The official arrival of Spring on Tuesday, March 20th, was somewhat anticlimactic this year, as the last several months' unseasonably warm weather made it seem as though Winter had never fully arrived. I returned to Long Island on March 24th from a week's vacation in the Caribbean -- where the air temperature was barely warmer than that of New York! -- and was astonished to find my forsythia and rhododendron in full bloom, with my lilacs already in leaf and budding, and my hostas, irises and day lilies pushing their way up through the never-frozen ground. The West Neck "Polar Pod" took full advantage of the warm weather, as Gae Polisner and Annmarie Kearney-Wood added March notches to their Winter swimming belts, already decorated with the scalps of December, January, and February, with open-water swims at West Neck Beach on March 12, and again on March 22nd for the first OWS of the 2012 Spring season. For the latter, Gae reported that "the water, though a bit rough, and cold getting in, easily felt 6-7 degrees warmer. Our fingers and toes didn't numb one bit after 25 minutes in." She went on to speculate that "If it stays like this, which it seems it is, our regular daily season could start easily by mid-April. Imagine that?!" Yes, I can -- See you in the April Salt!
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!