Sheila and I met for a 6:30 swim this morning in the middle of a crazy storm. There was so much wind that branches were falling from trees on my drive down to the Albany Bulb. When I saw Sheila’s lone car in the dark parking lot I couldn’t decide whether I was glad she’d made it or sorry I didn’t have an excuse to turn around and drive back home. Once we were running across the sand in our bathing suits, rain coming down sideways from the wind, I knew I was glad. The thrill of these ridiculous, improbable swims gets me every time.
A benefit of wind is that it hastens my immersion into the water; it’s just too cold outside the water to stand around dithering about how cold it is inside. Very quickly I was all the way in and swimming. It was too dark to see my thermometer then, but later I clocked 51 degrees. Something about the nature of the cold today fogged up my waterproof phone case and so all of my pictures are terrible.
At first, the waves were energetic but pretty standard. We had fun being tossed and bobbed. As we got further out, though, the waves got big. For the first time ever at the bulb, I felt a little apprehensive. The combination of the dark and the rain and the repeating waves of water coming at me was slightly disconcerting. Only for a moment, though. The sky brightened and all my familiar landmarks were there. The birds came out to greet the day and the waves pushed us toward land, not out to sea.
It was an exhilarating swim and it left me buzzing with energy all day long.