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, May 28, 2011

"Hooray, Hooray for the 28th of May...Outdoor Swimming Starts Today!!"

Nearly 25 swimmers turned out at West Neck Beach this morning to mark the official start of the 2011 Open-Water-Swimming Season! Striking off from the beach in several waves between 6:30 and 8:30, even the early swimmers (Rob and Christine, followed by Carole, Kathy, Gae and Annmarie) were treated to the same crystal-clear and astonishingly temperate water that Joye Brown and I enjoyed in our preview swim yesterday, and that Margot, Adam, Carla, Don, Scott, Tim, Tom, Steve, Kara, Cathy, Kaitlyn, Sara, Sal, Liz, Joye and Sue, et al. got to enjoy in the later waves today). 
And today, contradicting Newsday's report, the thermometer that Carole hung from the swim lines confirmed what our senses were telling us: that, at 66 degrees, the water is surprisingly warm for late May -- even for those wearing sleeveless wetsuits -- and far warmer than at last year's Memorial Day Weekend season start!  (Perhaps the warmish temperatures account for the large numbers of jellyfish that were spotted below us as we swam, but no stings were reported, and their presence seemed as benign as the water temperature. Hopefully, the jellies will be gone by late June, as they were the last time they made such an early appearance!)

For this inaugural swim most of us, still finding our sea-legs (and our sea-arms), ventured only to "the yellow sign" and back, but some hearties went the distance, swimming all the way to "the house at the end of the Causeway" (the iconic "Sailboat" not yet having taken its accustomed place at the mooring).  All swimmers emerged from the water grinning and glowing, and looking forward to their next sojourn into the Salt....
For me, that'll be tomorrow (Sunday) morning at 8:00 -- hope to see you then!

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