Would you believe we leave Sunday?

Beautiful Lake Raponda

Wow, we’re almost done with all this! All that remains is, well, the swim itself. We’re so excited to head to London THIS Sunday, and we’ll be sure to keep everyone updated with the travels and whatnot as we venture across the pond. By the way, we have updated the pictures and workouts sections, so take a look if you’ve been following along!

Most recently, we got the chance to host our awesome new friends from MIT, Qing and Anna, spending a weekend swimming, relaxing, swimming, eating, and just enjoying the beautiful New England weather. Saturday morning we took a dip (aka 2 hour swim) in the Connecticut River, and then later that night went out to see the new Harry Potter movie. You can probably guess which was the highlight of our day.

Sunday morning, we ended up out in the town of Whately, where we swam the triathlon course at Tri-Town Beach. The water was toasty and a little dirty since it was really just a pond, but it was nice to actually know the distance we were covering.

This past weekend, we took a short drive up to Vermont and went swimming with our friend Ruby at Lake Raponda. Take a look at the photos section see what these places look like! When we arrived at Raponda, we saw a sign stating that the lake was only for Vermont tax payers. We were a little concerned, so we spent a lot of time talking about how we loved paying Vermont taxes and how we would hate to have to pay taxes anywhere else . We also made a few references to Cabot cheese, just for good measure.

Also, some of you have been asking some VERY specific questions about the swim. Here’s our best answers to all the common ones!

  • We each have our own boat (since we’ll likely swim at different speeds, etc.)
  • Kim is coming too!
  • N0, there are not sharks in the Channel.
  • We hope the swim will take somewhere between 10-12 hours, but that’s just an estimate
  • Our window during which we might swim is between the 4th and the 12th of August
  • We aren’t allowed to touch the boat
  • We’ll do blog posts while we’re away
  • The boats that are accompanying us are large (in other words, no one’s going to be rowing them)
  • We’re super excited, and a little nervous, but mostly excited

Thank you everyone for your support, and a huge shout out to the SMITH COLLEGE MASTERS SWIMMERS. You all kept us motivated and it was so nice to get to swim with a team again. John and Cleve, thanks for pushing us every Tuesday and Thursday morning; we’ll be thinking of you during the swim.

Next time you hear from us, we’ll probably be in London!!!

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Down by the Riverside

This weekend we headed to the Connecticut River once again for an open water swim. We were very fortunate to be accompanied by our friend and former teammate Christine in her kayak. Around 8:30am we reached the marina and set out for a swim. The weather was beautiful and the water had warmed up a lot since our six-hour swim in May. Actually, it felt like we were swimming in a bathtub. The current was also much weaker than we had experienced on Memorial Day weekend, which made for a nice leisurely swim upstream. We could see the bottom of the river and even hit the bottom a few times.

After our swim we took a quick detour to the bridge pillar tagged by Smith Crew. We had a great time swimming and were excited to spend time with Christine! We even ran into Kim and his family water skiing on the beautiful Sunday morning. We are heading back to the river this weekend for a swim with Qing and Anna.

 

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We Have Tickets!

It’s official now, we’re going to London! We bought tickets this week, and we will depart on July 31st in the evening and arrive at Heathrow on the morning of the 1st.

So excited.

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So, we’re transferring to MIT…

…but really we just want their pool.

Sorry we’re a bit late on posting about this, but we’ve been super busy this week. Also, we’re just getting behind on the whole posting business…

At any rate, two weekends ago, we got the incredible opportunity to spend a couple days at MIT with swimmers Qing Li and Anna Kokensparger. Qing is training to swim the Channel as well (with teammate Sydney Giblin), and Anna is swimming for the summer with the Harvard masters program. They were awesome hosts and took us to this great beach in Lynn, just outside of Boston.

The Swim: It was cold. The waves were huge. And we were kind of fearing for our lives after Anna made some morbid comments (“I always think I’m going to see a hand float by me in the water”). Other than that, the swim was fun and the waves made it all pretty entertaining after a while. That evening, after a warm shower and a great meal, we got to meet a number of other MIT swimmers, students, and friends from ‘Around the World’.

The following day, we went out for a bonus swim at Revere Beach. The water was significantly warmer and calmer, and the weather was much more pleasant as well. We were kind of burnt out from the previous day, so we didn’t spend all that long in the water, but the beach was beautiful and we all enjoyed the afternoon spent outside on the beach.

Qing and Anna, thanks for having us! If you’re ever interested in swimming out here, give us a call 🙂

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Happy Father’s Day!

We wanted to wish a Happy Father’s Day to all of our dads, both near and far! We appreciate all of the support from our families, friends, coaches, teammates, neighbors, professors and everyone else. We couldn’t do it without you, or without Mush and Poofy!

Poofy and Mush

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Towing Our Own Boat

This weekend we ventured off to Emma’s hometown, Ledyard, Connecticut, to gain a little experience swimming in the Long Island Sound. Looking forward to a fun, relaxing sunny beach weekend, our friends, teammates and co-workers, Alexis and Ruby, came along for the ride. We left Friday night after a long work week, and drove down to Connecticut. Early Saturday morning, we drove to Avery Point to meet up with Russell Smith, coach of Ledyard Community Rowing and a friend of Emma’s family.

Russell set us up with a row boat and helped us carry it to the beach to launch the boat. A “No Swimming” sign was posted at the beach, but Russell told us not to worry: “You guys aren’t swimming, you are training. Just tell them you are with Russell Smith, and they’ll let you swim.” The weather was overcast and windy, and Alexis and Ruby, each with varying boating experiences, agreed to follow us in the boat as we set off for a rock island off the coast of Avery Point. Although it took some time for them to get a hang of rowing together, they pulled through and made it to the island. We stopped and had some hot chocolate to warm up and get the salty taste out of our mouths. We have realized we will have to spend some more time training in the ocean before we are accustomed to the waves and the salt water, but Saturday was a good start.

The wind got stronger as we headed back to the beach, making it difficult for Alexis and Ruby to row back to the beach. After we reached the beach, Alexis and Ruby were still struggling to make it back to shore. They finally made it to a beach, but it was much farther down than where we started. We had to swim down to the boat, across some private beach property, and tow it back through the water. Though the weather was questionable, we all enjoyed our adventurous beach trip!

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Meeting a Legend: Jill Ker Conway

Meeting Jill Ker Conway at the Women's Education Worldwide Conference

Yesterday Jill Ker Conway, former president of Smith College and avid supporter of women’s athletics, spoke at the opening dinner for the Women’s Education Worldwide Conference. Mackenzie is working for the conference and Emma came to hear Jill Ker Conway speak.  Afterwards we met President Conway, who supported Maura and Margaret in their Channel crossing 27 years ago.  She was very excited to hear that two more Smithies were taking on the challenge and upon meeting us gave us a big hug! We were so thrilled to meet her, and we hope that she will continue to follow our progress as our training continues.

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