The Ole Swimmin’ Hole

The ocean alone the Maine coastline is scenic and rugged, but it’s pretty brisk for a leisurely swim. So when the Deer Isle residents want to take a dip, they head to the “Lily Pond,” don their swimming caps, and make like Mark Spitz. When we visited today, some of the swimmers were impressively doing freestyle laps from one end of the pond to the other — which is a distance of at least several hundred yards.

The Lily Pond has been the swimming hole for so long that generations of Deer Islers used the same rope swing, on the same tree, to launch themselves out into the pond. Alas! Some years ago the tree broke and the rope swing was a tradition and rite of passage no longer. The locals say the Pond just hasn’t been the same since.

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The Ol’ Swimming Hole


Kish and I took a brief detour to Maine, because it just isn’t summer without a trip to the Granite State.  On our brief visit we had the best lobster roll I’ve ever eaten — packed with absolutely fresh lobster, with a juicy, light sauce — and also ran across this dock.  Who wouldn’t feel like getting a running start and taking a jump into the cool water on a hot summer day?

Swimming To The Floating Dock

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Yesterday we went swimming in Lake Squam. The water was cold when we first plopped in, but soon became comfortable as we got acclimated.

About 40 yards away from the end of our dock was a floating dock. I felt my inner 10-year-old decide that I was going to swim over and check out that dock, and before I knew it I was following that mental command and swimming freestyle toward the dock.

Yikes! My swimming skills are ridiculously rusty, and the lifeguard who taught UJ and me to swim decades ago would have had lots of strong comments about my form as I floundered toward the dock, breathing to the side every few strokes. Still, I made it, and it felt good to feel the steps of the floating dock ladder, cool and slick with algae, under my palms.

I ended up making several round trips to that dock, sometimes diving down toward the bottom of the lake, which was clearly visible through the cool water. A few fish swam lazily by, and I experimented with the back stroke and breast stroke as I went. Lake swimming is the best swimming if all, with no chlorine or salt to bother you or keep you from opening your eyes underwater.

The sun shone down and glinted off the surface of the water, and in the distance I heard the thrum of a motorboat. For a while I felt like a kid again.