Stage 5

What a week it has been so far! We have had perfect weather… hot and sunny mostly as summers in NY typically are. All the swimmers and kayakers and boat crews have exceeded my expectations and I’m so honored by their enthusiastic support of the 8 Bridges Hudson River Swim!

For many of the swimmers, the stages they participated in were the longest swims they have ever done… and all against the clock as the unforgiving afternoon flood tide waits patiently for the chance to battle and thwart our progress.

I knew stage 5 (Bear Mt Bridge to Tappan Zee) would likely be the biggest challenge of the week… this statement is possibly premature, as there are still 2 stages to go. Rondi, Janet and I did a test run of this stage with Captain Greg Porteus, and Mates Wayne and Ritchie a few weeks ago, and we fell a bit short… 3 miles of the Tappan Zee. The data gained was useful, and we were able to adjust our plan to give us the best chance for success yesterday.

We all gave it our best shot, and John (who swam yesterday as well) and Tobey (who will be swimming Catalina in a week) both powered their way to the finish. I resigned at about 9.5 hours with .2 miles to go… but my progress was slowed to a rate of <.1 miles/ 30 minutes. It became clear that I would have at least another hour if I was going to make it at all. Knowing that John finished, and Tobey was ever closer satisfied me... the stage was a success, even if my own efforts fell short, and I was able to resign a few hundred yards short of passing through the Tappan Zee's shadow. I will splash today, where I left off... adding a little bit extra to stage 6 and continue the attempt to complete the 120 miles. No Stage 5 ribbon for me, but I'm feeling good physically. We wind down to just 2 swimmers for the next 2 days. This will be much easier logistically, but I will miss the company and camaraderie. It had been a joyus week! I will write up a more detailed report of each stage once Rondi and I have a chance to review and debrief.