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, October 17, 2010

What a Difference a Day Makes!

This morning a vastly tamed northwest wind was barely filling the flag and only lightly lifting the surface of the water at West Neck Beach -- a far cry from the tumult that raged there yesterday throughout the day.  Rob Martell's trio of space heaters, augmented for the first time by Ken's super-powerful kerosene burner/blower, helped to take the chill out of the 44-degree air as the trio of Robs (Martell, Ripp and Todd), Ken, Gae, Bonnie and I suited up under the overhang.

There was nothing to take the chill out of the 56-degree water, though, as evidenced by Gae's earsplitting screams as she dove in for her first OWS since Wednesday, shattering the morning's relative calm....Gae pronounced this her last open-water swim of the season, but we'll see....we'll see...!

The rest of us have not yet retired our wetsuits (though Rob Todd will undoubtedly be shopping for insulated booties, if not a new full wetsuit!), and are looking forward to at least a few more good swims before Jack Frost finally forces us back inside! So, weather permitting, we'll see you in the Salt next weekend!


  1. It was very very cold. If only we could make the water warmer for a few more weeks and make it to Nov 1. ( and no I do not have a solution to that ). It may require mid days swims to stay swimming

  2. I measured the water temperature at 56 degrees today, which is about what it was when we started swimming this season in May. Although the air temperature was only 44 degrees at 8:00 this morning, it was close to 70 in the late afternoon -- so mid-day swims may well be the answer to extending our season a little bit longer!

  3. I'm in for the midday swims. Shut up, Carol. :)

    (i've had a crappy day. If I could go in now, I would... :))

  4. I am in the end of season mood ( which means I already wishing it was May . ) and reading our old blogs and a few others. Maybe a few more , maybe not.*tear* . But I draw your eye to this one from our rookie


    How have things changed.

  5. I think it's terrific how you've all kept swimming even as the air temp gets so cold!

    Rob's always wanted a full Polar Bear Club swim in January...I'll be there with warm blankets and hot cocoa to greet all of you when you come out.

    Christine (Rob M's wife)

  6. That sounds great, Christine! I'll be away on vacation that week and won't be there to share the adventure with the Pod, but I'll do my own Polar Bear Swim January 1st in solidarity with you guys...in the Caribbean Sea in St. Maarten!!

  7. Christine, so nice to see you here!

    Carol, St. Maarten is one of the nicest places on earth.

    Rob, I think of those early blog posts often and how I am even now comfortable to swim off on my own. I still think the buddy system is the best idea, but that open water at WNB has become my home.

  8. When a few of started swimming there on a regular basis a few years ago, it was seen as a second choice to the popular places , like sunken meadow. Now i cannot think of a better place to swim, nor can dozens of people. It's funny how a place ( and the water ) can be so comforting . I completely agree, it is home. AND Christine makes great cocoa for those dips in the water this winter so looking forward ( kinda of ) to those cold swims,

    and forget just a 4 mile, the goal is 5 miles next year. Already have the route planned.

  9. The only thing crazier than swimming in January is landing in St. Marteen!