Configuration: 8 lanes of 25 yards plus extensive beach and play areas
Fee: Don’t ask, don’t tell–but free to me
Fees to Date: $181.74
Founded in 1880, the Larchmont Yacht Club is one of the Long Island Sound’s most venerable sailing clubs, with a large membership going back generations, a famed race week, and a beautiful waterfront facility. None of this would matter to me at all were it not for the outdoor saltwater pool, which I got to visit last Monday.
I’d spent a lot of time watching swimming over the previous days, first serving double duty as a boat observer and crew member for the 17-mile Ederle Swim on August 18 and two days later kayaking for an unofficial 4-mile swim across the Sound that was organized by a small group to inspire a friend in his fight against brain cancer. I was proud to be part of both events, but all this time not swimming had me antsy. Fortunately, the cross-Sound swim ended right here at Larchmont Yacht Club soon after the outdoor pool opened for the day, and I already had my bathing suit on. John, one of the Sound swimmers, brought me in as his guest and made sure that I tried out the various features: waterslide, lap area, adult beach, and spacious locker rooms.
The setting is lovely, with just a seawall separating the pool from the large, protected mooring area in the Sound. Originally, John said, the pool opened into the Sound instead of just taking water from there. (I found some old photos of the pool but none that old.) A family beach flanks the pool on one side, and there’s an adult-only beach on the other. The shallow end of the lap area abuts a clubhouse that’s at an irregular angle to the lanes, reminding me of the competition pool in Iceland–a positive association strengthened by the short but sweet waterslide.
One of John’s habits is looking for money, and he promptly found about $.75 at the bottom of the pool. I pulled up $.26, prompting a quip that “It pays to swim here.” It was also very nice to swim here. The lap area was all but empty, and the chlorinated saltwater was a pleasant change from the pools I’m used to. I also liked the way the sand gave way to concrete on the sloping pool bottom.
After swim and beach time, we enjoyed a snackbar lunch with the unofficial mayor of LYC who had suggested it to me originally, Richard, and his daughter Devon–both fellow Ederle Swim volunteers plotting their next endeavors. We all have plenty of ideas about interesting places to swim in the future, many of them right here in our own backyards.