by, October 31st, 2011 at 09:56 PM (1519 Views)
This is the season.... almost daily, reports are posted of "the last swim of the season" on blogs, tweets and FB. Photos of shivering swimmers under bare trees or skipping through the snow to a sacred splash site are popping up as well.
Though I haven't been in the OW since Oct. 22, I have plans to get another couple of Coney Island swims in before December hits. Still.... thoughts are deep into the 2012 season.
Rondi and I have begun planning the 2nd annual 8 Bridges event, and we have an updated website www.8bridges.org
Plans to open the stages to more swimmers this year will likely mean that I spend a few of the days on the water coordinating swimmer safety with our boaters and kayakers. I am excited to be able to offer OW swimmers the opportunity to experience the beauty of the middle and lower Hudson from our unique perspective.
So... not knowing exactly how much swimming I'll get in during that week, I've started looking more seriously at a few things that have been on the back burner for a while. Logistically, its fairly easy to book a swim with a well established federation and approved pilot. There may very well be a long waiting period, but the process is a given, and one can draw upon the experiences of others to measure expectations. On the other end, planning a new route requires research and on site recon test swims and observations. Without the enthusiastic support of other swim-explorers, I couldn't imagine spending all the time and resources necessary to realize these swims that have yet to be done.
PLYMOUTH TO P_TOWN
Though NYC Swim's MIMS is a leg of the Triple Crown, the northeast of the US really doesn't have a swim to compete with the English Channel. California has Catalina, and a bunch of other possible swims from the chain of islands that make up the Santa Barbara Channel, and so with that in mind I started to look for something that would be as challenging. After a little research, I think I found something that might work. The Cape Cod Bay sees water temps that might reach the mid 60's in the summer, and from what I've read, a current that swirls in a counter-clockwise direction which could make the finish "interesting". I have the enthusiastic support of two swimmer friends (both who spend a good amount of time on the Cape) Mo Siegal, and Eileen Burke. Both have been talking about about a swim across the bay, and so with our combined effort, I think we can make it happen this year. Though we haven't formulated our plan yet, this mission will take at least a couple of slow boat rides along the planned route to measure current speeds at different stages of the tides. The good thing about this is we don't have to wait for the water to warm up to "swimmable" temps, and I think late winter/early spring would be a lovely time to be floating around in a dinghy in the middle of the bay. As the "founders" of the swim, we will also have to decide where the start and finish should be. There appear to be a couple of more obvious options for the start: Whitehorse Beach to Provincetown is just over 19 miles, Gray's Beach to Provincetown is 25+ miles. I think we are all leaning toward the latter which will put the start a few miles deep into Plymouth Bay and Kingston Bay. This might give the swimmer a couple of hours of tidal assist on an outgoing tide until they exit Plymouth Bay... then the whole anti-clockwise swirl will begin, and we might need to follow a heading due east in order to ride the sweep north to the "fist" for the finish. This is all speculative at this point, and I won't really know how this all works until we spend a little time on the water.
The number of Finger Lakes is either 11 or 12. [ame]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finger_Lakes[/ame] I've only swum in one of them... Canandaigua for a 2 mile USMS national championship a couple of years ago. Due to a lightning event, the race was cut short and results relied heavily on the honor system. A few revisions were made days after the event, but still, I'm pretty certain I was robbed... I won't name names. Moving forward.....
Originally, I was trying to put together a plan to do all 11 (or 12) of them, but after last year's 8 Bridges, I am pretty resolved to limit my efforts to just a week.
Luckily, there are 6 big'uns so my thoughts are to swim one per day with a break in the middle:
SKANEATELES - 16 miles
OWASCO - 11 miles
CAYUGA - 40 miles
SENECA - 38 miles
KEUKA - 20 miles
CANANDAIGUA - 15.5 miles
I have a ton of legwork to do, including finding boat launches, training crews, water temps, prevailing wind directions, etc
There are a few other swims I'm looking at, but I'll save them for another post. I've also been spending a lot of time looking at support equipment (boats), so stay tuned.............