Friday, July 31, 2009

Tomorrow is a GO!!!

Tomorrow morning, August 1, 2009, we are meeting our pilot, Mike Oram at 7:15am for a swim.

I should be starting from Shakespeare Beach around 8:15am. You will be watch the tracking on 2 sites, look for Gallivant on the shipais site. This site shows all the traffic of the channel.

The ais-doverstraits is a solo gps tracking of our boat.

Have fun, send your prayers and good vibes and I'll talk to you afterward.

Tracking websites
click: Tracker-Gallivant


Thank you Janet for putting up with one more swim.

Dream, Prepare, Succeed
Help those with Cancer:

Good Luck to all at the Swim Across the Sound, from Port Jefferson, NY to Bridgeport, CT.

One more day of rest

Today IS a beautiful day in the channel, many people wonder why I am not out swimming today?

Well, the answer to that is, the weather for tonight and early tomorrow. Because, I am trying a double, my pilot has look for a bigger window.
This is where the team effort and trust comes into play. It doesn't always work, the weather forecasts have been wrong in the past which we can all attest no matter where you live.

Today, our Victoria Guest House mate, Mike T-Han is making his attempt. The tides are favorable, the sun is shining and chances are good, but there is always something may get in the way of the dream, I hope it doesn't for Mike and the other swimmers out on the channel.

My time is coming soon to be tested, and that really is all it is, a TEST, your Will against the CHANNEL, who will succeed. Just trying is an honor.

I had a horrible sleep, up every 2 hours. Finally at 4:15am, we got up, made a cup of tea and went out for a walk to the boats. The sunrise was spectacular and Janet and I were able to wish Mike good luck and also say good morning to Mike & Lance Oram, Derrick Carter, Eddie Spelling and Ali Streeter. Lance is Mike's son and pilots his own boat, SeaSatin, Eddie pilots Anastasia and Ali owns Roco. All had swimmers taking a chance today.

By 5:40am, all had left the docks and were heading for Shakespeare Beach to drop off their swimmers.

Janet and I took a long walk before heading back to the Victoria and having breakfast.

At mid-day swimmers were having good crossings as seen by the Tracking system.

I think it's time for a nap.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Janet Arrives Today

I woke early today, was it the gulls outside the window, the impeding challenge or the excitement of Janet's arrival today, probably a little of all.

Instead of laying around, get up girl and do something. I prepared the feeding bottles with line and sorted out the equipment. I'm trying to make it as easy as possible for Janet when she arrives. We may be swimming tomorrow morning (Friday).

At the water side, I really wanted a short hour swim, but when I got out the water, Freda had a documentary film crew wanted us all to go back in the for some filming. We obliged but the weather made this 2nd entry much colder. Media can be so needy.

Finally at 12:15pm I worked my way out of the crowd and headed over to Dover Priory. I had no idea which train Janet left Victoria Station, I was hoping I had not missed her.

When arrived the 10:33 had arrived, no Janet, did she get a cab to the house? The 11:03 was due in the 30 minutes and the wait was anxious. 12:43, the train arrived, disembarking from the final car, there she is... Janet, smiles across the platform.

She was surprised how clean and tidy I have kept the room.

When I got back the Victoria, Bill informed me that Mike had been trying to reach me, 6pm start?... oh I hope not, with Janet's arrival and I really didn't sleep well, I was pretty tired, but he told me the conditions were going to be great, then I'd get myself up for it.

Finally after 8 tries, with a busy signal, Mike answered. We chatted "seriously" and determined tonight was not enough time, possibly tomorrow (Friday) night.

Sleep well, light day tomorrow and get swimming through the night.
I'll let you know.

Dream, Prepare, Succeed.
Help those with cancer:

Roman Painted House

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Late posting, same routine for the most part except Gumby came to Harbor for some fun.
Raquel, my Mexican swimming friend, needed some time to herself, so she hung out with me.

After an good hour swim in the Harbor, that started with sun, rain and wind in the middle and finishing with sun, we went back to the Victoria for showers and lunch.

I called Mike Oram to discuss the weather, he's studying the pattern, tough weather pattern we are in.

I introduced the Roman Painted House to Raquel and JuanCarlos. They actually liked it there, I always can find something of knowledge I had missed each time I visit. The House was found in 1970 when excavation for a car park revealed remains from 2000 years ago.
There is so much history here in Kent, a perfect place to visit and an easy teach.

I spoke to Kaeley and the LEHY National swimmers through Skype, fun for me and the kids. They are swimming at the YMCA LC Summer Nationals in College Park, Maryland, USA... swimming fast and enjoying the sport.

After dinner, Beef stir fry with mashed potatoes, I took care of my English patients feet. Bill and Audrey enjoy their treatment and I'm happy to oblige.

OK, on to the 30th.
Dream, Prepare, Succeed.
Help those with Cancer:

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

1st Day of the Neap

It was a beautiful day to take a swim in the harbor, a walk on the promenade but not too nice to swimming across the English Channel. The day just seems to fly bye with my routine: up at 8am, breakfast downstairs for 8:30am until 9:15am, off to the harbor for an hour (or so) swim. All of the sudden I look at the clock, it's 1pm and lunchtime and the afternoon chores of preparation for the big day.
The weekdays are quieter at the beach, mostly swimmers who are waiting and staying in Dover. Barry Wakeham came by this morning, just time for a photo op with Japanese swimmer, Miyuki, who is making another attempt at a double. I wish her the best and know what she has been going through.

I spoke to Raquel, my Mexican friend and swimmer, and invited her to a relaxing day tomorrow without her crew, they a wonderful people but are swarming her with attention. A swim and the Roman Painted House is in the plan.

There were swimmers in the channel today, I think relays, that are not as affected by the wind as much a solo swimmer would have felt. Relay members swim for one hour at a time, most can challenge and manage severe conditions, without as much stress on the body.

I think I have all my supplies ready to go when the call comes in, it will not be tomorrow, the weather forecast does not look pleasant at all.

I'll tell you all as soon as I hear.

Dream, Prepare, Succeed.
Help those with cancer:

Monday, July 27, 2009

No go for Tuesday

...but don't worry the tide is 10 days long.

Tomorrow, Tuesday the 28th, is the 1st day of this neap tide. There is a small window of time for a solo swim to go across...

Oops, I've let it out, yes, I am shooting for a Double.

So, I need a bit more time than the weather is looking to permit.

After a cold hour swim this morning with Raquel, Mike Tschantz-Hahn (both staying at the Victorian Guest House) and meeting up at the harbor with Elaine Howley (Boston, MA), we all left for respective bungalows for a warm shower or bath. The difficult part was not the swimming, but dressing afterward in a cool rain and breeze with numb fingers.

I called my pilot, Mike Oram, around 2pm and was informed that the window was too small for me (maybe Saturday) but if Mike would like the swim, I would be welcome to come along.

Wouldn't it be so cool, if I was swimming on the same day as the Swim Across the Sound race, in my home state of CT. The electricity in the water will cross the Atlantic to Long Island Sound.

Keep sending warm, calm thoughts this way.

Dream, Prepare, Succeed.

Help those with Cancer:

A serious swim - Fairfield Citizen

A serious swim - Fairfield Citizen

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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sunday in Dover

Besides the squawking of the seagulls (you do get used to it), today will be a quiet day to relax, at least I plan it that way.

After a quick hour swim in the harbor, I hung out for a time with Freda, purchasing my lifeline food for the crossing, Maxim and a glow light for for my cap which will be imperative I wear for the night portion.
There are a few wonderful people I'd like to mention, who help out swimmers during their harbor training. Louise, Freda, Barry and Irene take time out on their weekends to selfLESSly, assist swimmers with feeds, advise, injury and supplies. Louise is a massage therapist, Freda is the ChannelGeneral and leader of the gang and has so many years of experience helping swimmers get across. (Alison Streeter, our queen of the channel, is her daughter.) Barry & Irene, just are great people.
Barry helps so much w/ feeds, up & down the beach, he has to have 2 of the strongest legs in Dover. THANK YOU all.

The aerial displays continue today over the harbor, I can catch some from my window at the Victoria Guest House.

Time for nap, I was up late, talking to family on Skype, very cool.
Dream, Prepare, Succeed
Help those with Cancer:

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Bleriot Crossing

100 years ago, the 1st trans-channel flight from Calais to Dover was accomplished. Today we hoped to see a re-enactment of the flight but alas, the weather (wind) got in the way and made today's attempt too dangerous.

That was too finish off a day filled with a 2 hour swim in calmer harbor water and visiting with friends the channel have cemented in my circle. It was good to catch up with Freda, Barry, Louise, Laura and to meet new friends training for their turn to make it across.

Today was also Bill Hamblin's birthday, a wonderful B&B host. He and his wife, Audrey, have made their business comfortable for swimmers traveling far from their home.

The weather has not started to cooperate for swimmers but we do have some time.

I used my Skype account today, very cool to speak free and a video cam is even better.

..and we finished the day with spectacular fireworks over the harbor, best part was I could see them from my window.

Until tomorrow,

Dream Prepare, Succeed

Help those with cancer:

Friday, July 24, 2009

The mermaid has landed

Friday, July 24, 2009

I have arrived in Dover, after a long travel day last night. My communication with my hosts, Bill & Audrey Hamblin, must have been off, they had me down to arrive tomorrow. All is fine, my Mexican friend, Raquel has offered a bunk for tonight.... Thank You, Thank you, thank you.

I took a very short swim this afternoon in the harbor, no one around and I hate to leave my equipment on the beach (after an episode that happened to friend, Meryem Tangoran in 2001). I will not be walking down through the streets in my suit, towel and flip flops. Meryem had her stuff lifted one morning, and we found her roaming with a purpose in that get-up, another humorous moment brought to you by the English Channel.

I've noticed how simplified life seems to here, maybe that's why I keep coming back. It almost as if the rest world does not exist. Our microcosm is a simple world, 'how is the weather?, when are you swimming? and did you make it?'

The channel gods were angry today, strong gusts blew across the channel, making any craft think twice before entering the channel proper. I love this place.

At 19:20 I called my pilot, Mike Oram, to check in, I'm here and ready.

Dream, Prepare, Succeed.

Help those with cancer: or donate to your local Cancer Foundation.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Last Day in the states, I'm prepared.

We had bad news after my final practice at the Mansfield Community Center. Janet called me in tears, her brother-in-law, Greg Urban had died over night. Another good person taken by CANCER. I am so mad at that word, it affects us all.

The news was to be expected, Greg had been battling hard with a lung cancer that was not responding to treatment. I can't believe he is gone.

Another reason to fulfill dreams, success or not, our time here is limited, make the most of it.

So, the grieving begins, I have decided to make my journey and dedicate the swim in Memory of Gregory Urban.

I will be raising funds for The Swim Across the Sound Foundation, through the St.Vincent's Medical Center Foundation, a hospital based Foundation that helps families and victims cope with the battle against cancer.

Check out their website. or donate to your local Cancer Foundation.

Dream, Prepare, Succeed

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Birthday swim Tobey

2 office days left
6 days to fly
10 days to tide window opening

My last swim at Hammonasset State Park. It took everything I had to go in the water today, my mind wanted stay on shore today,
but it was a nice swim once started. Tobey and I stayed at the same pace, her mind seeing things deep in the water; maybe she did see some bluefish, but a shark, not likely.

Today was Tobey, 34th birthday, I think she may be our youngest fish in the school.

The day turned out to a beautiful summer day.

Dream, Prepare, Succeed.


Sunrise over the harbor

I finally squeezed in a 9000m practice in the 2 1/2 hours. Granted I didn't rest much but it was nice.

I tried out the new suit that I may wear in England, very comfy and cool looking.

It's the new Speedo Endurance plus suit, it's the LZR Racer REPLICA. Don't worry, it's legal, just a typical practice endurance suit with the weave pattern that looks like the LZR. 50%PBT/50% Polyester.


2000 (20 sec rest)
1500 (15 sec rest)
1000 (10 sec rest)
1000 (10 sec rest)
1500 (15 sec rest)

Was I hungry today.

Dream, Prepare, Succeed

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Looking out toward St. Margaret's Bay (north of dover)
One week left here.

I'm actually starting to get excited about my tapering coming. Just staying loose now and lowering the weight training. Lower weights easy reps.

Today started w/ some Yoga w/ the kids of LEHY and I swam with them, a nice workout before sharing Waffles after practice, Delicious.

6200 meters

1000 warm-up
Pull: 6 x 100 (2:00)
Swim: 8 x {100/50 (on the 1:25) move the 100 fast, 50 is drill
(actually this turned into a 150 on 2:50 for me, but it was fun)
Rev.Paddles: 6 x 100 (1:55)
Swim: 8 x {100/50 (1:25)
Paddles: 6 x 100 (1:50)
5 x 200 (3:20)

After a few house calls in the morning and a busy afternoon in the office, I made my way over to the Minnechaug Swim Team. Coach, Sue Husta, asked to visit and speak about my upcoming swim and my past channel crossings. We watched some video from my 2001 double crossing and I answered some very interesting questions, most concerned about the wildlife in the water, are there any sharks?... no sharks yet to mention.

I haven't seen some of the swimmers since I had coached them as 8 year olds, fun to catch up on the changes.

It was so great to see kids having fun in the simple joys of the summer, hanging out at the pool, playing shark in the same diving well I did when I was their age. I have so many wonderful memories, growing up with my twin sister, Beth and my swimming friends, Dana and Deb Clough, Wendy and Pam Stedman. I think the Clough and Stedman families were Founding Families of Minnechaug, they sure started a beautiful tradition.

Dream, Prepare, Succeed.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

What a Beautiful Day

A look out onto Dover Harbor from Dover Castle.
Almost the PERFECT summer day, only could be better if I did not have to work.

I love my drive to pool, when the sun is just rising over the hill, shedding the 1st light on the Hebron farms.

The horses are waking and the streets are quiet in Glastonbury, CT as I cross the East Hartford town line and reach the Odessa Terry Pool just over the border.

The senior teen swimmers are getting earlier to the pool than even, we don't know why but we, the coaching staff, are very impressed.

The lane lines are getting put in the pool quicker everyday, thanks to them all.

8 x 1000 with 10 second rest and a 50 of Modified Catch-up stroke to break up the monotony.

Total 8400 meters and the gym at noon.

Only a few days left, I getting very excited to seeing my British friends.

Dream, Prepare, Succeed.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Congrats Nick

5 days left at the office
9 days until the flight to Heathrow
14 days until the tide window opens

While doing some light yoga and swimming with the LEHY kids, my friend, Nick Adams (who reminds me of Dr. Who) was swimming away across the cool waters of the English Channel.

Being escorted by the Queen of the Channel, Alison Streeter, Nick successfully made his 5th crossing (I think) of the channel in 13 hour, 05 minutes. They must have some interesting, challenging conditions today, because Nick is a very strong swimmer.

I wish him congratulations and a speedy recovery time before his Catalina Swim on August 2nd.

Dream, Prepare, Succeed.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Day off: Sunday

A look out from Dover Harbor onto the Channel proper...

No pain from yesterday, was it the wine or rest?

A day of rest, not really, but I didn't do any swimming. Helped coach for a while at the LEHY swim meet, but at 9am off to the chores.

Sometimes you just have to do real life stuff, (today, ripping up carpet and cleaning) and not feel guilty about it.

Dream, Prepare, Succeed.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Beach Day

2 weeks until visiting one of my favorite beaches (right...Dover Harbor on a stormy day)
Today will probably be my last long swim before the big day in the channel.

Met the usual good swimming friends at Hammonasset State Park, 8am.

I was planning on doing 3 loops of our course, of course the mind wanted to end early. After the 2nd loop, oh how I wanted to stop, the wind was picking up and was against the tide, so the means we had some chop to swim through.

I like to swim short distances in those conditions, but as I get tired tendons can be injured.

I took a quick feed and immediately went back for the 3rd loop, if I had stayed out any longer I would have called it a day.

I'm glad I finished, I had some mild tenderness in my left shoulder, but that's the norm for me.

Ray Gandy went back for some swimming while Liz Fry, Margaret Peterson, Petie, John and I took down the tent. Jim Bayles and Gannon Davis finished after 4 hours.

5 plus hours was enough for me.

Dream, Prepare, Succeed.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Fun with the LEHY

I really didn't even want to go the pool, but we are so close to departure...

so, I hung out with the Laurel East Hartford YMCA swim team today.

1st was some yoga, I think, I was the only one breaking a sweat.

Then, a fun 5,700 meters with the kids.

Dream, Prepare, Succeed.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Happy birthday Connor

I had one idea when I entered the water, a long swimming day for sure, but how to break it up.

On my way to my 1st 2000, I was closing in on 1600 and then it came to me, 1700's in honor of Connor Beaulieu's 17th birthday.

So there it was

5 x 1700 with 17 seconds rest in between.

Stayed a nice, comfortable pace, enjoying a few drafting periods behind swimmer, Joey Lacus, a real treat. Kaeley was taking pics of the kids shivering and me huffing and puffing.

The weather is cooperating with helping me acclimate to channel conditions, another cold and cloudy morning.
I'm feeling ready.

Dream, Prepare, Succeed.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Time is flying bye

Wednesday, July 8, 2009
10 days remain at the office

The sun was came out today, early morning tan and swim.
For some reason I do not know, time flew bye and I only managed 8100 meters, but a good 8,100.
Lunch break at the CardioExpress, working the shoulders.

Dream, Prepare, Succeed

Tuesday, July 7, 2009
A very turbulent day. We started with clouds, and at 7:30 am a flash of lightning filled the sky, 2 seconds later a BOOM sounded. My head was down and I saw the flash under water.

Whistles in the air, we all stopped and jumped out of the pool, end of the water today.
5500 meters.

I wasn't going to hang around at the pool, so I got my shorts back on quickly and traveled to CardioExpress in Manchester to finish the morning workout and get a shower in before a full work day.

Monday, July 6, 2009
Back to work we go. It is so nice to swim outdoors in the morning, just starts the day off right.

8500 meters, Nora and Victoria joined me,they were not too happy to do the 1000's but they do swim distance in college.

Went back to Skungamung Golf Course for play in the evening, 9 holes on a gorgeous evening in Coventry, CT.
Dream Prepare, Succeed.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

3 days of swimming and 1 day off

Sunday, July 5th, 2009

Day off, enjoying the Sunshine, the Coventry Regional Farmer's Market, and friendship.

Saturday, July 4th, 2009

Independence Day

A bumpy day at Hammonasset State Park. The wind continued to pick up steadily. We started our swim in Force 1 and finished in Force 3 rollers.

Good practice for what can happen on the big day. I only did one loop, fun in the water but I did not want to get hurt.

Dream, Prepare, Succeed.

Friday, July 3rd, 2009

A good day at LEHY, the girls didn't much like it but we did keep busy and the sun was out, tanning our backs, 8400 meters.

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

When are we going to see the sun again, the rain ended but cool temps turned the smiles to frowns on the youth, I just keep busy.
No company today, so I altered my workout for something I like to do.
8400 meters.

Buoy: 400
Rev.Pad.: 400
Fulcrum: 200
Swim 3 x 1000 (17 min.)
Big Pad: 400
Swim: 3 x 1000 (17 min)
Fulcrum: 200
Pad: 400
Tube: 400

Dream, Prepare, Succeed

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Keep It Moving

15 days left to work

Today, started with a muggy, steamy dark morning, I couldn't wait to get to the pool to cool off, but the pool in East Hartford was very different. Low, thick cloud cover, no chance of a suntan and heat lamp to warm our backs.

I had no problem, but kept a few LEHY swimmers who were having difficulty staying warm, going. New additions to the distance lane, Christopher Curtin and Joey Lacus, both helped me and I helped them get a good swim. Nora showed for a 2nd day, but Tory was absent, her lose, tomorrow will be longer and more boring.

Today: 8200 meters

Buoy: 800
Swim: 14 x 100 (1:40)
RevPad: 2 x 400
Swim: 13 x 100 (1:35/1:40)
BigPad: 4 x 200
Swim: 12 x 100 ( 2 on 1:35/ 1 on 1:40)
Pad: 2 x 400
Swim: 11 x 100 (2 on 1:40/ 1 on 1: 1:35) (alone)

Top it off with a cold shower = good English Channel training.


2015 ... Swimming for Homes for the Brave

After spending the past 20 years paddling from Dover to France, it is time to venture into new waters, while helping some special people.
Soon, I will be traveling with my A-team to Scotland to swim the length of the famous Loch Ness.
As always, I try to help a Foundation raise funds and awareness and I thank you for interest and support.
I am deeply troubled with the thought of homeless individuals, especially in our US Veteran population.

That is why I am teaming up with our Connecticut-based “Homes for the Brave”. Can you imagine not having a place to call home?

Here is more information about Homes for the Brave! -Facebook pages –

- Annual Appeal with more information about our financials and programs-

-Check donations can be mailed to the following address:
Homes for the Brave
655 Park Avenue
Bridgeport, CT 06604

- Donations can be made online as well:

Please write “Loch Ness Swim/Marcy” to track your donation.

I will always be dedicating my swimming to all those battling cancer and in the memory of 4 special people in my life. Cancer first hit my family when I was young. My grand-aunt Eleanor Kersavage, passed away with uterine cancer and my Auntie Bea Halchak battled with brain cancer.

On January 1, 2002, our LEHY family lost Nikki Giampolo to bone cancer, just turning 16 years old. Her spirit still lives on in our East Hartford swim team.

In July of 2009, my brother-in-law, Gregory Allen Urban, who passed away, after a valient battle with lung cancer. I can see him now, talking about cars and projects around the house, music and his family.

I know Aunties, Eleanor and Bea, Nikki, Greg and all the angels will help me CUT through all this water this summer.

The St. Vincent's Medical Center Foundation, based in Bridgeport, CT provides financial support for the needs that Health insurance companies don't cover, in addition to providing affordable cancer screening, wigs, medication and other things to make life easier for those suffering with cancer and their families.

Please make a donation, and thank you.

Online donations can be made at:

or you can send a check through the post to:

Swim Across the Sound
St. Vincent's Medical Center Foundation
2800 Main Street
Bridgeport, CT 06606

Thank you so very much, peace and good health to all.