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, July 31, 2011

Big Weekend for a "Big Swim"

The West Neck Pod bid a fond farewell to July this weekend, commemorating this glorious month’s-end with two "Big" open-water swims. Saturday, as guests of the Greenlawn Beach and Swim Club, and joined by the Huntington Tri-Masters Swimmers, the Pod enjoyed the peaceful, natural beauty of Makamah Beach and reveled in the crystal-clear "big" water of Long Island Sound, which lulled us with an effortless eastward swim on a calm, flat incoming tide, then churned and slapped us from side to side as the wind picked up on the westward return. Despite the waves and chop, the bottom was clearly visible throughout the swim and seemingly close enough to touch even in ten-foot depths, its apparent proximity an illusion induced by the astonishing cleanliness and clarity of the water.

On Sunday, July 31st, the Pod returned to West Neck Beach for the long-awaited day of the "Big Swim," the season’s first organized collective effort to increase our swim distance and push beyond our usual boundaries. Scores of Aquafit swimmers also heeded the call to adventure and joined the throng of Pod swimmers headed "to the Sailboat and beyond." Though an unusually strong incoming tide and a disconcerting jellyfish insurgence dimmed the group’s enthusiasm for a 3-mile jaunt, a substantial number voted "yes" for 2 miles and continued north to Fort Hill Beach. After the obligatory stopover at the floating dock where Sal Romanello demonstrated his "cannonball" technique and others followed suit, the still-rapidly-incoming tide all but flung us down the Causeway and back to the beach....and the beginning of a new swimming month. See you in the Salt – in August!

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