Well there are going to be two posts for this swim. This is the write up and the other a more personal look at my experience. The morning started off cool and overcast, the islands were wrapped in the fog of early morning. The big question was when would it burn off. Being from SF, I wasn't worried. I was more concerned with 'watch the islands as we go out and remember them for the trip back home'.... Let's be realistic, fog enshrouded islands look very different after the fog burns off...
My boat was a small one owned by Michelle Macy's pilot so we shared the big boat and towed the smaller boat. Joe Oakes - consummate South Ender, Michelle's support crew had a lot of very helpful advice, don't get to close to the islands because there are back eddies - nasty pieces of work, etc... Hang in between the islands in the deeper channel and aim for Spectacle Island. Then when you pass the last island just head for shore. It was like a mill pond out in the bay. Last year it was 25MPH head winds and just plain ugly conditions. This year was made for fast swims and the swimmers delivered.
We jumped at the horn and that was the last I saw of Michelle and the other speedsters, heck I was just trying to beat the lobsters.
The first bit around Brewster Island had lots of floating seaweed and lobster traps. As we stroked out to George's Island the water was cool with warm spots and just flat as a pond. The water was a gorgeous shade of green and clear. The yuck was just on the surface and gone by the time we rounded George's Island and headed for Long Island. By the way, Georges Island used to house Confederate Soldiers during the Civil War and was home to an Army Fort for many generations.
Next on our tour of the harbor from the waterline is Long Island, and no it isn't related to the one off of of New York City, it is just the longest island of all the bay islands. At one time it housed three missiles during the cold war, there is one silo still standing. But what you see as you swim is the huge checkered water tower that dominates the skyline of the island. As you round the end of Long Island there is the bridge! After you round the island and get a direct look at the bridge, low and behold is the Boston Skyline in the distance. But reality sets in, you are really only half-way there with another island, Thompson's to go....
When we cleared the bridge the news came back that the first swimmers were in, Michelle was first woman. Yeah, that was a fantastic swim.... T
Well, I put my head down and go but passing Thompsons Island took forever in my experience, I may have been to close and in an eddy, but chances are just steady...
After we cleared Thompsons, you can see the JFK library, what an amazing shaped building and if it has a sail boat right in front, it is gorgeous.
The Coast Guard met us outside the shipping lanes and followed us across which was nice, there was a fair amount of traffic, though not as much as I expected. They were extremely nice and didn't even look like they were bored with watching me swim. It is kind of like watching the grass grow this year....
The word came to the boat to head straight across because a push would head us down the beach...never found the push but OK. The hardest part of the swim was trying to clear the water and go 10 feet up the beach on a torn Achilles tendon. Took me 2 minutes to go 10 feet but to a great crowd waiting for me to finish. It was a great swim that I highly recommend.
Results by swimmer number:
1 Joni Young Salem OR 47 F 3:09:40
2 Greg O'Connor Natick MA 39 M 2:54:14
3 Seb Neumayer Cambridge MA 25 M 2:44:26
4 Elaine Howley Waltham MA 30 F 3:25:13
5 Conor Hartnett Babylon NY 41 M 3:40:03
6 Andreas Hilfinger Jamaica Plain MA 31 M 3:17:19
7 Laura Colette Nahant MA 44 F 4:39:26
8 Tara Gulla Newton MA 35 F DNF
9 Stephen Autry Cincinnati OH 60 M 3:48:06
10 Michelle Macy Portland OR 31 F 2:47:33
11 Gil Sharon Westborough MA 34 M 3:08:45
12 Ray Gandy Coventry RI 46 M 2:44:26
13 Fran Fidler Naples FL 52 M 4:16:05
14 Kiko Bracker Roslindale MA 39 M DNF
15 Eileen Burke New York NY 45 F 3:31:25
16 Roberval Oliveira Cambridge MA 35 M DNA
17 Paul Sullivan Norwell MA 44 M DNA
18 Dana Farrell Washington DC 33 F 3:26:17
19 Mike Brock Loveland OH 47 M 3:34:17 (relay)
20 Devin Brock South Boston MA 14 M 4:34:17 (relay)
21 Ali Maglievi Southborough MA 36 F 5:34:17 (relay)