In a modern-day version of "The Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria," "The BMW, The Mazda and The CRV" made landfall in the parking lot of Long Beach, Sag Harbor, early Monday morning to commemorate the explorer spirit of Christopher Columbus with the West Neck Pod’s first-ever "Road Trip"! As has been oddly typical of this 2011 late-open-water-swimming season, all of the day’s explorers were women, and Pod members Annmarie, Susan, Gae, Carole, Kathy, Kaitlyn and I wasted no time in suiting up in summer-like temperatures under brilliant blue skies and hitting the crystal clear water (with Sarah kayaking alongside) for what was unquestionably the best swim of the 2011 open-water season...! (Seriously – this water was so clear it made Cold Spring Harbor seem like a mud-puddle by comparison!) We swam along the seemingless endless shoreline for nearly a mile, then lingered at the jetty in an endorphin-induced euphoric state that sparked various hijinks (see the video!) including synchronized swimming exhibitions and demonstrations of don’t-try-this-at-home "lifesaving" techniques....Ravenous hunger eventually forced us back to the beach where we enjoyed a banquet feast of bagels, coffee, cupcakes and tunafish sandwiches lavishly spread out on the hood of Annmarie’s BMW, after which Gae, Annmarie, Sarah and I returned to the water (sans wetsuits) for some leisurely, languid, don’t-ever-want-to-get-out noodling-around swimming before we all set out for the westward journey home....For some of us (Gae, Carole, Kathy, Karen and I), it was "back in the West Neck Salt" this morning, with another swim planned for tomorrow (Wednesday) at 6:45, but you can expect that next year's open-water swimming season will include a lot more "road trips" -- and it won't be long before we're tasting the Salt at Long Beach again! See you in the Salt!