When it's cold outside on a cloudy day in Del Norte County, the water is just right at Fred Endert Municipal Pool.
As the county's lone aquatic facility open to the public (apologies to the Pacific Ocean, of course) prepares for 2013, Endert Pool is testing out new programs and methods to keep Del Norte County excited about swimming.
Endert Pool programs
This winter, Endert Pool is hosting a series of technique and conditioning lessons geared toward adults. The sessions are "open for any adult who wants to improve any of their strokes," according to Endert Pool manager Matt Hildebrandt, and are taught by certified water safety instructors.
Sessions are conducted on Mondays (7andndash;8 p.m.), Tuesdays (12:30andndash;1 p.m.), Thursdays (7andndash;8 p.m.) and Saturdays (4:30andndash;5:30 p.m.). They are currently being offered on a trial basis.
"Interest in the program was very good," Hildebrandt said. "We put sign-up sheets on the counter and they filled up in a two-day period."
Additionally, Endert Pool passes will be available at discounted rates - up to 25 percent off - through Dec. 22. Ten-visit, 50-visit and annual passes to the pool are available.
Promote Our Pool Foundation
Crescent City's nonprofit Promote Our Pool Foundation, an organization devoted to raising money for Endert Pool and awareness of issues related to water activity, made a $2,000 donation for new pool covers, scheduled to arrive later this month.
"The ones we have now are over five years old and starting to fall apart a little bit," Hildebrandt said. "They're on heated, chlorinated water for 10 hours a day."
Additionally, the group is planning on hosting an all-comers swim meet, scheduled for March 9 from 12 to 3 p.m. The meet is open to all ages, with races organized by times.
"A kid might be in the same lane as (someone of) a different age," foundation president Susan Roberts said.
The group is also continuing its "scholarship program" to partially offset the cost of swim lessons for area children and looking to bolster its membership. (Foundation dues are $25.)
"The idea would be to prove that there's a lot of support (for the pool), but we want to be active to get out there," Roberts said.
On Dec. 8 at noon, seven adults joined Crescent City resident Dan Gray for the inaugural, if somewhat informal, masters swimming practice at Endert Pool.
Gray, himself a masters swimmer, is generating awareness and interest in starting a club affiliated with U.S. Masters Swimming.
"There isn't (a masters program) in the coast from San Francisco all the way to the border, so we're trying," Gray said.
The masters club, which will continue to meet Saturdays from noon to 1 p.m., will focus on general fitness and technique. Clubs across the nation offer everything from light training to regional and national competition.
"A lot of people are there to improve their physical fitness," Gray said. "(Masters swimming) offers the ability to be motivated by others. What it is, to me, is a commitment to your health. Right now, we're just trying to measure interest. These things take time to develop. I wanted to have one set time and place to be able to swim."
Reach Robert Husseman at firstname.lastname@example.org .