Saturday, 31 August 2013

No such thing as a quiet swim...

Having said in my previous post how much I preferred 'quiet' swimming....A quiet swim? I don't think so. One of the most common questions before the "quiet" MIMS swim was: "Is that Texan going to be on board again?" Happily, I was able to answer with a resounding "yes", and everyone braced themselves for a day of tweets courtesy of twitter-hacker-in-chief, Julie Farrell (@jgalswims). In real time, the Twitter feed offered a blow by blow account of how the swim was going with the kind of detail that a GPS tracker can only dream of; and as before, in retrospect, it has given me the most wonderful Twitter / photo essay of the day. And so, as I did last time, I've transcribed the tweets and pictures into a single post, comprised primarily of Julie's tweets via my account (@thelongswim), as well as a couple of interjections from others either following or also at the swim - a unique account of an amazing day.


Y'all? #mimsquiet

HELLO!!! It's @jgalswims and I cannot be quiet so here we go! Karen is on deck feeling spritely! #mimsquiet

I kid you not, y'all, when I tell you that this is our boat observer! #mimsquiet

Caitlin Rosen (@throwmein)
Look! @thelongswim and @jgalswims are real life people!! #mimsquiet

Ok we have boarded the boat. Here's a parting shot of Karen! Spirits high! 

This is our biggest obstacle today...It's hot, y'all, and I'm Texan! #mimsquiet

Just passed off our feed to Jeff our awesome positive kayaker! #mimsquiet

Another of Jeff! We gave him the wrong feeds already. I'm irresponsible, y'all. 

It's the swimmers! We are starting shortly. #mimsquiet

We're off!!!

Swim started at 9.39 Yankee time. We don't follow that in Texas. #mimsquiet

We're tryin to beat the Statue of Liberty ferry right now. We'll do it.

Tourists are like, is this for real? 

Karen bookin it like a bull outta the corral, y'all, all feisty n stuff. She wants this! #mimsquiet

Peter took the wheel for approximately 7 seconds. He started steering us toward England so we took it back off him.

We have all them bridges coming up ahead. The first is Brooklyn. I know my geography now y'all. I drew myself a map. #mimsquiet

This is the Brooklyn Bridge. It goes to Brooklyn. Karen just passed under it. #mimsquiet

Peter moved to the shotgun position.

Sarah Doody (@sarahdoody)
Eww, just watched some poeple doing some type of open water swim race in the East River. #NYC

@sarahdoody eww indeed. They're going to visit the Harlem river too! #mimsquiet

We're passing under the Manhattan Bridge. It goes to Manhattan. #TheMoreYouKnow

There's our Karen. Just flew under.

On the food front I've eaten: cereal and milk, a chocolate gold coin, a clif bar. Already cravin a sandwich. Could use a bag of chips. Ugh.

Just saw like, a French flag on a boat. Thanks or the statue and all, but y'all ain't welcome here. #Merica

The field. We're mostly all partying together today. #mimsquiet

Williamsburg bridge. This connects hipsters to Manhattan. The toll back is skinny jeans and obscurity. #mimsquiet

First feed. As we say in Ireland, no faffing around. She was back swimming in 15 seconds. #mimsquiet

Speaking of food, I'm so hungry I'd eat a 'dillo of the side of the road. #roadkill #fixins

That big building is the Empire State Building. Which is controversial, given that Texas is far more of an empire. 

Approaching the Chrysler Building. I don't know a thing about it.

I've just learned this is international territory!?!? Huh?!? I dunno why we surrendered that to y'all foreigners. 

Just about to pass over a feed to Jeff. This is an awesome current we're on! 

Just passing under the Queensborough bridge. It's named after the queen's borough, which we never got off the Brits. 

This current is 6.3 y'all! We're talkin near 7mph for you data nerds. Hook em!!!#mimsquiet

My anxiety is still high, but I think this is going to be a great moment for the field. #mimsquiet

We're going so fast we had to reverse the boat. Oh and FYI our boat pilot is hysterical. We love Phil!

Approaching Gracie mansion. Hellsgate ahead. Let's do this!!!

I'm no geography expert, but I believe we just passed the point where we were pulled last time. HURRAY.

Second feed. She gave us a wave! She looks fabulous and happy!

Approaching 96th Street. Footbridge ahead and then we are in the Harlem River!!!#mimsquiet #CmonKaren

Ok y'all I made it to almost 12. It's time for a SANDWICH!!! :D

No current here, but no backwards swimming so all is peachy. Nearly to the footbridge. It's used for buses because Americans don't walk.

Look it's Karen and @ThrowMeIn! They've been close by for a while. Getting it done stroke by stroke. 

We are in the Harlem people! :D #mimsquiet

Third feed! We're doing 30 min increments now. Increments...That's a word, right? Hmmmmm

In my personal news, I just peed below deck. Onboard loos a must on these things! #mimsquiet

Nothin like workin on your Peter Pan while cruising down the Harlem! #mimsquiet

Looking amazing. Water super calm. Air super hot.

Look! Karen just waved at us! Kayaker Jeff reports she is delighted right now! #mimsquiet

Feed time! jeff is basically the best kayaker ever. He feeds on the exact minute. A true gem for us!

Onlookers are taking pictures of our heroes Karen and @ThrowMeIn. 

Look where we are!! Karen has done the rest of the swim now. Repeat action commencing.  #mimsquiet

Just got an absolutely exquisite smell of a combination of trash, manure and vom. YUMMY for Karen.

In honor ('merican spelling) of this sign, I'm gonna give you some useful facts. #mimsquiet

Back when Texas was its own country (well it still is but whatever) it had a consulate in London. #Empire

Likewise, Britain had a consulate in Houston. #RespectThe Yall #ImperialistTwinsies

Unlike its less informed neighbors, your Britain realized the beauty of doing bizness with Texans. We shipped y'all supplies n stuff.

But then America stole us from our country and you were like, Americans are not to be messed with, so you ignored us for a bit. #history

But then America was like, Engliand isn't all that bad. they gave us One Direction and Boots products in Target. So we became friends.

So today in NYC, we let people like Karen come over and swim around our gorgeous island of freedom and prosperity. And trash.

So that's your history lesson today, people. Rich. Like us. #Empire

Oh and for the record, Peter has a PhD in history. He's going to really appreciate learning my knowledge.

More fun facts. There are 3 PhDs on the swim effort here today. I'm not sure if that's good or bad. Karen't wicked smart. Me? Not so much. [KT

Our Karen just lovin it out here. All smiles #mimsquiet

Just truckin along, almost time for a feed! I'm running out of food. UGH. #mimsquiet

Hey y'all. I'm on my back-up phone now. Phone #1 is charging due to Apple's splendidly horrid batteries. 

Boat captain Phil goes "first words you said to me today were 'do you have a phone charger?'" #PRIORITIES

Y'all it's hotter than a $2 pistol. #mimsquiet

Karen is the epitome of consistent. She's doin just fine. 

Ugh. It smells like BBQ. You can't wave BBQ under my nose and expect to get away with it! #mmmmfood..

We don't fly this in Texas. 

On a serious note, the big challenges today (other than swimming around Manhattan) are dehydration and the sun. It is HOT.

Here's where we are! Making amazing progress. Karen's a hero. Swimming around #NYC with class! 

Ignore our boat for a bit. We gotta book it to get past the spitten devil. Cuz that's what it's called, y'all.

[KT edit: for those who aren't familiar with the Manhattan bridges, Spuyten Duyvil is the point where the Harlem meets the Hudson at the top of Manhattan Island. When the low-clearance railway bridge there closes for a train to pass, boats can't get through. The boats all flew off to try to get through before it closed, but still all got caught in the Harlem for the best part of an hour. Swimmers and kayaks can pass easily under the closed bridge - hence the period of separation.]

Karen is well taken care of with Jeff. We will regroup in the Hudson!

YEE HAW!! Our boat's like a horse on roids!!!

C. For cookies, and chips, and crisps, and cheeseburgers, and corona, and cheddar, and corndogs, and cake.

And catfish. And crackers. And chocolate. And candy. Ok. I'll stop.

We're idling at the spittin devil. We don't speak Dutch here. 

Me and Phil the boat captain are blue bandits!!! 

Omg Karen already caught us!! Into the Hudson she goes soon! #mimsquiet

There she goes! our karen has conquered the East and Harlem. Hudson River time! #mimsquiet 

Y'all it looks like our boat could be stuck at the spittin devil for an hour. But kayaker Jeff has 3 feeds. Not ideal, but we'll be quiet.

The safety boat got through but no-one else. So here we wait. 

So y'all watching on the tracker. We are stuck until 4pm while swimmers and kayakers head on. Not good. But all swimmers are doing grand.

I'm goin swimming!!! My own MIMS.

Look at this tropical oasis!!!

Ok y'all we're about the HAWL IT down the Hudson to catch em.

Bridge is opening! Off we go.

Bye spitten devil. Off to see Karen!

So the GWB was a short photo op. We're still bookin it down to her.

LOOK WHO WE FOUND!! #mimsquiet

We just gave the yanks their first jelly babies. Spreading the good news, one baby at a time.

Karen had to get her 2 black jelly babies 30 mins late. I don't think she'll mind. Or know. :)

I am going to TEAR INTO some food when this is over. Y'all don't even know.

Can you get a happier swimmer out here?! I don't think so. I just told her the whole field is going to finish it. 

On board, we are debating the best places for pizza. I'm all for grimaldis, y'all.

See the blue dot? That's us!

Yours truly has moved to the front of the boat. I'm ready for a nap. My 10 minute swim has me wrecked. 

Karen is feeding on LEMON FLAVOUR drink. She's mixing it up! #mimsquiet

Moving back toward civilisation. I can see the (second best) Empire State Building peeking out.

The Chop is here! Nothing our Karen can't handle.

Just got an impromptu yee haw from Jeff! These waves are bullridin style.

Food on board so far: sandwich, chocolate, on large bag chips, 2 clif bars, cucumber, red pepper. For when I get off: THE WORLD

The Status of Liberty! Did you know there's a replica in France? It's tiny. They knew better than to give us theirs. 

Here's our current location. Karen is staying Hell's Kitchen. We could drop her off.

Karen is parallel to the Empire State Building.

It's so choppy we lost a gel on the handoff. #YeeHaw

"You're kind of half in this life and half in the twittersphere" - Peter.

Boat observer reckons 2 miles to go. :) let's give some twitter shoutouts to OUR HERO KAREN!!! #mimsquiet


We're just over 8 hours as Karen enters the final part of her swim. :)

This is Hoboken, where I work. it's the home of baseball which basically can be blamed for making all Americans lazy.

Within a mile. I'M SO EXCITED!!!!!! GO KAREN!!!!!

Back to where we started. Yessssss. #mimsquiet

She'll be sub-9 hours :) Nearly there!!! GO KAREN!

She's going for it! Our Karen is MINUTES  from her TRIPLE CROWN!!!!!!! #hero #mimsquiet


HERE WE GO!!!! Final bend!!!!!

1 min!!!!


Finished swimmers just clapped the others in. True class!


Y'all I'm tearing up over here!!! She's done it!!!


We are on dry land! :) Karen is having a snack and I'm about it steal her food. 

Alright y'all it's @jgalswims signing off. I didn't want to do so until I got my burger. It's in me and I'm happy now. So BYE Y'ALL!!!!!


Many thanks to Julie for her Twitter marathon and a wonderfully noisy record of the "quiet" swim.