It was high time for the first swim of the year, I decided, surprised at the strength of the sun on my back. I lugged the canoe to the water’s edge, arranged my gear ready to go, then drove home to exchange my long pants and long sleeves for a bathing suit and shorts. Today is June 12th, five days later than last summer’s baptism, when I jumped into the chilly waters of Moose Pond during our beloved Maine Canoe Symposium.
By eleven, I was pushing into the breeze, the warm air rushing over my bare skin and setting the lily pads dancing. Brilliant blue damsel flies and dark dragonflies skimmed the shallows hazy with pollen. There was the beaver lodge that I hadn’t seen in a year, and a blue flag iris, just one splotch of purple along a shady stretch of shore.
This may only be the second time that I’ve gone in the water at Webber Pond, but I found a spot I liked. No beach here, but rather a wide, steep rocky slope, on the hidden side of an island. I clung to the rough surface, then carefully slid into the deep water. I swam the breast stroke, feeling the old familiar rhythm and the comforting warmth of the thin surface layer. After ten minutes, I climbed out, enough for the first day in the first lake.
Last year, I decided to keep a count of the lakes where I swam and ended up with ten: Moose Pond, Damariscotta Lake, Biscay Pond, Scraggly Lake, McCurdy Pond, Lobster Lake, Lower Shin Pond, Hay Lake, Nahmakanta Lake, and Pleasant Pond. Of course, I swam in Biscay and McCurdy dozens of times. Think I can beat ten this year?