We swam in three tightly packed groups spaced widely apart and kept a vary eye out for approaching boats, as did our escorts. Though the round-trip distance -- a little less than two miles -- was not much more than a typical "Sailboat" swim, which most of us do regularly, the fact that we were so far from shore and swimming across an active boat channel made it seem much, much farther....So when we suddenly saw the flashing lights of the Oyster Bay Constable's boat approaching, and watched it take up a watchful position alongside the phalanx of swimmers, we were greatly relieved -- at least once we realized he was not there to arrest us! We all relaxed a little bit and were able to really enjoy the fabulous swimming conditions and the extraordinary view of our home beach from far out in the harbor. When we had all arrived safely at the beach at Cove Neck, without having seen another boat crossing the channel or bearing down on us, we were elated -- and then we remembered that we still had to swim back! After a brief rest (too brief -- I forgot to look for my flip-flops which had drifted away a few weeks before on an easterly wind -- I know they're here someplace!), we started back across the harbor, in the same three-group formation, but a little more practiced at keeping ourselves together and swimming at the same pace. The Bay Constable's boat followed us all the way back to West Neck Beach and, despite the early traffic, we didn't encounter any other boats and all arrived safely "home." There, swimmers, paddleboarders and friends enjoyed an end-of-Summer feast of bagels, donuts, muffins, crumb-cake, watermelon and hot coffee and tea -- and the exhilaration of having completed what for many of us has been a long-term dream! Many, many thanks to our group leaders Rob Ripp and Carole Wickham for keeping us organized and in formation, and to our kayaker and fellow-Podder Nancy Reycraft and paddleboarders Sal, Nick, Edgar, Linda, Jamie, Jackie, Katie (and one other whose name I didn't get) for keeping us safe and on course! For those who missed out on today's adventure, you can count on us doing it again next year....See you in the Salt!
|View from Nick's paddleboard|
|Arriving at "The Other Shore"|
|Paddleboarder Linda with fellow paddleboarder Jamie's mom Amy|
|Swimming/paddling across the harbor makes you hungry!|
The harbor two hours later...