Forecast called for a ridiculously balmy 80 degrees, perfect weather for my annual swim with the Coney Island Polar Bears! I always think that some winter it might be fun to try to actually join them, the way that works is that there's a lottery for slots; you pay a $25 application fee and then if you come out for 12 swims within a single season (which runs from November through April) and are voted in by the members, you become a full-fledged Coney Island Polar Bear, with a patch you can wear and YES total bragging rights! After that you only have to do four swims a year to continue to be an active member; that first year would take some commitment and I think I would have to focus on getting the swims in early on - seems like the way to do it would be getting out there every week as the water gets progressively colder. Would be tough to do and still fit in my winter paddling, I would just have to make up my mind to make it a swimming winter instead of a paddling winter. Fun to think about, but for the time being I expect I'll just stick with my April dip.
Would also be fun to see the New Year's Day plunge that the Polar Bear Club runs as a fundraiser for Camp Sunshine someday - but I have been ringing in New Year's Days with paddles for so long that it's hard to imagine not doing that. It would be such fun taking pictures there, though, that's an enormous and very popular event and people come up with some wild outfits for it!
I was very glad to get out in the water today, it's been weeks since my last paddle (Staten Island seals in what was it, February?) and I've just been itching for salt water. Today was just great, I had a lovely time in the water and then asked if I could join in when I heard a friend talking about going to Ruby's Bar - I am so glad that whatever happened to save that place and some of the other Coney Island classics from the developers happened, that was the perfect way to wrap up the beach part of the day.
Sorry it's not a very wide range of pictures, my camera got a memory card error right after the first circle-up, which happens right after everybody gets in - since I was already in, I couldn't open the battery compartment to take out the card & put it back in. I think I may have enjoyed the rest of the swim more after I ditched the camera, though! Here's the set of pictures I did get, though. Click for slide show view, as usual.
Sorry I have been such a boring blogger of late, it's been a rough Spring. Nowhere near enough time on, in, or near the water. Hope to remedy that on Sunday with my annual Spring swim with the Coney Island Polar Bear Club. How many years in a row do you have to do something before you can officially call it a tradition? :) Anyways, I've been absolutely aching for a water day, was torn between a swim and a paddle, but with a high of 75 on Sunday, I'm thinking a swim may better than a paddle -
warm spring days here in the Northeast are actually not the best paddling days because the water is still very cold and you have to dress for that, not the air.
And as long as I'm talking about warm air/cold water paddling, my whole point in signing on to do this quick post is to share this quick Frogma P.S.A., same as I do every year around this time:
The New York State off-season lifejacket rule -- the one that says anyone who's out in any recreational vessel of 20 feet or less must be wearing a lifejacket between November 1 and May 1 -- is still in effect. Also, we are having some wonderful weather here, but the water's still quite cold. Immersion gear (wetsuit or drysuit) is still a very good idea if you are going boating, but at the very, very least, please wear your lifejacket.
This is always a bad time of year for boating accidents, a capsize that would be an amusing minor mishap in August can go south extremely fast here in April, and even on into May. For more information, please visit any of the links in the cold-water safety link list to the right.
Thanks for reading, let's all be safe out there!
Still crazy at work but had to share this new Poetry in Motion subway card featuring art by Sebago sailing co-chair Holly Sears. In addition to patiently teaching many, many newbies (including yours truly) how to sail dinghies, she is an AMAZING artist. This piece is from Hudson River Explorers, her glorious public art installation in the overpasses at the Metro-North Tarrytown station. I always like the Poetry in Motion series and I'll be looking for this one especially! Click here for the two posts that I did after going to see the installation and the gallery exhibit that she had at the Hudson River Museum at the time that the piece was first unveiled.
Also have to have a little "whoop whoop" moment today as Facebook kindly reminded me that one year ago today, I rang the bell after my last chemo infusion. I wasn't going to go to my Irish music session tonight but I think that's an anniversary that deserves a pint and a few tunes. Seeing the doctors is getting to be a less regular thing now, they extend the intervals between appointments as you go along without any trouble, but I had doctor week a couple of weeks ago and so far all's well.