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, May 12, 2013

Mothers' Day Swim

Mothers' Day 2013 dawned rainy and dreary, but by 9:00 the sun was worming its way through the clouds, renewing my hopes for an afternoon swim (Saturday's having been an emphatic washout)....By 1:00 the sun was shining brightly, blotted out only occasionally by passing clouds, and the air temperature was up to 67 degrees when I arrived at West Neck Beach, but a northwest wind was tearing up the water, sending roller after roller onto the beach.  Erstwhile Polar Podder Marc Leahy, on sabatical from swimming since the birth of his son (and first Pod-baby!) Matthew five months ago, was there relaxing on the beach with his wife Cathleen and the baby, but they were soon packing up to leave as the wind picked up even more.  I was glad when Annmarie Kearney-Wood arrived shortly thereafter, because now I had a buddy, and then Paul Coster (accompanied by his daughter Rebecca and their two dogs) arrived to make it a threesome.  The water felt chilly when we first waded in, but only for a moment, and when we submerged for the first time there were none of the usual squeals and screams that had punctuated our April swims....We started swimming easily, and when I removed my gloves to adjust my leaking goggles, my hands felt nearly as warm without as with them.  By the tide table it seemed that the tide was outgoing, but we headed north, reasoning that it would be easier to fight the tide than the wind on the return trip.  The waves were big and oblique and uneven, randomly rolling up and over us, sometimes from both sides at once, making it hard to find a place to catch a breath. Still, we plodded on, energized by the nearly warm water, and swam all the way to the yellow sign -- a first for the season!  We waved to gawkers on the Causeway, then headed back, enjoying the boost from the wind which, although it continued to pummel us with ever-bigger waves, drove us steadily toward the beach against the outrushing tide.  Next time, no booties or gloves!  Happy Mothers' Day -- See you in the Salt!

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