Have you been away from Canada too long? I think I'll wait and see what next weekend looks like before I pronounce this season over!

  3. Sure. I always remain optimistic but my swim days are narrowed to Sundays. That water heading to the buoy was cooler than 56. Low fifties . Only when you get closer to the buoy did it warm up. Maybe the other way is warmer.

    Of course it may not stop me putting in swim in each month just for a record 12 month swimstreak. something I wanted to do last year but never got around to it.

  4. You ARE a Canadian! I'll be swimming with you as long as I can, and holding your towel on the beach inDecember, January, February, March and April...!

  5. Sounds like a plan. A very cold plan but a plan.