What a perfect 4th of July.  I started my morning with my first ocean swim of the year.  Was feeling a bit unsetteled about the location at first but was encouraged via email by a great group of people to show up for the free swim and give it a try.  There is a non-profit swimming group that i found out about (Coney Island Brighton Beach Open Water Swimmers) that has weekend swims out on Coney Island, which is really a quick trip from my house by car or subway.  To date I have found no organized open water swims that are easily accessible and was thrilled to hear about this group. To find out more about them visit www.cibbows.org. The water was a reasonable 74degrees.  Not optimal for me usually, but I had a new wetsuit that I needed to swim in to make sure it fit and was comfortable.  I met a group of about 20 that day.  Everyone had different plans, and that is perfect.  I met Lisa who lives on Brighton beach and swims about every day in the ocean.  Says she is the slowest in the group.  Perfect I say.  Looks like I found a buddy.  We swam an out and back around some jetty's .  Got fairly deep at points where I couldn't see the bottom but felt really calm and enjoyed the experience.  On the way back there was a lot of chop, something I don't relesh, but was good to experience.  After about a mile of this we decided we both wanted to swim a bit further.  After an hour I was finished.  Salt water gets my stomach upset and the chop was making me a bit dizzy.

So I'm really pleased to have found a solution to getting some open water training in on a regular basis.  Safe environment, challenging conditions, and a great group of people.  Most imprortantly the beach is only about 30 minutes away from my home.  And my new Exterra Vector Pro wetsuit fit perfectly.  I will no longer be afraid of jellyfish.