Thursday August 4th, 2011
Today’s Goal: A 2 way crossing of Lake Champlain, Vermont USA
See Television report of today’s swim here: http://www.wcax.com/story/15213433/why-swimming-across-lake-champlain-is-just-training-for-1-woman?redirected=true
I wake after a restless night, one of those nights where your body and mind are on the edge and can’t settle down, like a lion or a tiger laying in wait watching it’s prey, ready to pounce with the blink of an eye, patiently waiting for right time to ” let it rip”. That is me, I am on edge this morning, there are still many details to get in place before I meet the crew in Stowe at 11:00am for our 11:15am departure.
Things on my list before 11:00am include a final gear check , preparing 18 servings of Maxim my carbohydrate drink , packing the “potato bomb’ and the little treats I might crave in the thick of the swim. Other jobs, packing a cooler of extra food for those on board and loading 48 cases of water, a fishing rod and white board all into the car, zipping out to subway to buy sandwiches for the captain and first mate and finally 30 minutes of Yoga to calm me and get my body “performance zone ready” PHEW.
Time seems to disappear before my eyes, like I am looking at an hour glass during the last few minutes when just a few grains of sand are slipping through in a fleeting kind of way, my cortisol levels begin to rise, ” how am I going to get this all done in time”, I think to myself, “RELAX”, I command my brain, ” they are not going to start the swim without you today”, so, I relax, but still dash around the house getting everything together. Mixing the feeds takes much longer than I anticipate, I mix 18 servings and pour them all into a gallon container ready for my crew to mix with either cold or hot water, each of my bottles I tape with duct tape so the crew will know how much feed to put in, Deb gave me some fun colored Duct Tape yesterday and I am thrilled to mark my bottles with the fun bright colors.
Finally I lug all the supplies out to the driveway and set it down beside the car for my husband Jeff to pack, one large cooler packed with a selection of cheeses, ham, rolls, crackers, grapes, hot chocolate, coffee, almonds and cups. Then a large plastic bin full of my feeds, two 24 packs of water, a large white board and erasable markers, a fishing rod to swing my feeds to me, a large bag with all my after swim clothes, 2 towels and a large blanket and finally my swim bag containing all my goggles, caps, ear plugs, grease, sun lotion, Advil and my miniature Mini Mouse, recently I have been bringing her to all my big swims, she makes me laugh, what a pile of stuff! After I lug it all out I make a mental note, ” might be a good idea not to lug around heavy stuff before you swim next time”.
Next up is Yoga, I force myself to slow down and stretch out, it feels good and my breath calms me, into the shower to rinse off, then I pull on my TYR Black one piece suit, ” this is it”, I think to myself.
GIRL’S GOTTA EAT
10:15am, time to get some food in me, poached eggs on toast, hot tea and to finish I slosh down a good amount of water. I still have to hit subway, but first make some sandwiches for the road, ham, avocado, lettuce and hummus , 2 peanut butter sandwiches and almonds, next up a sandwich for my husband Jeff. ” Hi I’m back”, Jeff says as he rolls in the front door, it is 10:25am, he has just got back from driving our son Soeren to an overnight tennis camp, a 2 hour round trip, ” sandwich on the counter for you” I say, Jeff goes about mixing up my Potato Bomb feed while I nip out to pickup subway sandwiches for Captain Craig and his wife Donna.
10:50am the car is packed, we leap in and are off to meet the rest of the crew. It is a beautiful day, the skies are clear, the news forecast this morning reports light winds with no sight of thunder storms, excellent. One by one the crew gathers, here who is present…
MEET THE CREW
Solo Crew: Jeff Brynn, Deb Beier
The Relay Team:Paula Yankauskas, Jennifer Kimmick, Cara Hancy
The Relay Crew: Cynthia Needham, Valerie Yankauskas
Crew to Captain Communicator: Rachel Haskins
Body/ Energy Work Therapist: Kate Graves
TIME TO HIT THE ROAD
We squeeze into 3 cars and set off , 9 of us, all our gear and Cynthia’s open top Kayak, at 12:40pm we arrive at the Point Bay Marina in Charlotte, cars unloaded, Captain located and the boat loaded. Meanwhile our local news station WCAX Channel 3 news arrive for an interview, Ian Oliver and a news photographer introduce themselves, they ask about today’s swim and the English Channel, they are super nice, ” could we take a shot of you greasing up”, ” sure thing I reply” , and with that I reach for the grease, pass it to Deb, who smears it under my suit straps and the back of my neck.
Time to leave the Charlotte Marina, we say farewell to the news crew and Captain Craig gathers us on deck together to go over some boat ground rules, finally he says ” one hour and 30 minutes to our drop point”, I glance at my watch 1:20pm, that puts us 2:50pm arrival time at the earliest, we are late already, I planned to begin the swim at 2:30pm and I feel badly for the people who have kindly gathered at the beach to send me off, I now have to make a mental decision, ” I need to let go of time”, I use twitter to send news of our new arrival time and then take off my watch and focus on eating some food, drinking water and a pre swim brew of maxim.
Captain Craig’s boat is a 39 foot vessel, it is well equipped and comfortable with a deck upstairs, a main cabin and down below a shower, toilet and bedroom, I settle in on the back of the boat gazing out to the lake, ” where did those white horses come from?” I quiz myself with the question, ” looks like good training for waves today” I think to myself.
Paula and I are both getting ready, she is swimming the first leg of the relay, Deb has covered me in sun lotion, in fact it looks like I have been dunked in a tin of white paint, I pull on an old T Shirt, (actually it’s not old…it’s Jeff’s, shhh he doesn’t know yet) and go about trying not to touch anything on Captain Craig’s boat ” The Mighty Fine”.
” 10 minutes to go”, shouts the crew, the boat starts to slow down and I go up top to see the beach, “hmm” no one there, we just received a call saying their was a group of people on the beach waiting including my daughter and Jeff’s parents, ” can we motor to the next beach, there are people waiting to send us off”, I gingerly ask Captain Craig, I am kicking myself for not bringing the map of our intended start location, the boat motors off we round a rocky point and there is Heidi, she is clear on top of a rocky point with her grand parents and some other onlookers, it is OakledgePark. The boat stops, ” where should I land”, I ask the Captain, he points a rock ledge right below Heidi, with that I return to the back of the boat and JUMP, Paula jumps too.
SWIM TO LAND
Paula and I swim to shore, I see the rock slab, the waves crash me right on top of it, ” that was easy“, I say to myself, I speak too soon, the rocks are slick with green moss, I slip right back down again, I reach my hands out to pull myself up again and once more slide right off, I spy a narrow ledge jutting out of the smooth rock and latch on to it with one arm, then heave myself toward the dry rock, still no progress, a kind fellow leans forward towards me, ” take my hand”, he says, ” no I can’t “,I reply, “take my hand”, he says again, ” I can’t”, I reply again, then he reaches down further, “then take my forearm?”, I say no once more as I finally pull myself up, ” thanks for offering to help” I say and with that turn to Heidi who is just paces away ” I love you Heidi”, I shout, “I love you Mom’, she replies,” if this is how far I go today it was all worth it to see Heidi right now”, I think as I gaze lovingly at her, I adore Heidi. Then I turn, slide off the rock and am off, ” this is it”, I think for the second time today.
SWIM SWIM SWIM
My body kicks into action, my MIND kicks into action, ” time to survey the scene”, I think to myself, I have already decided that I want to swim the first hour strong, the waves are bigger than I anticipated, “what happened to the 1 ft waves I was told about earlier”, I mutter. We make it to the boat and I pull alongside, nice and close, I check out my view for the next 10 plus hours, on the back of the boat is her name ” The Mighty Fine, Charlotte, VT”, “look at that”, I think, “mighty nice of them to write my name on the back of the boat”, I chuckle underwater. The boat is pulling ahead of me and then dropping back, I knew this would happen, Captain Craig and I have spoke of the potential problem he will have motoring by me today, the slowest he can motor is 3 miles per hour, I will be swimming at 3.5 – 4 km per hour.
ADAPTABILITY TO ANY SITUATION
Time goes by, I am still thinking about the waves, the crew writes my 20 minute stroke count on the white board, 66 and some other words which I can’t make out, ” how annoying, what are they trying to tell me?”, I think. Then I focus again on the boat, ” I wish I had paid more attention to what color shirts everyone was wearing so I could tell who is who, they look flustered right now, what is going on, WHAT IS GOING ON! Hey the water is really murky, I can’t see Paula, I can’t see Paula, WHERE IS SHE,IS SHE OK, IS SHE EVEN THERE?”, so many thoughts racing around my head, all of a sudden I stop short, well I don’t stop swimming that keeps going, rather I give my mind a swift hard slap in the face, a kick in the pants so to speak…WHAT ARE YOU DOING, GET A GRIP, SHUT UP AND SWIM!
I give myself a bit of a pep talk, the long and the short of it goes like this…” making the best of things is your only option, do it, swim with…….SELF CONTROL, ALERTNESS, INIATIVE and INTENTNESS
Self Control: Keep your emotions under control and the delicate balance between mind and body in check
Alertness: Be quick to spot a weakness and correct it
Initiative: Keep that desire to excel alive and strong
Intentness: Resist the temptation for negative thoughts and stay within your course, concentrate on your goal, swimming from Vermont to New York and back.
Yip, you got it I gave myself a good hard talking to BEFORE things got out of control, with that my thoughts shifted to the following:
~ “the bigger waves and swell are going to provide great practice for the Channel, I am lucky to swim in these conditions today”
~ “the sun is out, what an outstanding day”
~ “the water is 70 degrees, toasty compared to Ireland”
~ “my stroke feels strong and powerful”
~ “the boat is leaving, they must be picking up Paula, I know she will come back in later and ace it”
~ “I have the best crew each and every one of them is so talented, how lucky an I”
Yes, the boat does leave and I am swimming alone, long strokes, just keep swimming, it will catch up I tell myself and I smile, just like I was taught to in Ireland. Well it works a charm, wouldn’t you know it next thing I know there is my husband Jeff right alongside me in Cynthia’s bright yellow cheerful kayak, his grin is longer than the length of the boat, I am thrilled to see him,” what fun”, I think, and shortly after there is Jenn swimming alongside me, we are off, I have settled into a rhythm and knocked out a couple of feeds each feed under 20 seconds, today we are using Cynthia’s surf rod with kite board string to lower down my feed bottle, Deb has drilled 2 holes in the lid so it lowers down upright. It is really fun to have the chance to feed off the big boat, but I notice that I am getting hungry, UH OH!
HOW COULD I BE HUNGRY ALREADY?
I can’t believe I could be hungry, in the last 4 days I have been eating full time and tapering down, that means little to no activity, I have gained 5 pounds in those 4 days and it I feels like there are a few big bricks in my belly, I know this will ease as I get into the swim and most likely my body will churn up a good amount of that extra fat towards the end of the swim, after 7-8 hours I have read that my body will begin to metabolise fat and during that shift many swimmers experience a ” dark period”, some get very down, slow and some hostile, I’ve read of some swimmers firing awful curses at their crew. I wonder what 7-8 hours will be like for me tonight and my crew.
1.5 Hours down and I am HUNGARY, “I need stronger feeds”, I tell the crew and swim on dreaming of my next feed ” The Potato Bomb”, this is the one Jeff made for me this morning, it is a blended brew of boiled sweet potatoes, bananas and orange juice, I spend the next 30 minutes drooling, I CAN’T WAIT, 2 hours is up, I swim in for a feed, swipe the cup and tip my head back, the sweet brew slides down slow, today it is a bit thick, I shake the last bit out, drop the feed cup and swim off, “hmmmm much better”. I feel a new surge of energy, the stuff is amazing, I settle straight back into my automatic pilot pace, long, strong strokes with a good underwater pull, I am having to earn it in the waves today. The 2.5 hour arrives I have long past Juniper Island, I could tell I was there because it got very shallow, I could see the bottom, I like looking at the rocks, the weeds swaying and a few little fish, darting around, ” they look like they are late for something”, I think as I watch them dash off. Soon after the water temperature drops, I knew then I was in the middle deep part of the Lake, ” in these very waters English ships battled American ships in the 1700’s, I wonder if they ever thought someone could swim across this lake back then?”, I imagine the battle and the finality of a soldier going over board back in those days, Captain Craigs booming voice brings me back to reality as I am downing my 300 mls of Maxim, ” 2 miles to New York”, he bellows, WOW, how exciting “I think,” how could I be that close already” I kick it in to the next gear and start powering in towards New York, 30 minutes passes, another feed, my brain starts calculating, I should be just swimming, but NO, my brain is barking projections, OK 2 miles takes you less than 1 hour, that puts you in before the 3.5 hour feed”, “seems pretty fast for the crossing, could that be right”, I think, then decide ” to heck with it, I’ll take it”. So I swim hard, must be close to my 3.5 hour feed AND to land, maybe just a peek….I lift my head and land is not there, ” what the heck”, I mutter and put my head down and swim. Yip you guessed it, time for another little meeting with my mind, ” OK they have either told you it is closer than it is to just get you to swim faster, or they are swimming you to Brown’s Point, NY, it is further than WillsboroPoint and if that is the case that is GREAT you will get a longer swim today. With that I continue to swim, 3.5 hour feed comes and goes, I edge close to the 4 hour feed time and notice Jeff and the crew on the boat pointing, ” they must be figuring out my landing spot” I think, they are and with that I swim in towards a rock wall, I am EXCITED.
A NEW YORK MINUTE
I see rocks below me and the Zebra Muscles I have been warned off, ” they are sharp and will cut your feet up’, Captain Craig had said earlier, ” just touch with your hands and go’. I am having none of that, I am heaving myself out, putting rocks between me and the water and then getting back in. There is a rock ledge under me covered in Zebra mussels, I carefully slink over it, it gets deep again, I take a few strokes then test the mussels with my hands, SHARP FOR SURE, I slowly and tentatively scale from rock to rock and finally I am up, WAHOO!
“New York is great for a visit, but I love Vermont“, I say out loud and with that I sit down on my bottom and go about edging back into the water without slicing open my bottom and thighs, ” made it”, off for the return leg, I AM COLD.
ALL ABOARD NEW YORK TO VERMONT
I know I have to swim hard to warm up, the sun is setting, the air temperature is forecast to drop to the 50’s, I don’t know what it will feel like swimming at night and if my arch enemy “the cold “will creep in.
A few 100 meters and I swim in for a feed, a quick tip of the cup the maxim is gone and I am off with Cara swimming alongside me, Cara is a new mum, she delivered baby Aurora just over 8 weeks ago, she trained up until the week she delivered and what a monumental effort that she is out here today with me, no lying at home napping with new baby for Cara, she is pounding out the miles in Lake Champlain, what a playful dolphin she is, I can always tell who is in the water by me, partly due to the fins each one is wearing and partly by the energy each one brings to the water. There is Paula, commitment, focus, amazing attention to detail, when I am around Paula I know the job will get done, she reliable with tremendous integrity, then there is Jenn, strong, commanding, considerate, such a capable person and swimmer, I know Jenn does not enjoy the prospect of ” what’s lurking below”, yet she unselfishly doesn’t dwell on it, or show it in her body language and energy, she swims alongside me like a steady ocean liner, I am grateful these 3 outstanding individuals have agreed to commit to the training to be here today and to volunteer this time to be away from their work, families and day to day commitments. As I am thinking of this talented relay team the sun begins to drop further and there it is a slither of moon framed by the bright red sky, what a sunset.
The sun is gone and the moon takes over, I never dreamed it would have this effect on me, it radiates both warmth and calm, the wind has picked up again which suprises me, ” I thought the lake calmed when the sun went down”, yes, you guesssed it, time for me to instruct my mind to steer away from creating expectations, enjoy the moment and I do, the darkenss does not creep in, it is like someone flicked a switch, dusk, dusk, dusk, dusk……BAM DARK, PITCH BLACK.
The boat looks like a carnival ship, it seems like there are lights everywhere, I read a few months back from a Channel swimmer that they asked their crew to wear head lamps so she knew someone was watching her swim, I thought that was a grand idea and suggested it to EVERYONE on the boat, well now that I am looking at it, it doesn’t seem like such a good idea for me tonight, the lights are every where moving here and there, in and out, up and down, I am exhausted just watching, it is confusing. I decide not to focus on them and hone in one the blue light on the kayak, it is pretty, I like the blue light. It takes me a bit to figue out how close the blue light is to me, ” so this is it swimming at night”, I look around and survey the scene in my new DARK conditions, ” the moon is luminous, I LOVE IT”, “the water and sky are black, IT IS CALMING”, ” I can see the boat”, ” I feel WARM”, ” the water feels the same”, ” I still feel strong”, with all the information collected and send to my mind time to evaluate…..”THIS IS MAGICAL, I FEEL CALM, I AM GOING TO BE OK, I’VE GOT THIS” and with that I swim, swim , swim.
30 MINUTES TAKES FOREVER
When I left landed at New York I knew I had swum for around 4 hours, when I got back in I thought ” well you just swam over, that means you can swim the distance from Vermont to New York , you’ve done that before all you have to do now is do it again, you can do this, 4 to 4.5 hours of swimming and every stroke you take gets you closer, let’s go one stroke at a time” , so that is what I am doing one stroke at a time, each feed, I tell myself ‘ now there is only 3.5 hours to go, next feed is in 30 minutes and then there is only 3 or so hours to go, once I get down to only 3 hours to go I begin to think of my training swim 2 weeks ago, it was 3 hours long, I imagine the friendly sunny course I took at the Green River Reservoir, ” this is nothing, 3 hours I can do that” and I swim on, then at my next feed I hear that booming voice ” 5.5 miles to go”, WAHOO, I cheer to myself, finish my feed and go about pulling hard with each stroke, then it happens AHHHHH (that is ah in a bad way), there is a sharp stabbing pain in my upper back on the left side, it stops and then another stab starts as I pull with my left arm, “WOW that hurts”, I back off my stroke slightly, it does not ease, I keep swimming, the 30 minutes until my next feeds takes what seems like forever, I try swimming closer to the boat and looking hungry, it doesn’t work the boat just keeps motoring on, I try swimming closer to the kayak looking sad, it doesn’t work the kayak keeps paddling on, SO I decide to sing a jolly song, one that is easy to remember the words…here’s what pops into my head:
Ten Green bottles hanging on the wall, ten Green bottles hanging on the wall and if 1 Green bottle should accidentally FAAAALLLLLLLL, there’ll be nine green bottles hanging on the wall
Nine Green bottles hanging on the wall, nine Green bottles hanging on the wall and if ONE Green bottle should accidentally FAAAALLLLLLLL, there’ll be eight green bottles hanging on the wall
I make it down to 7 bottles on the wall then I see pink lights moving up and down alongside the boat, ” YES”, that is my feed cup on the end of the fishing pole, I am SO excited”, I swim in and swipe the cup, ” I need Advil at the next feed”, then gulp ‘n go, “4.5 miles to go”, booms the Captains voice, I am excited, “I can swim 4.5 miles and at the next feed it will be 3.5 miles, let’s go, let’s go, LET’S GO”, my mind is busy calculating, ” in the Channel I won’t be able to calculate like this, things out of my control could and most likely will change things, just swim, just swim.
PAIN, PAIN GO AWAY
The pain in my back has not subsided it has been hanging with me for the last mile and is showing no signs of letting go, ” NO CHOICE BUT TO EMBRACE THE PAIN”, my mental training kicks in, ” I feel great, just look how warm and toasty my feet are, my hands are not clawing up, all cylinders are firing, enjoy the ride”, I do, I pick up my pace and swim on, so I swim and sing my 10 green bottles hanging on the wall song, I get to 5 green bottles hanging on the wall and then have a thought” hey did I sing 5 already”, I can’t remember, if in doubt start over, so I do and after numerous do overs I reach zero and it is time to feed again” 3.5 miles to go”, the Captain yells, I down my feed, I am off again and wouldn’t you know it the dagger pain in my shoulder POOF, vanished.
The next 30 minutes races by, I am excited as at the end of this 30 minute segment there is sure to be less than 3 miles to swim, that is the just a little over the distance to swim my little Italy training swim, ” you swim this all the time”, I say to myself. So on and on I go, swimming the top possible pace that I can maintain, the pink light jiggles up and down, time for a feed once more, I swim alongside the boat and yank the feed cup up to my lips, even before I chug I can smell it, it is AWFUL, ” boy, I must be losing it because this smells APPAULING”, I drink, then gag, drink, then gag, gag, then drink, my feed takes a long time to get down, I want to toss the bottle aside unfinished,but can’t all I can hear are Ned’s words in my head, ” finish your feed”, he told me time and time again of stories of those who lost there fuel to the sea who later crashed, running out of fuel, ” not me, not tonight”, I force it down, like it was waste in a garbage disposal that doesn’t quite fit and you have to ram it down with a wooden spoon, YUCK. I put my head down and swim, throw up and swallow it back down and am off, as I am starting to swim ” 2.6 miles to go”, bellows Captain Craig, I pick up my pace once more.
During my last feed I was mesmerized by the beauty and festivity of the lights of Burlington Vermont, it seems as if Burlington has lit up the skies for me to welcome me home, a dazzling display that says ” Swim , this way SWIM, follow the yellow brick road”. I excitedly stroke down the yellow brick road in my mind. When I started this swim it seemed so foreign, like when you get on a plane to fly from one country to another, particularly if it is an overnight flight, you board the aircraft, everything is unfamiliar, you settle into your seat, take in your surroundings and who is sitting near you, you stack your magazine or book, set up your water or preferred drink, maybe some snacks, scope out a pillow and a blanket and then sit and wait for take off, the plane takes off and hours go by, you have dinner, the lights go out and many in the plane sleep, some watch a movie, later in the flight the lights go on and breakfast is served, then the crew begin to talk of landing, you begin to pack away all your stuff, thump thump, you touch down in another country, a different time zone and the aircraft is taxing to the gate, it is nearly time for you to get off, this small space has become YOUR familiar small space over the course of your flight and now you have to leave this space and move on to a new unfamilar space, an unknowen, in some weird way this little area has become yours and you don’t even know how, but it has, this is where I am now, this swim and Lake Champlain is my small space in the plane, it took me a bit to adjust, once I did I settled in and made the best of it, me and the Lake are getting on just fine, it feels bittersweet that it is coming time to depart from my new small space Lake Champlain.
THE FINAL FEED
The lights are close, I can sense we are closing in, I swim in for a feed, I tip up the cup, the smell and taste is even more putrid than before, I tip it up and swallow, just miserable, I try again and again, ” .8 miles to go”, Captain Craig shouts down, I love his voice and have come to listen for it, with that I drop the feed and shout to the boat, ” LET’S DO THIS”, I swim off HARD. Visions of sprinting to France are in my head, my training in Ireland of sprinting the end of every swim are ingrained in my mind and body, DRIVE, DETERMINATION, NOW!
My body feels strong, I feel excited, it all comes down to right now. ” I wonder if there is a boat moored?, ” I suppose hitting it will tell me where not to point”, I swim on, if I hit one so be it, I don’t care I am gunning it for shore, I see the cove, I see a light, I swim even stronger, stroke, stroke, stroke, breathe, stroke, stroke, stroke, breathe,my shoulders are burning, my abdominals are on fire and I am not slowing down, then I feel something under my hands, it is land, I made it, but not until I stand up, there is a man holding a bright light on the beach, I try to stand and wince as I feel my feet sliced open, the rocks are sharp and I crumple back down into the water, ” I can’t help you”, says the man, I try to stand again, this time a sharp pain in the toe, I fall again, ” that’s it, I am going to slide up on my belly”, I think to myself, ” I can’t be helping you at all”, says the man again, ” I can’t help, I can’t help”, I hear it over and over, ” Mate, I have just swum to New York and back to Vermont, pigs will fly before I ask you to help me out”, I think to myself with a sly grin on my face and with that I stand, and shout and thrust my arms up into the black of the night, the relay swimmers swim in, we all jump for joy and clasp each other tight, it is a celebration, and as for the man with the light, it is Cara’s dad Art, thanks for being there Art, the light to swim into was the best, as for the commentary, let’s just say we’ll talk…
BACK TO THE BOAT
Paula, Jenn, Cara and I swim back to the boat, they are just the best, insisting that I board the boat first, on I go, Deb wraps me in a towel and blanket, Donna is signaling me into the main cabin, I look down and see the light colored carpet, ” Donna, my feet are bleeding, I don’t want to trash your carpet”, she insists it is not a worry and I walk in and sit, not too long after I have the luxury of a shower, Deb comes with me, I turn on the faucets and the water dribbles out, ” she’ll be right”, I say to Deb, “no”, says Deb it must be able to do more than that, she fetches Donna, who talks me through instructions, with the shower powering I wash off the grease, I look down and see the water in the bottom of the shower is tinged red with blood, ” worth every cut”, I think to myself. Then out and dry clothes on and back up to the cabin, I AM PLEASED.
Not time to sit down yet, I can’t wait to go and give each and every one of my crew a hug, “thank you so much, you were great”, and the relay, ” you are amazing thank you for being here tonight”, then we sit and dig into the after swim snack bag, I am not hungry but enjoy a few little treats of mint chocolate, I think I want a ham sandwich which Deb kindly makes, a mouse sized bite is the best I can manage, sorry Deb.
MOTOR ON HOME
We go about motoring back to the Point Bay Marina, it is a magical night, I enjoy hearing the chatter of all that happened on the boat over the 8 hours 30 minutes and 49 seconds while I was in the water, I look around the faces on deck fondly, I see and feel their excitement and I am pleased, what a wonderful adventure. I recall snapshots of them all during the day and night, Deb feeding me and a stretch in the Kayak, my loving husband Jeff out in the kayak for so many hours, Cynthia, Valerie who tended to the relay team, Cynthia also helping with my feeds and updating on twitter, Valerie taking photos, Rachel’s sharp focus communicating to the Captain when a feed time was nearing and capturing some moving video footage and photos, Kate anchored on the deck, powerfully channeling to me while I am in the water, Donna the first mate supporting all and last but not least Captain Craig, the willing party in piloting this uncharted territory, I soon honed in on his strong voice, it was like a beacon to me out there, oh and was I losing my taste buds, no that was from a few of my feeds being nuked in the microwave, nuked plastic and Maxim, DISGUSTING, Deb called it ” Nuke Puke”, we laughed.
Here are the official results
First 2 way Crossing of Lake Champlain Vermont- New York- Vermont
Start Time: 3:24pm from Oakledge Park
Landed in New York at Browns Point at 7:25pm
Finish Time: 11:54pm at Red Rock
Swim Time: 8 Hours, 30 minutes and 49 seconds
We do not remember the days we remember the moments
Coming Up Next?
The Boston Light Swim August 13th, the granddaddy of open water races, it starts at the historic Boston Light House and meanders 8 miles along several of the inner harbor islands finishing on the beach by the L Street BathHouse. Due to sea conditions, winds, currents and waves, the actual distance swum is typically farther than the 8 mile course
Time to rest up for a few days, then hit the training again and a short taper down, how will I fear and how far will I swim, I’ll keep you posted.