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, April 12, 2014

It's Open-Season for Open-Water Swimming!

After a l-o-n-g, brutal winter that kept even the West Neck "Polar Pod" out of the water since mid-November, and delayed by several weeks the telltale signs of Spring, the slowly emerging crocuses and tulips and daffodils began to give hope of an eventual return to open-water swimming. The Polar Pod optimistically scheduled a "Resurrection Swim" for April 19th, the Saturday before Easter. But when the temperatures were forecast to go into the 60s this week, Annmarie Kearney-Wood was quick to urge us into the water sooner -- just in case the weather decided to go south again.

Five Polar Pod members took up the challenge, and on Saturday, April 12th, Annmarie, Joye Brown, Carole Wickham, Sharon Hochberg and I tiptoed, with winter-tenderized feet, over the low-tide rocks that poked and bruised even through our insulated booties.  The booties kept the cold at bay, but not our necklines, and when, one by one, we lowered ourselves into the 40-degree water, our wetsuits filled with icy daggers that sheared our skin and stung and burned our unacclimatized faces.  But the sun was shining brilliantly and glinting on the flat, calm water that looked so inviting....Joye reminded us that we'd swum in worse conditions in November, and when she said, "We can do this," of course we did!  It was -- as our cold-water swims always are -- incredibly invigorating and energizing, and the Polar Pod is all fired up to do it again tomorrow!  See you in the Salt!
Carole, Joye, Carol, Annmarie and Sharon
Basking in the sun and drinking hot tea afterwards



  1. Carol how do I get one of those inflatable waist buoys? Thanks.

    1. Hi, Robert. The "Safer Swimmer" flotation buoys are available through the International Swimming Hall of Fame (http://ishof.org/e-store/saferswimmer/) (or from the "Podmobile" if you happen to be in the West Neck Beach parking lot when I'm there!).