To celebrate thanksgiving this year I decided to check out a new open water spot that overcomes an unusual setting to provide an unparalleled swim experience. The group is Lucky’s Lake Swim at Lake Cane in Orlando, FL, just 5 minutes from Universal’s Harry Potter World. Swim coach, yo-yo collector, dermatologist, and swim enthusiast extraordinaire Lucky Meisenheimer opens his lake front home every morning to allow swimmers of all ages to enjoy the spectacular swim venue.
I found out about this swim through a post on the Marathon Swimmers Forum and the group members were very helpful in answering my questions on Facebook. I have never seen anything quite like the set up at Lucky’s. My mom and I arrived at the property and followed the signs past Luckys house and down to the water front. Walking in at 7:15, we were early for the 7:45 swim, yet were greeted by a smiling swimmer in a swim shack on the dock. I signed a waiver and was given instructions for how to complete the 1000m clockwise crossing. I watched as the man dumped fish food into the lake and a school of about 20 3-foot-long carp came out from under the dock and swarmed the flakes of food.
The word welcoming doesn’t even begin to describe the attitudes of the regulars who began to arrive soon after I was given my green cap (worn for the first 3 crossings) and my Orange safe swim buoy (required for the first 25 crossings). I was the only first timer and they made a big deal about taking my picture in front of a #1 sign.
At exactly 7:45, the group began to wade into the water, past the 2 alligator statues half submerged into the sandy bottom. I followed a few guys in gold caps (meaning they have done 100 crossings) and started to swim along the buoy line toward the other shore. The murky water was a little eerie but a comfortable 71 degrees and I tried to find my rhythm, pulling the orange buoy behind me. The buoy wasn’t as annoying as I thought it would be and I barely noticed the strap around my waist. After the first lap, a swimmer named Peter introduced himself to me and invited me to swim a few more laps with him. I followed him back out into the lake and we swam 4 more laps, for a total swim distance of 5K.
After the swim, I was invited to come into the house to sign the wall of fame and get my “swag”. I climbed up on a ladder to reach the ceiling and felt like I was back in the White Horse Pub in Dover. They showed me the Olympians that had signed the wall and I saw several names I recognized. Apparently, my 5 crossings is probably the most ever done by a swimmer on their first visit to the lake.
I met the famous Lucky himself and thanked him for his hospitality. Lucky is
nominated for WOWSA Man of The Year and I can’t think of anyone who deserves this recognition more than him. This swim is an incredible experience and should be a part of any swimmers’ trip to Central Florida. I hope I can come back and swim with this awesome group again soon! Thanks to Lucky and the whole group for making me feel welcome and safe in a new environment.