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Today I took advantage of some gorgeous weather and headed out to the beach with 4 like-minded friends. Instead of going to Brighton, we headed down to Coney Island—usually the western terminus of our 5k loop—with plans to ride soon-to-close WonderWheel after our swim. The water was amazingly clear, and flat. I swam close-in to shore with one His-Ling, looking at all the stuff there was to see on the bottom, then did a mini-loop between the pier and the end of the aquarium with Rondi. The water was in the high 60s, and the sun and sand were very warm. At the end of the jetty near us were several cormorants that we enjoyed watching

Although I said in my last post that I intended to swim past the pier the next time I was at the beach, we didn’t quite make it to the other side today. There were jetskis close to the end of the pier, so going around looked iffy. We did swim close enough to the pilings to determine that they didn’t look too daunting to swim through . . . on another day. (I also came up with a third way to get to the other side of the pier, but we didn’t go that route either).

After swimming I went up to the boardwalk with Rondi and John for this year’s end-of-season ride on the WonderWheel. It was a beautiful day, with good visibility—at the top of the ferris wheel we could see the VZ Bridge and Manhattan in one direction, and Sandy Hook, NJ in the other.

It was especially nice to be able to see Sandy Hook because on Sunday I will be doing a test swim from Coney Island to there—I got to see the route we’ll be taking from up in the air today. Sandy Hook is where last year’s Ederle swim started, so I’ve been there--briefly--once before. Since you can see it from Brighton Beach/Coney Island it seems a natural destination for a substantial (7m) swim starting from “our” beach—we often speculate about swimming there when we’re gathered for weekend swims. No more need to speculate! This month CIBBOWS is doing test swims of the crossing every weekend to check currents and routes, and I’m lucky enough to be among the first testers. I’ll be starting early Sunday morning and will be swimming mostly in the dark (and in the cold and rain, if the weather forecast holds). I loved swimming through the darkness during the Cape Cod swim, and Sunday’s adventure will give me a chance to see if I’m just as fearless about night swimming when I’m out there alone. I can’t wait!

I was counting up yesterday, and this Sandy Hook test swim will be the 10th swim longer than 10K that I’ve done this season. I’m feeling a little tired, in truth, but it’s tough to stop when so many fun and intriguing opportunities keep popping up!

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  1. chaos's Avatar
    you won't be alone.... we could throw willie in the water with you.
  2. pwb's Avatar
    Good luck on the solo night test swim. You will have a kayaker or other support boat, right?
  3. swimsuit addict's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by chaos
    you won't be alone.... we could throw willie in the water with you.
    I wasn't complaining about the prospect of swimming alone at night, just seeing it as a new challenge for me! But it's always great to have the option of a support swimmer, if needed--especially one as nice as Willie!
  4. swimsuit addict's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by pwb
    Good luck on the solo night test swim. You will have a kayaker or other support boat, right?
    Yes, I won't really be alone out there! There are four of us swimming the Coney Island-to-Sandy Hook direction, each with our own kayak escort, plus 3 boats out there supporting us, including Dave's Agent Orange. It's just that the last time I night swam it was as part of a tandem swim, whereas this time around each swimmer/kayak duo will probably be spread out somewhere along the course, at least after a bit.

    There are also 4 different swimmers doing a test swim in the opposite direction right after us--they will ride on the boats on the way out, then we get to ride while they swim on the trip home. So altogether there will quite a crowd out on the water in the wee hours tomorrow. Given the expected conditions, the race director emailed that "the boat ride promises to be miserable, but with great company."