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!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

"Like a Fish Out of Water"

Steven Levey
Nancy Reycraft, whose last open-water swim of the early season was five days ago at her home beach, Centerport Beach, where the water quality after the week's rain remained questionable,  reported that she was beginning to twitch and flop about and gasp for air, so she was somewhat desperate to rejoin the Pod for its 8:00 open-water swim at West Neck Beach this morning. Nancy was not the only "fish out of water," as the freakish rainstorms and continued cool temperatures that have held the 2013 open-water season to a stuttering start have kept many a Podder from the Salt.  But this morning's warm sunshine and clear blue skies drew a few more Podders out for their first-swim-of-the-season.  Among the returnees: Chris Vasallo, Nancy Aboff, Steven Levey, and Margot Edlin (who actually went in above the knees this time and swam all the way to the South Buoy, proclaiming the water "just lovely"!).  Also joining us for the first time today were  Lorraine and Dave (whose first attempt last week was aborted by the cold water), and Gregory Nieratka, who accompanied regulars Carole Wickham, Joye Brown, Gae Polisner, Annmarie Kearney-Wood, E.J. Voss, Magda Petryk, Marc Leahy, Rob Ripp, Paul Coster, Tim Sullivan, Don Bond,  and me for either a short jog to the South Buoy and back or a more extended swim to New Beach and back (with some tacking on a jaunt to the North Buoy just to show off)...There was virtually no wind and the 63-degree water was calm and flat, and relatively clean and clear, though a fair amount of seaweed dredged up by the outgoing tide peppered the water, along with the occasional dead horseshoe crab.  I collided with one of these monstrosities despite Don Bond's best efforts to warn me, and was astonished by how solid and unyielding it was when I hit it with my outstretched hand (and screamed like a girl when I realized what it was!)  

At New Beach, the usually squeamish and delicate Gae surprised the assemblage when she plopped a huge clod of pungent seaweed on her head and commenced prancing around like Esther Williams (whom she was perhaps channeling),  but she was promptly disciplined by former teacher Nancy Reycraft, who commenced hurling wads of seaweed in Gae's general direction (perhaps the now-retired Nancy misses the cafeteria food fights....). 
Esther Williams lives

Joye at Muscle Beach (I mean, "New Beach")

Tomorrow promises to be as warm and beautiful as today -- at least in the morning -- so we'll be back at 8:00 to do it all over again!  See you in the Salt!

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