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, December 29, 2010

"Christmas in the Caribbean...."!

With the winter's first major blizzard bearing down on the New York area and threatening to put the kibbosh on our Caribbean vacation plans, Carole and I were vastly relieved that the storm held off until after our plane landed in St. Maarten on a bright, sunny and HOT Christmas afternoon!

Reports of the approaching storm filtered their way to the beach-bar where we sat sipping our first pina coladas of the trip (it being too late in the day to head for the beach), but the snow did not actually begin to fall in New York until the day after Christmas.

That day also dawned rainy and overcast in St. Maarten, so our long-anticipated return to open-water swimming was postponed (in favor of shopping in Philipsburg) until the following day, when we reopened the 2010 open-water swimming season and spent a long, blissful day swimming endless lengths of the beach at Friar's Bay.  Coincidentally, it was also my birthday, and being able to swim my heart out in the exquisite, turquoise-colored water made this birthday truly feel like something to celebrate! 

Tuesday brought more of the same perfect conditions, but today (Wednesday) was another rainy, windy day, with high waves that both of us deemed too rough for swimming.  Hopefully the sun will be out again tomorrow and we can hit the Salt again -- and again and again and again -- until it's time to leave on Saturday -- but not before we undertake our own New Year's Day "Polar Bear swim" in solidarity with our brethren in the cold, snowbound North!  And so the 2011 open-water season begins....!  See you in the Salt!


  1. This is cruel and unusual punishment for those of us here in New York! One of the pictures looks like "to the sailboat and beyond"!

    Hope the trip was as good as the pics! How was the landing? Did it feel like you were landing on the water?

  2. yes, especially for those of us who have once been to st. maarten and want to go back... looks wonderful. A well-needed respite. Glad you enjoyed. Thanks for sharing. And happy new year to all.