|Rob Martell, appropriately costumed for our harrowing Halloween 2010 OWS|
In acknowledgment of his country of origin, The "Pod-Father" Rob Martell was also known as "The Crazy Canadian." Seemingly impervious to cold, he continued to swim in the open water long after the rest of us had retreated to indoor pools. His December solo swims -- memorialized in the Huntington Masters Swimmers' blog (http://hums.blogspot.com/2006/12/robs-2nd-annual-december-ows.html) -- laid the groundwork for what later became the "West Neck Polar Pod."
|Rob Martell finishing his December 2, 2006 OWS -- photo by Mike Engel from the HUMS blog|
But Rob was also infamous for his late-night solo swims, his long-distance exploratory swims around the point and beyond, his swim-to-run junkets with his sneakers tucked into his suit (sorry, no pictures are available of that!), and especially for his long-rumored (and now confirmed!) open-water swim while Hurricane Irene was raging....While most Pod members did not push the swimming envelope as far as Rob did, it was Rob's exploits that encouraged and motivated the Pod to test their own boundaries, following the paths that Rob had paved. Under Rob's planning and guidance, half a dozen Pod members swam their longest distances ever, completing their first 5K or 5-mile swims last August -- and the Pod will be forever grateful for his invention and deployment of the first "Floating Pod Sandal Station" and his provision of electric heaters to warm the space under the overhang for post-season swims.
|Rob Martell (with Rob Ripp) looking like raw meat after the jellyfish infested 2008 "5K in the Bay"|
|Rob Martell: "Gotta go!"|
See you in the Salt, Pod-Father!