Sunday, June 3, 2012

Coney Island Field Trip

Yet another thing I’ve been meaning to do since early spring is go for an open-water swim. I know that there are tons of beaches in the area, the problem is accessibility. Fortunately, I did go for a swim with Team Lipstick a couple of years ago and so knew of at least one option: Coney Island.

The problem with Coney Island is that it’s far away by subway. Getting there can take anywhere from one to two hours because it’s the very last stop on the D line (or one of the last stops on the N or Q). Another issue is how much stuff to bring and where to keep it. But on Memorial Day, I finally bit the bullet and headed out there for a good swim.

I always mean to get there early but never do. This time, I left the apartment around 10am hoping to get there before noon. Rookie mistake: not bringing a watch or anything at all that would tell me the time. So I have only a vague idea of when everything happened. I think I did arrive at the Coney Island D stop around 11:30. It’s unfortunately far from the swimming spot (next time I’ll take the N or Q to Ocean Parkway, which drops off right in front of it).

I made the decision not to wear or even bring my wetsuit. This had an upside and a downside. The upside is that it was pretty hot on Monday (right around 90F, 32C), so I would have been boiling any time I wasn’t in the water, and that turned out to be more time than I expected. The downside is that the water is still a little chilly. The truth of the matter is that I’m probably a wimp, but as I was walking out into the water, I did regret not having the wetsuit just a little bit.

Once I began swimming, it wasn’t an issue at all. What was an issue was my terrible sighting. Let me draw you a little diagram of what took place:

Drawing not to scale

I was using the white building in the corner to sight but I must have done a really terrible job because I went way past the rock barrier. Not to mention the fact that I only wanted to do the half mile and back. I even thought maybe I’d do it a couple of times. But, no. I swam right past that. Once I got back to the beach I wasn’t even sure how far away I was and began the quest back to my stuff (which only consisted of a towel and book). Once I got my bearings, I returned to the water and swam the last half mile back. Hopefully future trips to Coney Island will have less getting lost and more awesome swimming. And corndogs.

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