The beach off-season is a surreal place. Most of the food vendors are boarded up, the roar of the Cyclone is replaced by a gentle whistle of wind passing through the old wooden cross beams, the Wonder Wheel cars have been stripped off the frame. From the boardwalk, the water is still inviting, though now with a chilly sparkle that only shines through the crisp autumn air.
We (Rob and I) arrived rather early. His plane; on time, JFK terminal 7, and from there, just about 20 minutes to Coney Island. It was high tide… very high tide, and the jetties were almost completely under water. I gave a brief orientation to Rob, pointing to Breezy Point, Sandy Hook, Europe; described the invisible separation between Brighton Beach and Coney Island and then we entered Education Hall of the NY Aquarium. This would be our base for the day. Check in, pre and post race socializing would be here.
Food, schwag, kayaks, swimmers, all started arriving as the buoys were being set. Beside Pismo Beach Rob, we had a couple of other out-of-towners swimming with us; Suzie Dods from San Francisco and Don MacDonald from Chicago. The best part of these swims is the gathering, and since this was the “last of the season” there were a lot of stories to share about all the miles swum this year. We had 9 EC swimmers present, and at least two who will be swimming it in 2011, dozens of MIMSers, probably a dozen Boston Light swimmers, the trio of Magellan and Beagle Channel swimmers and the one guy who I am pretty sure flew way more miles than me this year… criss-crossing the country to get a taste of every USMS OW championship swim, and quite a few others.
The swim and post swim have been described well by Janet:
and Rob – and there are quite a few photos linked as well, so I will only add that I had a great time as always hanging out with my swim friends… old and new, and look forward to the next event though I have no idea at the moment when that will be.
My planning for 2011 has just begun, and will revolve around a seven day Hudson River swim… dates and details are still TBD.