View RSS Feed

chaos

  1. Thanks Nitro!

    I swam with the Nitro Masters this morning. Though I was disappointed that the pool was gull-less, Steve, Tom, Dave, and Lynne were good company.

    Lynne was one of my relay partners in the Lake Travis Trek (63 miles). She is planning to enter the MIMS in june and has a couple of other big swims on the horizon.

    Nitro is a nice facility... pretty basic steel building built around a 50m pool. I thought it was dark inside. The lighting runs the length of the pool deck, which gives ample light at the walls, but its dark in the middle, so a bit of extra caution was required on the fly sets.

    Yesterday, I was swimming in the rain at Aquatic Park... water temp 57 - 58; air temp colder, so I had a bit of a chuckle when I heard some folks complaining that the water was cold... I thought I was going to have a heat stroke.

    The main set was an IM ladder:
    200 IM
    400 FR
    600 IM
    600 FR
    400 IM
    200 FR

    I shared a lane with Steve and Lynne, and Steve is crazy fast and led the lane (in board shorts). I'm a little embarrassed to say that I didn't pay attention to the interval or my times except for the last 200.... went a 2:14.

    Highland Lakes Challenge starts tomorrow with a 4+ mile swim in Lake Buchanan.

    ......keepin' it weird!

    Updated October 20th, 2009 at 11:12 PM by chaos

    Categories
    Uncategorized
  2. SNOWGA?

    As I write this I am aboard Virgin America flt vx11 to SFO for a bit of swimming in the bay that includes a 10k Golden Gate to Bay Bridge swim tomorrow morning. The predicted water temperature is 55 - 57... no too bad and I'm hoping to get a couple of longer Aquatic Park swims in as well. The South End Rowing Club has a nice facility available for a post swim shower and sauna.... the latter I have grown to really appreciate, as someone explained, breathing in the heat quickly warms you from inside out. Day use fees are 6.50 and worth every penny. The old wooden rowing skulls that fill the lower level are worth the price of admission right there.
    http://www.south-end.org/
    I will be heading to Austin from SF on monday to take part in the 3rd annual Highland Lakes Challenge http://www.highlandlakeschallenge.com/
    hey, its not too ate to sign up!

    On another note, its snowing back home...WTF!
    This means its is unlikely that there will be any more swims at my favorite lake as the water temp will be in the low 50's by the time I return home... and the 20 minute down-hill post swim bike ride will be rather unpleasant in 30 degree weather..... oh well. I think its time to engage in some cold "non swimming" conditioning like cold showers, semi-naked speed bag sessions on the deck, and maybe the next big thing........snowga?
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  3. 4 hour swim

    I drove to Brighton Beach today to swim my qualifier for MIMS 2010. The prescribed water temp is 61 and it was the perfect day for it. Water temp 60 - 61, sunny skies but windy and the air temp was between 56 and 62. Sunday means that the CIBBOWS die hards were out in force and Clare and I had a good time catching up with friends on things aquatic and otherwise.

    I drew a graph on a diving slate and listed all the stats that I needed Clare to keep track of including: time of day, elapsed time of swim, air temp, water temp, stroke rate, feed (quantity).

    I mixed 40 ounces of chai flavored Perpetuem, added several scoops of Maxim (maltodextrin) and instructed Clare to fill a cup with 4oz of this mix and add 4oz of hot water for each feed which I would be taking every 20 - 30 minutes.

    The water felt chilly for the first 40 minutes and my good friend Jonathan Farber swam shotgun for about that long but didn't accompany me further as he is taking it easy in preparation for the Ederle Swim next saturday.

    Clare was expecting me to feed every time I swam past Grimaldo's chair spot... or Brighton 4 street. I would swim in, and Clare would wade out to waist deep, hand me my cuppa perp, shout the time (earplugs) and send me off again. I found that a lap to the end of brighton beach (NE) and back took me about 30 minutes, so I kept repeating it and didn't head toward the pier at Stillwell ave after the first loop.

    I felt good the whole time and maintained a steady stroke rate in the mid 60's. Swimming for the past two weeks in 58 degree water made this feel warm (well maybe not warm, but comfortable).

    I discovered that another friend has a channel booking for the early september tide... Jim Meier!
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  4. Autumn in NY

    Today was an extremely dramatic weather day in NY. I went to masters practice from 7-830 AM. The main set was 16 x 100 free...
    4x 100 on 1:25 descend
    4x 100 on 1:20 descend
    4x 100 on 1:15 descend
    4x 100 on 1:10 descend
    I didn't descend the last 4 but managed to hold 1:06's

    Fierce winds and a full rainbow kept me company as i drove over the mtn to work. Twigs, branches, acorns, and leaves were flying all over the place and I had to make a small detour to avoid the debris.

    We lost power at the shop around 2PM and I arranged to meet Terry for a swim at our favorite lake. With the wind still howling, we were expecting to see white caps out there, but the wind direction was diagonal to its length, so it created these short rolling waves instead. I didn't time our 2 mile swim, but I did bring the thermometer.... still 58 degrees, no change yet this week. I did catch quite a chill when we exited the water and got hit with that wind... air temp was around 50. We changed into our riding gear and headed for the parking lot... down hill for 20 minutes... still freezing when I got into the car. I drove straight to a yoga class and it was half an hour later that i finally had feeling back in my hands and feet.

    Terry just received word that he can have a slot for a channel swim in sept 2010...same time I'm booked for. This is great news! Terry and I have been swimming together for almost 10 years now, and nothing is more motivating than having company to get through those long and cold (but necessary) days.

    I'm taking a day off from swimming tomorrow. I've been averaging 2 rest days per month.... got tickets to see Lucinda Williams tomorrow night and Steve Earle on friday.
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  5. looking ahead

    I've been back from Dover just over a week now, and the "Gunks" are back swimming at SUNY New Paltz.... SCY, 6 days/ week, 8hrs total. Its clear that I will need to supplement Gunks workouts with additional pool and open water sessions if I am to maintain my 50,000yd/weeks.

    The lake (that won't be mentioned) is down to 60 degrees and with predicted overnights in the 30's, should continue to drop quickly. The leaves are changing and the wind was gusting when Willie and I went for a 2 mile swim on monday.

    I've got a couple more OW events coming up: Oct 17, San Francisco 10k Golden Gate to Bay Bridge and Oct 21 - 25 the 3rd annual Highland Lakes Challenge near Austin.

    I've made a huge commitment for next year's OW season.... more about that next time.
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  6. Great night for a swim!

    Its 7AM local time and sleep was hard to sustain last night. Willie climbed the partially submerged white talus field directly below the light house perched at Cape Gris Nez just 9 hours ago.

    We started off at Shakespere Beach just around 11AM... the Gallivant pulled in close to shore, Terry stood up on the beach where a dozen spectators came to see the days swimmers off, and with the sound of the ships horn....was off a-swimming.

    The day was bright with a bit of fog burning off in the distance and the winds that we experienced all week; non-existent.

    Several other boats performed the same ritual and now we are a small armada inching one meter at a time toward France. Our sister ships seem to maintain their positions relative to ours throughout Terry's first 2 hours though we are beginning to spread out. Terry feeds on a gel pack after one hour and our crew (Captain Mike Oram, first mate James, and observer Derrek) have a bit of a laugh about this. They explain that in such a current, every second not swimming can result in about 20 yards more to go. This may not seem like very much when you consider the 21 mile distance of the channel as the crow flies, but when Mike starts counting; twenty yards, fourty yards, sixty yards.... the point is quite well made. There will be no more in water feedings for us.
    Freda Streeter often assigns swims of 2 - 3 hours straight... no feed. At first, I thought this was just some kind of brittish "stiff upper lip", "only a flesh wound" kind of thing, but who can argue with number of successful crossings they have produced.

    I manage to hold an average stroke rate above 70 for my first round (no easy task for me) and it felt great. When I exit the water, there are no other pilot boats in sight. Each pilot has to plot an course based on the swimmer speed, tide, wind, etc.... lots of factors go into the plan, and constant adjustments are made.

    My second swim started at 7PM. The sun was getting low and I took a few breaths on the right to take in the sunset... the Galivant always on my left. I had a glow stick pinned to my speedo and another to my goggle strap... night falls and the G lights up. There is a spot light on me... somewhat blinding but I can still make out figures on board, and know that Terry and Willie are sitting on the bow watching over me. Communication is difficult... ear plugs, spot lights, scratchy goggles, but I see Derek drop the ladder and know that my shift must be close to finished.

    On board, my first impression is "what a perfect night"... moonless and clear, though the air is chilly. I dry and dress quickly, watch Willy (those glow sticks really do work) and stare at the stars.

    After just about 60 minutes, Capt mike shines the spotlight ahead.... boulders at the foot of a cliff appear from the darkness... we're here!... just a few more strokes.

    Terry and I stay on board as it would be difficult for the crew to keep track of the three of us on the rocks in the dark.

    We begin our ride back to Dover Marina at 8 knots or so, but visit a bunch of the other swimmers on the way back. They are easy to identify as there is little other traffic at this hour and the other swimmers all have green strobes on their caps... visible at a good distance. We circle each boat and cheer for our new friends and their efforts. A week sitting around in Dover... waiting out the wind, is a unique bonding experience and I feel a strong connection to Rebecca, then Paul, then Mike, then Lisa (double lisa, who is still in the water as I write this... Hang in there!!!!!), as we pause and exchange a few words with their crews.

    Lance was out there, though we never saw his boat.... the first I'm hearing is 11 and a half hours for his crossing.

    Thats all for now... I have to get to the beach and sing happy birthday to Freda! (and have a little swim)

    Thank you all for following, it was quite energizing knowing all my friends back home were watching!
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  7. We swim tomorrow

    meeting our pilot at 9:45 AM for an 11:00 start.
    we will be on the sea satin or the galivant if you would like to follow our boat:

    http://www.ais-doverstraits.co.uk/

    and i will updates to clare to post on FB.

    thank you all for watching!

    we'll talk soon.
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  8. Tonight??

    The winds are dying down (currently 20 knots)
    and the buzz around here is tonight may be the night. A starting time somewhere between 11 and midnight. The other possibility is tomorrow (saturday) at noon. We are all hoping for the former, but won't know for certain until around 7PM.
    .......so, how does one spend such a day in dover?

    (kindly keep your suggestions to a PG-13 rating)
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  9. boat ride

    9/15/09
    Another day; another swim (actually 2) in the harbor. For our 10:30 AM session, I was planning another 2 hour swim (3 loops or circuits) but the wind was blowing steadier and the water was more turbulent than any other day since we arrived last week. I felt like I was getting beat up for the first time and cut it short..... 1 hour /1.5 circuits /4100 meters. The wind on my arms and the back of my neck felt cold and I wanted to increase my stroke rate to generate a little heat but couldn’t without creating dissonance with the chop. All of the others who were planning longer swims cut them short as well.
    Lunch and a 2 hour nap (WIllie and Steve went to Canterbury).... I didn’t realize how tired I was.
    9/16/09
    Steve has left us. Now a threesome, we are resolved to do a one way crossing if the opportunity arises. It is looking unlikely that we would have a large enough window for the double anyway. The official end of our neap tide is tomorrow, but the winds still blow and the sea is still to angry. We took the P&O ferry to Calais to see the channel beyond the sea walls in the harbor. 35 mile per hour steady winds and 6’+ white caps the whole way. There are no small craft out. The spring tide that starts on friday is the largest of the year, so it won’t be a day at the beach. Some tide info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spring_...ings_and_neaps
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  10. Damn the wind!

    Still no good news here for those of us waiting.
    Over dinner last night, I made the commitment. Terry and I booked Mike and Lance Oram for 2011 solos. Additionally, I booked a 2010 slot (one of the last 2 #3's) with Paul Foreman for the aug 29th - sept 6th tide. This season has had its share bad weather... there is a rush to rebook pilots and prime (#1) spots are quickly taken.

    Still, we continue to swim every day... yesterday a seal joined us in the harbor to play a couple of rounds of peek-a-boo.

    After today's swim, I have a meeting with Paul Foreman.... to exchange some sterling and get my name in his book for next year.
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  11. 9/13 in dover

    9/13/09
    Frida is Allison Streeter's mother. Allison has done some 43 crossings that include several doubles. She now pilots swimmers across. It would not be a stretch to call Frida the patron goddess, but I have heard her referred to as "the General".

    I got to the beach at 8:50 this morning. I told Frida I was planning to do a 4 hour swim and she told me to hurry up if I wanted feedings as they were leaving at 1:00. I was given a red cap to wear (red = longer swims + feedings; yellow = shorter swims, no feedings). Barry greased my pits, shoulders, jawline and neck told me to get in and come feed after 2 hours. Two hours always seemed to be somewhat of a feeding threshold for me, so I tucked 2 hammer gels into my speedo. The water was pretty flat this morning but it was cloudy and cold out. My arms felt cold on every recovery and the water also felt a couple of degrees colder than it has been.
    Three loops (7500 meters) took me to 2 hours and Barry was waiting with half a banana and about 8oz. of warm Maxim (the channel sport drink of choice). It took longer than I wanted to stop to eat the banana, but it tasted pretty good as did the Maxim ; less sweet than I expected given the bright red color. Barry said “see you in an hour”...... back swimming. One loop + a trip to the north wall and back (4100 meters) at an hour and ten minutes.... feed time #2. This time a woman whose name I didn’t catch (earplugs) presented me the 2 course, Dover Beach special. I swam another loop with an extended 100m +/- up and down the south (wavey) wall and finished at 4 hrs, 5 mins. Feeling good though I knew my temperature would be dropping, I dried off and dressed quickly.
    Terry and I lunched with John van Wisse at the Hubert House; a swimmer friendly inn and restaurant whose proprietor Pete (a swimmer himself) maintains a wall of fame with brass plaques for all the swimmers who have stayed there.
    We caught a bus to Canterbury around 5:00 PM (20 mins away) where 2 time channel swimmer, tri-lingual school teacher, and TI spanish translator, Laura resides. She booked a dinner reservation at Zizzi (yes, its italian) and we had a bit of time to walk around the cathedral and the charming narrow streets surrounding it before dining. The food was top notch... pasta - al dente, salads fresh, deserts... to die for. I had the torta Zizzi; an almond, plum and fig torte with house made vanilla ice cream, double yum! (and anyway 8 out of every 10 swimmers here tell me I’m too skinny for a solo)
    All in all; a near perfect day. A good swim, a couple of good meals, and excellent company.... it doesn’t get much better than this.
    We made our daily call to Mike Oram... had him on speaker phone and hit him with rapid fire questioning from all around. Heres the skinny:
    -Boats might start going out on Thursday. -2 solos (one single and one double) and one relay (might have to leave before their shot) on the queue ahead of us...................Fingers are crossed....... stay tuned.
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  12. Gone with the wind?

    9/12/09
    I grabbed an early morning coffee at Mc D’s and was surprised that it was actually drinkable. The free WiFi is working (a rarity) and I can check e-mails and delete spam. There is a brief moment of rain, and then it turns into a beautiful sunny, but windy day. To the beach for a morning swim....
    At the beach, Frida is in her beach chair surrounded with boxes, yellow caps, and swimmers. I introduce myself, and extend regards from all those folks that asked me to. Frida asks me how long I plan to swim this morning... I respond, “two hours”. She then asks if I have a booking... I identify our pilot, and my relay mates. “There’s one of yours”, Frida says while pointing to Terry who had just entered the water. She hands me yellow cap with the number 3 on it and records it in a ledger book. I ask Barry about the restrictions of swimming in the harbor as we were told that we have been venturing out too far, and the locals would take issue with that; he says to stay within 100 meters of the beach and that each loop is 2500 meters. As I start toward the water, Barry stops me and asks if I’ve greased up. I respond that I used a little bodyglide on my pits. Barry asks Frida if I need to grease up for a two hour swim... Frida looks me over.... says “grease him”. Who am I to argue? Barry dons the rubber gloves and applies vasaline to my arm pits, neck, shoulders, upper back and jaw line.
    This is the strongest wind I’ve seen here so far but the swim is wonderful and I enjoy the waves near the south wall. Its crowded out there and I have two head-on collisions though I was pretty focused on trying to keep low and stable, so they weren’t at “high speed”.
    Spoke to our pilot at 7:00 PM things are not looking good for the next few days... 25 - 35 mile per hour winds. I inquire with him about bookings for next year and there are only a few 3 and 4 slots available. After hearing that no one went out last tide and it appears that maybe half of the swimmers might get a shot this tide, I am questioning weather it would be wise for me to book a 3rd or 4th slot in the queue for a solo next year, or if I should book a 1 or 2 slot for 2011.
    Terry and I have decided to do a 4 hour swim in the harbor tomorrow as we will have at least 3 days (probably 5) until we get our chance to swim, and Frida and crew will be on hand to do feedings (and apply grease to needed areas).
    9/13/09
    I'm back at Mc D's for my connection to the outside world. There is a steady drizzle coming down, but I won't get a first hand feel for the wind until I head out to the beach.
    Everyone here is waiting, waiting, waiting......

    We plan to venture to Canterbury (20 mins away) this afternoon just for a change of scenery and to hang out with Laura who has been at the beach swimming with us. She has done this swim a few times already.

    This is the buoy i check for water conditions:
    http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/station_page.php?station=62304

    Updated September 13th, 2009 at 04:33 AM by chaos (duplicate)

    Categories
    Uncategorized
  13. Gone with the wind?

    oops

    Updated September 13th, 2009 at 04:33 AM by chaos

    Categories
    Uncategorized
  14. The Waiting game

    9/11/09
    Searched or an internet cafe this morning with no luck. Our host keeps messing with the security settings on his server, but still can’t get it right for us to log in at the b&b. I wound up at the library, and checked e-mails before heading to the harbor for our morning swim.
    Lots of swimmers in the harbor this morning.... our relay and Mike from Chicago were joined by Mike from Australia and his coach John Van Wisse. John is in another league, and though we had not been formally introduced before, I did get to watch him swim a 7 hour Manhattan Marathon this past june from the press boat.... 78 spm steady.
    Also swimming were Chloe (from Austrailia) who will be attempting a double, a 6 person relay team from Iceland, a couple of folks in wetsuits (yes wetsuits!), Duncan from Cambridge, and a few others who I’m forgetting at the moment. The old ladies were huddled in the corner again today; trying to keep sheltered from the wind and still catch a glimpse of our failed “deck changes”.
    The wind is still blowing and we all compared the info (which wasn’t much) that we received from our respective pilots last night. Protocol: call pilot every night between 7 and 7:10 for an update. It seems the pilots are all cut from the same cloth and none really offered a lot of details either way. We will call Michael Oram (our pilot) tonight again at 7.
    We (tourons for the moment) are heading up to Dover Castle before our 5:30 swim.
    From the castle, we can see the channel beyond the harbor’s sea walls.... white caps and 6-7 foot rollers that make the protected harbor look like a kiddie pool. (and there are 3 foot bumps near the north wall). Each time we climb a few stone steps and gain a few feet of elevation, there is pause to gaze toward the french coast.
    We took the “secret war-time tunnels” tour which was interesting to me more as a civil engineering project than a strategic bunker/control center. During WWII, some 2200 shells were launched from France to Dover.... thats all for the history lesson.
    We head to the B&B grab our gear and head for our 5:30 ritual swim. Steve sits this one out but an english woman with a kayak escort swims with us (or maybe I should say near us, as she dusted me pretty handily on the north-south leg of our loop. I had ear plugs in so didn’t catch her name.
    I’m really looking forward to the “weekend scene” tomorrow on the beach when Frida Streeter comes to watch over the swimmers. I’ve heard a lot about it, but will wait until tomorrow so I might offer a first hand account.
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  15. Another dover day

    9/10/09
    We (Terry Laughlin, Willie Miller, Steve Shtab, Lance Ogren, Mike from near chicago, but i can't remember his last name, and I) planned to meet up for a 10:30 AM swim. Lots of swimmers were already there including 2 soloists from the channel islands, a 6 person double relay from Iceland and a few others that were already in the water. Its a beautiful day, but damn windy with 2-3 foot waves in the harbor. The talk is about weather anyone will have a chance to go out before tuesday (zoiks! tuesday!). We go for a swim... a standard loop with an exra out and back parallel to the north seawall where the waves are the highest... its a washing machine but lots of fun. I know I wouldn't hesitate to go out in these conditions, though the perods on the boat between swims would be less than pleasant.

    At lunch, Terry and I decide to swim again at 5:30.

    We are all hoping for a break in the weather so some of those soloists can get a shot at their crossing.
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  16. Dover days

    9/8/09
    Willie and I arrived in London at 7AM local time. Our flight was delayed at JFK, but favorable tail winds kept our landing on time. I’ve got a huge bag (55 pounds) with multiple sweat pants and shirts, a giant towel, clothes for 2 weeks, stainless steel water bottles, a thermos, a variety of sports feed including hammer gels, power gels, perpetuem, cliff shots, endurolites, tissue rejuvenator, some power bar products that I’ve never seen before that were generously donated to our cause by Bec and Laurel, 50 glow sticks (25 green, 25 orange), 3 speedos, 5 swim caps, 5 pair goggles, a pair of running shoes, (just in case i blow out my flip-flops), a small digital camera, my mac book, and an international phone with a verizon plan (more about this later).
    Willie has a small carry-on bag that I’m guessing weighs 10 lbs. max.
    The land connections from Heathrow to Dover were pretty straight forward. We took the underground Picadilly Line to South Kennsington station; transfered to the Circle Line for 2 stops to Victoria Station. From Victoria: Brittish Rail to Dover. From the Dover station, a 5 minute cab ride brought us to the Penny-Farthing guest house. I always assumed that the reason that iconic bicycle was called the penny-farthing had to do with the original cost, but learned from our hosts that it is the relationship of the size of the wheels (large-penny; small-farthing)..... a fact that, as a bike-head, I should have known.
    My “international” phone isn’t working and my Mac Book won’t link to the wireless at our b&b, so for internet, we go to the Best Western Churchill.... a 5 minute walk “right opposite” the harbor. I was able to contact fellow NY swimmer (attempting a solo on the same tide as our relay) Lance Ogren and we made arrangements to meet up at 5:30 for a swim.
    5:30. Lance comes a-strolling by and we walk to the concrete bulkhead where Frieda sits on the weekends, (more about Frieda later). We perform a moderately successful deck change, and begin our painful (this “beach” is made up of golf ball sized pebbles) walk to the water. Slightly to our left, a woman (red suit, yellow cap) marches barefoot to water and starts swimming to the left seawall. A man wearing one of those Big Shoulders - Obama t-shirts walks up to the beach and we delay our start to converse a bit. Mike (can’t remember his last name); west of Chicago; just arrived in Dover 5 minutes ago; doesn’t have his speedo with him; attempting a solo. We decide to swim for about an hour and calculate; that should be about what one loop (seawall to seawall and back) takes us.
    We swim to the north seawall first, and have the white cliffs and Dover Castle above us. These features are, of course, visible from the beach but still, from this vantage point, conjures up a stronger emotional response as I look up and imagine a similar view on our way back from France, and wonder which of us might have the honor of the final leg of our relay.
    Day swims: 45 minutes, 64 degree water, 70’s air temp, sunny skies
    9/9/09
    Terry and Steve arrived around 11:00 and after a brief settling in period, we head for the harbor. Lance is waiting for us and as we suit up for our swim, Steve from Chicago just finished his swim and we chat for a bit. His pilot said friday is out and saturday is a slight maybe for a solo; I wonder out loud if the same applies for our relay and we discuss making our team available for an earlier date..... no decision is made.
    The five of us get in the water and head for the north seawall. We regroup at the seawall and head south; the chop is 1 - 2 feet and as the wind is from the north, the amplitude increases as we approach the south seawall. Willie and I swim to the north seawall again while the others head back to the beach.
    We (Willie, Terry, Steve and I) went for another swim at 5:30. A steady wind provided excellent conditions for wind surfers and sunfish and a few of each were out while we did our swim..... just a loop; +/- 45 minutes.
    Day swims: 120 minutes, 64 degree water, 50 - 60 air temp, overcast skies
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  17. Dover days

    9/8/09
    Willie and I arrived in London at 7AM local time. Our flight was delayed at JFK, but favorable tail winds kept our landing on time. I’ve got a huge bag (55 pounds) with multiple sweat pants and shirts, a giant towel, clothes for 2 weeks, stainless steel water bottles, a thermos, a variety of sports feed including hammer gels, power gels, perpetuem, cliff shots, endurolites, tissue rejuvenator, some power bar products that I’ve never seen before that were generously donated to our cause by Bec and Laurel, 50 glow sticks (25 green, 25 orange), 3 speedos, 5 swim caps, 5 pair goggles, a pair of running shoes, (just in case i blow out my flip-flops), a small digital camera, my mac book, and an international phone with a verizon plan (more about this later).
    Willie has a small carry-on bag that I’m guessing weighs 10 lbs. max.
    The land connections from Heathrow to Dover were pretty straight forward. We took the underground Picadilly Line to South Kennsington station; transfered to the Circle Line for 2 stops to Victoria Station. From Victoria: Brittish Rail to Dover. From the Dover station, a 5 minute cab ride brought us to the Penny-Farthing guest house. I always assumed that the reason that iconic bicycle was called the penny-farthing had to do with the original cost, but learned from our hosts that it is the relationship of the size of the wheels (large-penny; small-farthing)..... a fact that, as a bike-head, I should have known.
    My “international” phone isn’t working and my Mac Book won’t link to the wireless at our b&b, so for internet, we go to the Best Western Churchill.... a 5 minute walk “right opposite” the harbor. I was able to contact fellow NY swimmer (attempting a solo on the same tide as our relay) Lance Ogren and we made arrangements to meet up at 5:30 for a swim.
    5:30. Lance comes a-strolling by and we walk to the concrete bulkhead where Frieda sits on the weekends, (more about Frieda later). We perform a moderately successful deck change, and begin our painful (this “beach” is made up of golf ball sized pebbles) walk to the water. Slightly to our left, a woman (red suit, yellow cap) marches barefoot to water and starts swimming to the left seawall. A man wearing one of those Big Shoulders - Obama t-shirts walks up to the beach and we delay our start to converse a bit. Mike (can’t remember his last name); west of Chicago; just arrived in Dover 5 minutes ago; doesn’t have his speedo with him; attempting a solo. We decide to swim for about an hour and calculate; that should be about what one loop (seawall to seawall and back) takes us.
    We swim to the north seawall first, and have the white cliffs and Dover Castle above us. These features are, of course, visible from the beach but still, from this vantage point, conjures up a stronger emotional response as I look up and imagine a similar view on our way back from France, and wonder which of us might have the honor of the final leg of our relay.
    Day swims: 45 minutes, 64 degree water, 70’s air temp, sunny skies
    9/9/09
    Terry and Steve arrived around 11:00 and after a brief settling in period, we head for the harbor. Lance is waiting for us and as we suit up for our swim, Steve from Chicago just finished his swim and we chat for a bit. His pilot said friday is out and saturday is a slight maybe for a solo; I wonder out loud if the same applies for our relay and we discuss making our team available for an earlier date..... no decision is made.
    The five of us get in the water and head for the north seawall. We regroup at the seawall and head south; the chop is 1 - 2 feet and as the wind is from the north, the amplitude increases as we approach the south seawall. Willie and I swim to the north seawall again while the others head back to the beach.
    We (Willie, Terry, Steve and I) went for another swim at 5:30. A steady wind provided excellent conditions for wind surfers and sunfish and a few of each were out while we did our swim..... just a loop; +/- 45 minutes.
    Day swims: 120 minutes, 64 degree water, 50 - 60 air temp, overcast skies
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  18. Dover bound

    one last whirlwind weekend... and in 4 hours i'm off to dover via london.

    friday i swam the www.nycswim.org governors island race... 2 miles a beautiful day and close to 200 swimmers. i finished 8th over all though official results are not posted yet, i recall coming in at 43 minutes and change. a couple of the pros joined the swim and the winning time was 38 minutes and change.

    saturday was the 3rd quassapaug sailing center open water festival. i have participated in all three and attendance was up this year even though swimstud was absent. i swam all three events (3mi, 1.5mi, and .5mi) and managed to better my overall time from last year again. results are not up yet for this year but will be here http://www.qsailingcenter.org/openwaterswimming.html

    sunday i swam the john daily mile at longbeach, ny. another beautiful day and a field of around 200. i swam rather close to the jetties... not a good strategy with a following sweep, but still finished 8th over all. clare and i drove to b'klyn, then rode the pedersens to the gov's island ferry to catch the fina NY PROSWIM 10k. it was a great venue to observe how the pros do it with easy viewing of the entire course. check out the website www.swimnyc.org for info, pictures, results.

    monday, i went to brighton beach and swam a loop (5k) with jonathan..... now i'm off to JFK.
    i'll wash the coney island salt off my skin in the dover harbor tomorrow.
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  19. 10 days to dover

    the countdown begins!
    we (my relay mates; terry laughlin, steve shtab and willie miler) are the 4th slot with pilot mike oram for the tide starting on the 10th of september. for those of you unfamiliar with how this works.... here are the cliff notes:

    -each pilot books up to 4 slots for each tide of the season.

    -if the pilot determines it is a "go day", the person(s) in slot #1 gets the choice to swim or pass.

    -if they decide to pass, the offer goes to person(s) in slot #2........ etc.

    for us slot 4's, this means if the weather is good, we will be swimming toward the end of the tide-week. if the weather is crap, there is a good chance we can swim earlier. as a relay, i'm willing to swim in anything up to 4' seas if the pilot will take us. though our relay order has not yet been determined, we will each swim for an hour, and keep rotating through until we have swum 2x the width of the channel... england-france-england (EFE). as the crow flies this is about 42 miles and i anticipate it taking between 18 and 24 hours, so there will be some swimming at night, sleep depravation, hopefully some wind and chop and currents and jellies.... just to get the full-on channel experience. i have begun negotiations with one of the channel pilots to book a solo for this time next year.

    planning a 15k swim at coney island tomorrow.... the last long swim stateside.
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  20. Lakes Placid and Champlain

    another whirlwind weekend..... started at 5:00 AM on saturday with a drive to lake placid for the 2 mile cable swim. a gorgeous day to be in the lake with 140 others, though the single heat meant that the course was rather crowded. it was the least aggressive field i can remember on that course (as far as contact goes.... not swim times) and i had a good swim despite the fact that i was a minute off my time a couple of years ago. once i caught up to back of the pack, i had no sucess identifying swimmers that i could try to chase or swim with and spent most of the time alone at my own pace.

    after the awards, clare and i drove 1.5 hours to a friends "camp" in chazy on lake champlain. did some water skiing (first time in 20 years.... yes, very sore) and on sunday, paul and i swam to vermont and back +/- 3 miles. clare and mary kayaked near us to keep the boaters from running us over. the vt land mass we swam to is isle la motte, and a goggle earth session reveiled that a swim around said isle and back to paul and mary's camp is right around 15 miles.

    perhaps an early october swim.... anyone interested?

    nice to see chris and his family enjoying the best of what NY has to offer!

    Updated August 17th, 2009 at 02:40 PM by chaos

    Categories
    Uncategorized
Page 5 of 8 FirstFirst 12345678 LastLast