Did someone say the summer is over? Not at the OC Fortress, where summer is measured not by Memorial Day to Labor Day, but by when the pool opens and closes. Guess what? The pool is still open!
That's right...the pool which opened in April is still in operation and awaiting the annual rite of October Swim. No, it isn't heated - should it be? Anyway, it's pretty self-explanatory, but it involves someone of questionable sound mind (okay, always me) taking a frigid, uh...I mean final, dip of the season for no obvious reason other than I'm late closing the pool again. I'm always late on that score - pining for just a few more days of summer, usually settling for some approximation of Indian Summer instead. But swimming while leaves slowly float through the air is somewhat enchanting - assuming of course, I'm able to remain conscious to witness it.
Exactly how the tradition began is a little hazy, no doubt the result of unnecessary exposure to icy cold water. I don't believe any records are in jeopardy though this year. October 1st is early for an October Swim and the outside temperature is projected in the mid-70's. That's a veritable heat wave equivalent for this time in the Northeast. Pool weather temperature is another thing entirely - today it registered a balmy 56 degrees! I've had warmer ocean swims than that. I can hardly wait.
Preparation is ongoing as early Fall leaves are being skimmed daily and I've received medical clearance (physically, not mentally.) Ready the pool cover at your leisure; last year it didn't go on until the first flakes of snow from a forecast Nor'easter actually began falling. So wish me good luck, or survival anyway, because last year I thought I induced a heart-attack or embarked on an ill-conceived cryogenics experiment. Everybody in the pool!