I was driving home in the rain and seeing that the leaves are just starting to migrate colors for the season I realized two things:
1. The water temperature is going to start dropping faster very soon.
2. I have not yet signed up for the concrete prison.
So I have a choice, me and the pup can make the journey to the YMCA on the way home and I can get the details done or I can take a dip in the 59F (15C) degree water.
Well if you guessed that I chose the latter, you know me well. Paperwork over swimming, it really is a no-brainer any time of year. I did the internal check, my ears feel pretty good; my allergies, not so good but a good bath in salt water has to be good for my sinuses, right? I can rationalize myself into a swim most any day, given any situation except a concrete prison with lines. So, instead of turning to the ‘Y’ or home, I just continued out to North Eastern and my favorite swimming hole at Canoe Beach and Forty steps.
By the time I was dressed for the dip, it was sprinkling just a little, more mist than anything and ocean was calling to me like a siren trying to snare sailors.
The air temperature was a little warmer than the water and that isn’t going to last much longer with any regularity.
As much as I could feel the drop of those three degrees of water temperature, I know it is nothing compared to what is coming, every degree will be colder by orders of magnitude. For those of you that don’t understand this concept, the drop between 59-55 F (15C-12.8) feels much smaller than the drop from 54-50 F (12.2-10C) and then every degree feels like 10x and then 12x and then 14x, etc…. Until you get smart enough to not get in or you really are a masochist.
So, of course I’m 'inch by inching' my way in as fast as possible knowing the most I can count on is a two hour swim due to the shortening days of fall and the lengthening nights. But soon I slip into the water and start my swim. The water is calm and it is low tide which means I probably won’t beach myself on the rocks, aka, the Chimneys. I really miss those lobster floats that used to surround them and form a sighting chain that I could follow. I will just have to actually rely on my own sense of where I am in the cove in relation to the rock, right? Maybe not today, it is so calm and quiet that I’m heading out to the end of East Point and around the Island toward the Boston side. I wave toward England as I swim down the East Side of the Island headed toward Pea Islands, parallel to the shore. One day I will get here early enough to actually swim into the cove that is home to Swallow Cave and maybe a swim around the little Islands. But alas, that is not for today, after about 45 minutes and two Gatorade stops. (I shove the bottle down the back of my suit for easy access on the go during a small swim) It is time to head back to the real world that exists out of the water, so I swim around the point again, back to the beach. The swim felt strong even with the time out of the water. I was just making my strokes long and even, bi-lateral breathing.
When I got to the beach I figured that I wasn’t quite done. A couple of sprints would finish off the swim nicely. I threw the bottle on the beach for a pick up later and headed back out beyond the Chimneys. I did 2 quick laps between Canoe Cove and Forty Steps Cove to get the heart rate up, faster turnover, and still trying to still keep my strokes long and even. I feel pretty good. These sprints are where I usually sense that I have been out of the water first but not today. It appears it was a welcome break from the water physically if not emotionally. After I’m done and meander back to the beach, I seriously have to face the real world, it is time to get out and get to the truck with my bottle. I’m sure that if anyone saw me crossing the road to the truck in my shoes and suit, they would think I was crazy….. Today, I left all the clothes in the car so they would be dry when I returned.
I get dry quickly and take the dog out because she is telling me ‘she has to’ before going home. So we go around the park once and head home to work on homework, etc, for the evening and an early leap into bed...