For me, summer and swimming have always gone hand in hand. Summer begins with the first ocean swim and ends with the last ocean swim. I have always marked my summers this way and have often stretched the end of the season into late October.
When I lived two blocks from the beach I tried to swim after work every evening until I couldn’t bear the cold anymore. Since the campers were born I try to get as much swim in as possible–but my nightly ritual has been replaced by stories and songs. Not a bad deal at all! Luckily for me, our boys love the water and are pretty fearless about swimming. We get them in the water as much as we can.
On the Camden leg of our recent summer expedition we found two lovely places for family swimming. The first is called Laite Memorial Beach Park. The name says it all. There is grassy park with swings that slopes down towards an ever changing sand beach. When we first checked it out at noon it was low tide and there was plenty of shell filled beach to explore–but the swim was less enticing. When we returned in the evening the tide had filled in. The water was clear and cold and refreshing. We looked at the swim and we jumped right in. I love cold water swimming and was happy to see that boys were not daunted by temps in the upper fifties. After spending some time with them in the water it was time for a little adventure.
There was a swim platform that was about 30-40 yards out at high tide. It was great fun to swim out to it and take in the views of Camden Harbor and Penobscot Bay before diving in for the swim back to the beach. It was so much fun I did it twice. During my second trip I sprawled out on the swim platform and let the sun warm me up a bit. It was so peaceful out there. I could here the campers laughing and calling for me. One more minute of quiet… Then another invigorating swim back to the shore. My boys wanted to be brought out into the water. “My turn dada.” “My turn.”