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, November 11, 2012

"Last Out, First In"...OWS Resumes After Hurricane Sandy

Rob Todd and I had the last pre-Hurricane Sandy OWS at West Neck Beach the day before the hurricane hit nearly two weeks ago....Post-hurricane power outages, gasoline shortages, and concerns about lingering storm debris kept the rest of the Pod out of the water until this morning, when, fittingly, it was Rob Todd who was the first back in, with an 8 a.m. post-Sandy solo buoy swim. I would have joined him, but my left hand is heavily bandaged after surgery last week and I can't swim until the stitches come out.  I couldn't even drive myself to the beach to see him off, and Carole was teaching an early morning yoga class and couldn't take me.  A few hours later, though, her class over, Carole trundled me and the dogs down to the beach in time to watch Gae Polisner and Annmarie-Kearney-Wood as they followed Rob into the Salt.  I hadn't been to West Neck Beach since the day after the hurricane, and the warmish air and brilliant sunshine, and even the salt-scented wind that blew steadily across the water, felt wonderful to me, even if I couldn't join my comrades in the water (which Rob had already warned us was "cold -- in the 40's for sure").  Annmarie was ready first, and I walked with her down to the water's edge, where I handed her my laser thermometer so she could check the water temperature.  Before we knew what was happening, Gae -- whose heat and electricity were only restored yesterday, and who was clearly suffering from an advanced case of cabin fever -- exuberantly tackled Annmarie, plunging them both -- and the thermometer --  into the salt water.  When Annmarie emerged, still clutching the now-dripping thermometer, its digital screen blinked crazily, and the number "39" flashed weakly for several moments before the screen went blank...But how cold was it?? As I had cautioned Annmarie just moments before her crazed companion tossed her into the drink, the thermometer is not waterproof, so the number "39" may have been merely the random output of an electronic device in its death throes and not an accurate reading of the actual water temperature.  The truth is, now we'll never know for sure how cold the water was today, for the first open-water swim since Hurricane Sandy...But there's one thing we do know: Hurricane Sandy has claimed another victim....See you in the Salt.


More cheerleaders arrive

Gae and Annmarie emerge cold but happy (How cold? Don't ask!)

Joye Brown, applauding our brave Polar Podders