Adirondack Adventure Swimming: Lake Harris/Hudson River

It was a regular adventure swim!

None of us had swum Lake Harris before, let alone swum out of Lake Harris up the Hudson River! Four miles round trip.  How exciting would that be?  We almost canceled before we began: the weather was a bit sketchy with heavy rain in the forecast and thunderstorms in the afternoon.  We decided to get up early and head out first thing to get our swim in before/with the heavy rain and avoid the thunderstorms.

The Route from Lake Harris up the Hudson.

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Last Day of Camp: The 6-Hour Swim

The last day of camp, we arrived for the 6-hour swim at about 7:45 am.  Ned came right up to me.

“Are you all right?”  He asked.  “You didn’t look well after the swim yesterday.”

“I’m all right,” I said.  “I was just feeling really sick.”

“Like throwing up sick?” He asked.

“Yes,” I confessed.

“Have you ever thrown up while you were swimming before?”

“No,” I answered.

“Try it next time,” He advised.  “I always feel better.  Throwing up always improves my speed too, because my head is down and that improves my body position.”

I laughed.  “Oh, okay! Maybe I’ll try it today.” Read more

Torture Swim 2013

I put my face in the water and thought, “Just don’t throw up.”

In retrospect, I guess that wasn’t the best way to start something nicknamed “Torture Swim,” already feeling kind of ill.  But it wasn’t feeling bad enough to be labeled “sick” when I woke up; I just felt like my stomach was carrying a load of rocks.  That was all.  It wasn’t until I was in the water, and the way that it smelled and the way that it moved… oh my goodness, I was so nauseous.  I just kept thinking, Don’t throw up, Bethany, just don’t throw up.  But if you have to… that’s okay, too.

The swim from The Speckled Door and the sailing excursion left me very familiar with the waters around Sandycove.  I knew I couldn’t get lost.  I knew I would always know where I was.  It wouldn’t be like last year, at all.  The sun was shining.  It was a beautiful day!  The water was calm; no wind.  It wouldn’t be like last year at all.

Just don’t throw up. Read more

Swims 12, 13, & 14: The Guillamenes, Garryvoe, & Garrettstown

Swim 12 – The Guillamenes

The Guillamenes were far and away enchanting.  We arrived at an impressive set of cliffs, and it was a bit of a trek down several sets of stairs to get to the water access.   Swimsuit and shoes required.  That’s my kind of swim!

First we swam down the cliffs to a cave.  We waited for the group of us to get all together, then we swam inside, into the darkness.  If you swam Tarzan style, with your head up, it was really cool to watch the people in front of you disappear into the dark.  Putting my face in the water was a blackness I’d never seen before, once you really got a ways inside.  Once we were in and we paused, I kind of wanted to keep swimming into the cave and sort of nudged my way toward the back… BAM!  Right into a rock.  I eased somewhere else and met another a rock.  Read more

Swims 9, 10, & 11: Sleep, Stings, & Iniscara

Swim 9 

I woke up for swim 9, which was back around Sandycove, when there was a knock on my door.  My lower back was killing me. I lay there thinking.  What I really wanted out of this trip was to swim as much as I could safely and to complete the 6-hour so that I can have all my paperwork completed for the Channel.  When I sat up and was just so sore, I decided I really shouldn’t try it. I told Sarah I wasn’t going to come swim that morning.  I was going to go back to sleep and see if my back just needed a break from the swimming and the sighting and all of that.

Score one for maturity, I thought to myself as I lay back down.

Swim 10 – The Speckled Door

That evening we swam from a Pub called The Speckled Door to Sandycove Island.  It’s about a 5 km swim.  We almost missed the swim, because a group of us had been out playing on a sail boat all day.  I had never been sailing before!  What a treat!  The fellow who took us was one of the first swimmers to swim around Sandycove and to create the club.  He’s a grandfather now and still swims at Sandycove all year long; even in the winter!  He was a great guy.  I loved listening to his stories!

At one point, while we were all on the sailboat talking about swimming and distances and the Channel and all of that; the conversation drifted to ‘firsts.’  See, there is so much water, and there are so few distance swimmers, there’s a good chance that you could be the first to do something.

As I listened, though, I thought to myself that I didn’t really want to be first.  Not really.  I want to go home.  After the Channel, I want to go home.  I love it!  And I love the adventure… but I don’t want it to be everything; I want to go home.  To Vermont.  And I want to build a pool in Rutland.  I want to teach kids how to swim.  I want to contribute something worthwhile to that community.

I guess I do want to be first: the first person to build an aquatic center in Rutland, Vermont.  That’s what I want. Read more

Swim 8: Lough Ine

Lough Ine is a saltwater lake.  Basically, the tide comes in and rushes down this ‘river’ and into the Lake.  It’s an absolutely gorgeous location, surrounded by hills and forested areas.

I was just so darn excited for this swim, I could barely contain myself!

Last year, we started at Tragumna Beach and swam out to sea and in through the inlet, down the rapids and into the Lough.  This year, because of safety reasons, Ned had scheduled us to start at the Lough, swim out to sea, hang a left and head into Tragumna Beach.  It’s approximately 5 km.

We started out, the slow folks first.  The lake was so warm.  Ireland has had the nicest stretch of weather ever.  Sun, sun and more sun!  It’s been incredible!  Right near the island in the middle of the Lough we must have hit a spring because it was bone chillingly cold.  My teeth were aching.  But it was only a few moments until we were onto warmer water again (I think the temperature was between 13 and 14 out in the sea.).

Huh… so far I hadn’t seen any jellyfish. Read more