Sunday, August 21, 2011

What a difference a week makes

If you recall, I'd posted last about concerns that the water level had fallen too low for cliff diving.  Well, that has changed.  On Monday and Tuesday last week, some 4-5 inches of rain fell, and the water level at The Ledges rose more than five feet, by my estimate.  Levels are now comparable to mid-July, and are certainly the highest they've ever been that anyone can recall for this time of the year.  Needless to say, it's now perfectly safe to once again jump and dive from the cliff.
This is exactly what a lot of people did yesterday (Saturday).  We had quite a crowd on that cliff.  Of notable mention was the party of 30th-birthday celebrants (two members had birthdays the same day).  They decided to hold a birthday-suit birthday party, played cards, and passed out cake.  Also, a group of barely-post-college folks arrived from Troy, and seemed to enjoy visiting for the first time.  All in all, Saturday was a pretty cool day.
But summer will not last forever.  There's only a short time until Labor Day weekend.  This is important, because the Sunday of every Labor Day (weather permitting!) there is a barbeque, starting around 3PM.  Therefore if you show up that day, bring food, and be prepared to share.  Let's cross our fingers and hope for a sunny, warm day.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Jumping off the cliff

Last Friday I executed a beautiful swan dive off the cliff (not to be modest or anything), but as I pulled up underwater I scraped the top of my foot on the rocks.  While completely minor as far as cuts go, this is a signal that the water level is getting a bit low this season for diving.  Even jumping should now be done with caution since shortly after I scraped myself, a girl did the same thing with a very ordinary jump.  The water has now dropped to the point that the rock pile on the island is showing, which means we've probably only got a week or so before it's truly hazardous to jump.  Better get there while you can!

This got me to thinking about exactly how people take the initial plunge of naked swimming, in daylight, with people they've just met.  For people who've never tried it before, visiting The Ledges may seem like a long way to go for an experience whose benefits are unclear.  I can well imagine the internal conversation about whether it's worth the effort, balanced against the fear of trying something society as a whole is not sure what to make of.  But I always tell people who are sitting on the fence (or waiting to jump off the cliff!) the same thing: everyone should try this at least once.  If you make it all the way there, and spend the afternoon, get up the courage to immerse yourself in the experience, you will almost certainly come back for more.  So I encourage you to think about that next time you're in the process of talking yourself out of going for the first time.