Though I took my first plunge early this year… 1/1/12 at Brighton Beach, and (as always) some hard-core CIBBOWS swimmers continued the weekly ritual without break, I don’t consider myself fully in that NY-OW state of mind until the mercury reads 50+.
I thought it was a possibility this past Saturday, so after a very brief 1500 yards at Gunks Masters, I dressed and drove the 2.5 hours to Brighton Beach. I missed the 11 AM meet-up, but there were a good dozen or more swimmers either in the water of just finishing up their swims.
Ritual is a very personal thing, and it makes it hard to plan a group swim when the water is a bracing 46 degrees. Some take a long time wading in slowly to “warm up”, others do a heads up breast-stroke, etc. I like the shock of a quick plunge.
I swam to the end of BB and back… about 1 mile, and tried something new to warm up. No towel, no parka, just a 1 mile run, repeating the same path that I just swam.
On the way back I noticed a swimmer still out there… Brad Mc Vetta was in the home stretch of the standard Coney Island 5k loop. Total time 1hr 50min (I was impressed)
The water was cold and clear, and a few days later, Janet and Hannah would witness the invasion of the spider crabs http://forums.usms.org/blog.php?b=21316
I have only witnessed this event once at Brighton Beach and it was indeed breathtaking. I’m not sure what triggers this activity, as I’ve swum through many seasons without seeing a single one.
Today, I had the pleasure of swimming in a small local pond that sits in the shadow of the Shawangunk cliff formation known as the Trapps.http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi…Trapps_-_1.jpg
My friend and frequent training partner Willie has been inviting me to join him here for a while, and when he claimed that the water temp was up to the mid 50’s, I didn’t really believe him. It was actually high 50’s today… quite comfortable. We got in around 5:45 and the sun set behind the Trapps after about 15 minutes into our swim. Without a winter to speak of, the local lakes won’t be fed by snow melt, and I expect that water temps around the region will hit the 60’s by mid April.
We’ll be in the Hudson in no time!