I couldn't make my usual weekend swim at Alki, but a stranger had posted on Facebook that she wanted to swim at Greenlake, so we arranged a meet-up. Turns out although she's a really experienced open water swimmer, this was her first time in water under 60 degrees.
Her desire and instinct was to run in and run out, so she never warmed up. I encouraged her to stay in and use her motion to generate heat to warm up. She wasn't wearing ear plugs, and I suggested that they would help keep her warmer. We had other chats about acclimatization and how to increase your cold water endurance and how to rewarm after (bath not shower, get the wet suit off as fast as possible, etc).
At the end, her spouse thanked me for sharing my wisdom on the topic.
Two years of experience with Puget Sound meas I've learned enough to teach others. I think this makes me a solid, intermediate, swimmer. I still have a lot to learn to be "expert" but it is fun to feel out of the "novice" category.