Thought Bubbles

Answers to questions posed in previous blog:

1. yes;
2. yes; and
3. Toowoon Bay!!

I’d like to say thankyou to Chaos, Rondi Davies, Swimsuit Addict, Suzie Dods, my boat Captain, kayaker, and everyone else (USMS nicknames unknown) that organized and helped with the 8 Bridges swim. What a wonderful experience!!

I was so worried I barely slept the two nights prior to swimming, and could not take in much breakfast prior to getting on my escort boat, World Class. Worry is such a waste of energy. All anyone can do is jump in and swim, but tides, shoulders and various other body parts can go in the wrong direction at any time and I was hugely relieved and overjoyed to make the swim with no shoulder pain at all.

It helped enormously that I was sent off a little early, before the ebb tide started. One of the other swimmers (Martin Tureky) and I jumped about an hour and a half (??) before the tide turned and swam very close to the New Jersey side of the river, out of the opposing current, until the tide turned. I enjoyed this part of the swim very much! The houses along the shore were amazing. One of them had a huge waterfall. I might have been gawking a bit too much because my paddler, Teddy Gruber, told me to stop sighting and swim.

I’m always restless during the first couple of hours of a swim, but this swim was a little easier on my mind than most. On the whole, I felt more “in the moment” during this swim than ever before. I never felt as though I wanted to be anywhere other than exactly where I was. . I had calm water and lots to look at while swimming. I’ve established a pattern of feeding every half an hour and this seems to work very well, especially while swimming. The Maxim, water and apple juice recipe I borrowed from Evmo worked perfectly, though I’ll try to add some little extras next time for variety if I do any longer swims. My crew and paddler were great, and seemed to be always in the right place at the right time. It’s the most relaxed I’ve ever felt with a boat and kayak supporting me. Swimsuit Addict and Suzie Dods provided laughs and endless encouragement.

At times I watched the scenery go past and at times I thought of nothing at all and was surprised when it was time for my next feed. The water got a little sloppy and randomly choppy in a few places. I don’t remember where, exactly. I felt uncoordinated and grumpy in these places, but the neon handclappers Suzie was waving at me cheered me up. Thanks to Swimsuit Addict for swimming the last hour with me!!!

I’d decided before the swim that passing the Statue of Liberty was to mark the end of and complete good riddance to a difficult period for me. Done. Thanks crew for getting this picture!!!

statue of liberty

ps. “I don’t like Mondays” was playing on my escort boat when I finished my swim. This song had been in and out of my head the whole swim. Captain claimed it had not played on the radio until the end. Not sure I believe him!


With only a week to go until I attempt Stage 7 of the 8 Bridges swim, three questions remain:

1. Will my nasty, impinged shoulders survive? My guess is, yes they will. Between my two best friends pictured below, a big rubber band and my physical therapist, I think I’m in with a shot;


2. If my shoulders survive, will my extremely low-mileage training get me there? Yes to that too. Not sure how, but yes.

and the last and most important question is the only one to which I have no answer

3. What suit will I wear?


Clockwise from upper left, we have

  1. the Toowoon Bay SLSC suit that I wore for my fizzled out Catalina attempt. This is the club my nephews and niece do nippers at in Australia, and I’ve swum there a few times. I owe this suit some redemption. It’s as comfy as can be but needs the straps shortened.
  2. a new suit in a nice maroon color.
  3. a fairly worn out but comfy black suit with red piping around the edges. Possibly still full of pollen from the lake because the last time I wore it I got a rash on my chest.
  4. a new Speedo super skinny, super small buttocked suit that I bought recently, hoping I could wear it to even out my tan lines. It has a cut out waist. I don’t think my waist is meant to bulge out of the cutouts but it does.
  5. Sparkles the Red. Super comfy, sparkly. This suit has everything. I did get a slight under arm chafe wearing it for 3 hours yesterday.
  6. The Thunder from Downunder (this refers to my thighs, not my heritage). As worn in Kingdom swim and Swim the Suck in 2010. Getting a little worn out, but so am I.
  7. The White Suit.
  8. Rob Aquatics. Veteran suit. No futher explanation needed.

What’ll it be?

I’m in New York State of Mind

I’m thinking about friends doing the Little Red Lighthouse swim in New York tomorrow and wishing I was there.

I hope everyone has a great time! Good luck to Chaos, Evmo and Rondi and everyone else swimming (I haven’t checked the roster lately). It looks like the course is going north under the George Washington Bridge, so you will get the opposite view to what we had in MIMS.

Here’s a little bit of video saved from MIMS 2010, not long before I swam under the GW. Someone had just jumped from the bridge, which was very sad and disturbing. I wasn’t able to find out any details about the incident afterwards, except that it’s very unlikely one would survive a jump from that high.

Here’s me and my crew.

Not a huge fan of Billy Joel, but this is a great song:

3 hours in

Although I lost the 15 minutes of video of me finishing MIMS this year, I saved some of my footage!

This is early in the race, about 3 hours in. I’m in the Harlem, and the water’s finally gotten warm, brown and nutty. Conditions couldn’t be better, but I’m feeling a little sorry for myself because of the screwdriver someone has inserted into my lower back and is twisting with every stroke.

The swimmer next to me is Rachel Golub. I think Mo Seigel is just ahead. There’s also a 2 person relay around. We were all fairly close together the whole swim.

I think we had just passed, or were nearing Yankee(sp?) Stadium…

Better late than Never!

2nd time’s a charm!

My first attempt (in June) at the Manhattan Marathon swim was unsuccessful, but my second attempt at the Manhattan Island Marathon swim (my “quiet” swim) went perfectly 

Those of us who were pulled from the original race were offered a second chance by the NYC swim organisers. At 9am on Friday July 24th, Cara McAteer, Steve Autry and I set of from Manhattan’s Pier A to swim the entire 28.5 miles around the island of Manhattan. anticlockwise.

8 hours, 36 minutes later all three of us arrived back at the same place, within a minute of each other!

Here’s the view from the start:

statue of liberty

Conditions were great and the current was rip-roaring up the East River. The water temperature was about 70-75 during the swim and mostly very smooth. Sweet.

I think this is somewhere on the East River:


The last few miles down the Hudson were a little rough, but that’s a lot easier to take when the end is so close!!

This is the George Washington Bridge, just after we were spat out of the Harlem River and into the Hudson:


Here’s me at the finish. Not sure why I’m not smiling because I was really really really happy!!! maybe I was contemplating the swim back to my boat….


My crew and official observer, Maria and Dahlia at North Cove.

Throughout the swim, Maria prepared a perpetuem/water mix in sippy bottles attached to strings. My kayakers, Jack and Kevin passed me the bottles at regular intervals. That took care of the nutrition! I also asked (and received) Maria’s supply of Coca cola during the race. Sweet stuff tasted good!


My boat Captains who apparently took a great deal of care of me!! They were very excited when I finished 🙂


Thanks to everyone at NYC Swim, my boat Captains, crews and kayakers from both attempts!!! I’ll definitely be back next year if I get a place