My home waters are on the CT side of Long Island Sound, in a sheltered cove a bit east of New Haven, between the Farm River and Killam’s Point. I took this picture yesterday at the afternoon high tide, when I went down to swim with my daughter Olivia. If you squint you can see on the left side the house where the American poet Ella Wheeler Wilcox lived in the 19c.
On a calm day, the swimming is great — warm & salty, with no waves to speak of usually. The tide matters a lot to swimmers here. At low tide, it’s too easy to dig down into the silt with each stroke, but with a good flood, in this sheltered cove, it’s easy to swim out a mile or so in calm open water — out to Gull Island to disturb the birds, or even toward Kelsey’s, at the river’s mouth. Sometimes I worry about boat traffic, but it’s mostly kayaks & sailboats (inc the Yale sailing team).
The Sound doesn’t circulate all that much, so the water isn’t as clear as it could be. You can’t usually see the bottom, which is often enough silt anyway. I swim through a kind of sand- and salt-filled haze, with almost everything blurry even if I remembered my goggles (which I didn’t, yesterday).
This evening the surf will be up as Hurricane Earl passes offshore.