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, November 14, 2010

It's Not Over Yet...!

One day after the November 7th "Water-Blog" post proclaiming the end of the 2010 open-water season (http://thewater-blog.blogspot.com/2010/11/2010-open-water-swimming-season-looks.html), Long Island awoke to a freak early-morning snow shower, which seemed to confirm the soundness of that prediction.  But with the air temperatures this mid-November week reaching into the high 60s, and the water turned to glass by a gentle easterly breeze replacing the usual northwesterly wind, the open water resumed singing its siren song to the vulnerable....Carole and I, walking our dogs at West Neck Beach these last few days, were sorely tempted to take the plunge despite the steadily dropping water temperature, but dog-duties and the lack of wetsuits prevailed and we stayed dry despite our wistful regrets....It was Rob Martell who succumbed to the call first, diving alone into the Salt early this morning. His caption for the picture below, which he e-mailed to the Pod, reads:  "Stupid Swimmer: to the dock and back. Temp: 42" even as he proclaimed the season "not over yet...."

The gauntlet that Rob threw down this morning was unknowingly picked up later this afternoon by an unknown swimmer named "Joe," who, unable to resist the beckoning water, took a slow, leisurely swim and emerged from the chilly water wearing only a Speedo and a big smile. 

Humbled by Joe's seemingly heroic feat (and not aware yet of Rob's earlier swim), and chagrined that I could not follow suit (or wetsuit!), I comforted myself with the still-glorious day, the spectacular sight of a rainbow peeking through the clouds framing the sun over the water, and the flock of seagulls taking flight over my head, but my body was aching to be lifted again by the Salt, and my heart was wishing for an early Spring....


  1. Looks like it just you and me now Rob ***points to himself *** . Self responds : I know, it's lonely without the others but one has to do what one has to do. .. other self responds: and what is that in dare to ask? self responds : outdoors of course : Saturday.. *** head is now sinning trying to figure which self is talking *** . We are nuts.. Even the Cormorants are staying in the pond ..

    And yet the water calls us, the land self and the water self.

  2. Yells to other self who has not waken up yet... Saturday is looking good. ..

  3. What time are the two of you planning on heading down there?

  4. We are still debating between us ( we DO NOT agree on the time yet ). 9:00 is looking like the most likely , just after practice.

  5. Saturday morning, 9:30, West Neck Beach was windy, whitecapped, and cold, with no signs of wet footprints anywhere on the beach....I guess that means Rob's "other self" won the argument and kept them both out of the water! Maybe it'll warm up enough for a Thanksgiving swim -- but that's MY "other self" talking...!

  6. Nope. Got there for 8am swim.. Cold...