Looking for a sign that the 2012 open-water swimming season is officially "open"? Here it is! Four members of the West Neck Pod's "Polar Pod" took advantage of the 65-degree air temperature and 55+-degree water temperatures (!) today to swim all the way to the infamous "yellow sign" for the first time since...well, since it got too cold to stay in the water long enough to get to the yellow sign! At dead-low tide, the water was a little murky and decorated with copious amounts of sea jewelry, but that was no deterrent for Annmarie Kearney-Wood, Gae Polisner, Paul Coster and I, who were sweating in our wetsuits in the hot afternoon sun as we assembled ourselves on the beach for the swim. The water felt distinctly warmer than last time, and we all eschewed the extra layers that had protected us throughout our so-called-winter immersions (except for Paul Coster, who declared himself perfectly comfortable in his sleeveless wetsuit and single bathing cap -- though he employed ear plugs under his cap to avoid "brain freeze"). Ludymila, an already wetsuited stranger whom we met on the beach, nearly joined us, but found the unusually miry water conditions too distasteful. She prefers to swim in the early mornings, she says, when the water is at its clearest and the beach is not as crowded. Explaining that "she is Russian," Ludymila said that she's been swimming at West Neck regularly throughout the winter! (and the Polar Pod now has a new prospect!) Ludymila-less, we four struck off along the Causeway, and forty minutes later, we emerged from the water into a still beautiful, picture-perfect day, with more of the same predicted for tomorrow (after a possible morning shower). The soon-to-be-extinct Polar Pod is planning to take to the Salt again on Sunday afternoon at 3:00. See you then!
|Paul demonstrating his gloveless "happy hands"|