Sunday, July 29, 2012

SAS... yesterday

Thanks for the support yesterday,

Unfortunately the weather and wind direction made the sea unsettled and the course was unsafe for the Armada of over 75 swimmers and Boats.

Safety First, especially in the water.

We swam for a couple of hours in the harbor, working on building that immunity :)

... but the BEST thing was we raised 100's of Thousands of dollars for people battling cancer.

I'll be posting some pics on my blog and here shortly,

Thanks again,
Enjoy the Olympics
Dream, Prepare, Succeed

Friday, July 27, 2012

Swim Across the Sound is tomorrow

I am looking forward to tomorrow’s Swim Across the Sound.
It’s been a week since I arrived home, and it seems I have not stopped. Between getting back to the work at the office, some light swim practices, a golf night, catching up with friends, a massage to work on my sore wrists, and a final trip to my Chiropractor this morning, I think I’m ready for the 17 miles across the Long Island Sound.

You can track the progress of tomorrow’s race, through logging into the following link.
Web Address:

Select “SWIM Across the Sound” from the event list
Click on the solo swimmer’s name or the relay team name you are looking for.
If you’re looking for me, click on Marcy MacDonald
Solo swimmers start from Port Jefferson, LI at 8:10 am.

We conclude at Captain’s Cove in Bridgeport CT, you are welcome to see the finish and enjoy the festivities. Swimmers should be arriving at approximately 2:45pm.
A GREAT swim for a GREAT cause.

Talk to you after the swim.
Dream, Prepare, Succeed

Monday, July 23, 2012

SAS Video... 5 days until swim

5 days until the Swim Across the Sound.

Click on the below link to watch a short video showing some the GREAT work St. Vincent's Medical Center Foundation, a special place that helps people battling cancer.

This will be 10 years since my 1st solo crossing for SAS.

Thank you to our race director, Liz Fry, and administrators of the race, the pilots and crew, the sponsors and all the volunteers who make this swim a fun and SAFE event.

Good Luck to all the swimmers, solo and relays, have a BLAST.

Visit my page on the SAS website, if you'd like to contribute.

I will have further updates to follow us on Saturday.

Dream, Prepare, Succeed.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Early Morning at the Serp

It was an early morning, very rough getting out of my comfy bed, but so worth it.

The community spirit at the Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park, downtown London was infectious. I met so many nice people who love the water, all levels of experience and I can't believe they go in the water for a 5 minute dip, then off to work.

I thought I would never enter this water on my own will, but peer pressure can do things the ego, so I made the plunge, reminded me of swimming in the weedy area at Coventry Lake.
Fun ride to get to the Serp and home.

New Friends connected through water.
Thank you Nick.


Adventuring through London with my swimming friend, Nick Adams.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Swim: Blown out for now

I'll make this short, I will not be attempting a crossing at this time, due to the weather.

The JetStream just can not push the cool, unsettled northern pattern up and out of here,

So I will be coming home on Thursday and getting back to work. First off, coaching at Regional Championships, maybe some golf and the SwimAcrossTheSound in 10 days.

I had a talk with my pilot, Mike Oram, and he will keep me posted on any possible better weather that MAY creep over here, but that of course remains to be seen, with my office schedule.

The Channel is not going away any time soon.

Could I have swam yesterdy, maybe.
If I did, would I have made it to France, highly probable.
Could I have been injured: Extreme YES

I do believe if I had swam yesterday, I would have made it, but I think I would have left the day hating, not admiring the English Channel as I do.

Thank you Mike, for keeping me on land and saving my heart for the channel.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

...and the rain came down, down, down....

I woke early this morning, earlier than I wished, must have had lots on my mind. I'm trying not to worry about the weather, but I suppose subconsciously it is playing a major game inside my head.

After breakfast, I decided to call Mike Oram after viewing his post on the channel group. There was going to a small break in the wind, but not enough to settle the seas. The report is as follows.

We decided it was not worth the risk with such a small window. Unfortunately as the weather is not called to improve. I have one more call with Mike to make sure about Wednesday, but chances are slim to none.

It's OK with me, the water and air are very cold and I really do not want to be sick all summer, I still have the SwimAcrosstheSound in 2 week and a good 10K in Long Beach CA in Sept. I'm always welcome over here and if the weather clears I still may be back.

I still did a quick hour with John Collingwood, cold hands from the wind chill, all else fine. Dave, the harbor seal, visited another swimmer, he wasn't interested in me, bummer.

... But in the meantime, Amanda and I (and all the swimmers and helpers at the beach) got caught in an amazing Thunder Storm. Flash Flooding was a common find. Amanda and I took refuge at Blakes, only to witness the basement and garden flooding, before Amanda finished her shopping, I'm pretty much done, but have one more go at it in London later this week, assuming I won't be in the channel.

I actually am QUITE ready to return to a HOT CT summer, I feel like I'm trapped in a cool Autumn fortnight with occasional breaks in sun.

Until tomorrow.

At the moment (0900 bst) the Sandettie light ship is showing South Westerly @ 22 knots and a 1.6 ft wave height of 6 secs duration.
It's been blowing at 20+ knots for most of the night and wave heights have reached 3 foot plus (1 metre) when it was wind against tide. 
The water temp is 59.2°F - (15.1°C). that's a slight drop from earlier this week.
Air temperature is a little less at 58.1°F - (14.5°C).
The wind and tide are together at the moment this will change to wind against tide at around 1245 / 1300.
See below for the Met office forecast --
"Coast and sea" for the shipping & inshore waters
Dover - Langdon Bay for the land forecast.
Shipping Forecast - Issued: 0405 UTC Sat 14 Jul
Wind - Southwesterly 5 to 7 veering northwesterly 4 or 5, then backing westerly 3 or 4 later.
Sea State - Moderate occasionally rough, becoming slight or moderate.
Weather - Rain or thundery showers.
Visibility - Good, occasionally poor.
North Foreland to Selsey Bill - inshore waters forecast
Strong winds are forecast
For coastal areas up to 12 miles offshore from 0600 UTC Sat 14 Jul until 0600 UTC Sun 15 Jul 24 hour forecast:
Wind - Southwesterly 4 or 5, occasionally 6 at first in east, veering northwesterly 3 or 4, then backing westerly later.
Sea State - Moderate becoming slight.
Weather - Rain or thundery showers, becoming fair later.
Visibility - Moderate or good.
Outlook for the following 24 hours: 0600 Sun 15 Jul to 0600 Mon 16th Jul
 Wind - Westerly 3 or 4 backing southwesterly 4 or 5, occasionally 6 in east.
Sea State - Slight becoming moderate.
Weather - Showers.
Visibility - Good
Langdon Bay predictions --
25 mph gusts forecast for 1300 through to 1900 - then a lull from 1900 until midday Sunday. From 1300 Sunday the wind is forecast to build with the wind veering (going clockwise) at 26 mph through to midnight.
Monday & Tuesday is showing predicted gusts of up to 40 mph (gales again)
Looking at the pressure chart it looks like late Thursday or Friday before anything with settle enough for a swim.
The weather is changing quickly with the UK in a jet stream situation. Best we can do is hope the weather forecasters have got it wrong and things will change for the better.
Michael O

Friday, July 13, 2012

Castle day with more wind

...are you tired of this forecast, well so am I. Guess what it calls for, WIND. I suppose Aeolus did not hear my plea, I wonder why he is so angry.

I was pretty tired and only did a short 45 minute (it that) swim in the harbor. I'm actually getting quite used to the temperatures.

Amanda and I went to the Dover Castle, I love visiting all the spectacular ancient history this area has to teach us. The Wartime Tunnels have changed but for the better,keeping up with new technologies to teach the horrors and triumphs WWII faced. Amanda was impressed.

The theme this year is the wind, I am in awe with the force that is present this year, the waves and dance the beautiful wild flowers in Dover are doing, I will share with you.

We have to mention the Castle proper that King Henry II had built to entertain European pilgrims on their way to Thomas Becket's shrine in Canterbury.

Back to the water, I spoke Mike Oram and there may be a short low in wind, but not enough to settle the sea. When the weather forecasts call for RoUgH seas, I believe him.
My final day for a possible crossing is Wednesday, we may have an opening, but I will have a mad rush afterward to Heathrow on the 4:30 high speed train and a Tube ride to Terminal 4, so I'm working out some plans now.

In the meantime, Amanda and I are going to experience more history tomorrow, but I will fill you in then.

Dream, Prepare, Succeed

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Please Aeolus. keeper of the Wind

I decided I really needed to get into the pool. The Leisure Center had some good time open for lap swimming and all I had to contend with, was a couple of men (sorry guys) who thought they should be in the fast lane. It did give me some time to work on my short sprinting to the wall to pass them, no one was hurt except maybe some egos.

Key: S: swim
RP: Rev. Pad Hans) extension and feel>
P: Reg. Pad. Hans power>
(when using paddles, 25 drill/100 free)

Here's a good workout, I always wanted to do.

S: W/U 1000 (put in some drill and back)
RP: 9 x 100 (1:35)
P : 800
S: 7 x 100 (1:35)
RP: 600
P: 5 x 100 (1:35)
S: 400
RP: 3 x 100
P: 200
RP: 100 (Catch up)                                         
S: 20 x 50 (4 on :50, #5 (1:00)drill/back)
now go back up
P: 100 (catch up)
RP: 200
P: 3 x 100
S: 400
RP: 5 x 100
P: 600
S: 7 x 100
RP: 800
P: 9 X 100
S: 1000 C/D = 12,000 SCM.
I finished the day in the water after meeting Samantha Jones for a 50 minute swim in the harbor at 3pm.
I think I’m ready, if only the wind would calm.

Aeolus, aren’t you tired, calm yourself for a while, PLEASE.
Until tomorrow.
Dream, Prepare, Succeed

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Day 5 and still waiting

... but it's really only the 2nd day of the Neap tide, we still have 6 days to wish for calmer winds..
In the meantime, I, and all the swimmers continue to train in the harbor and acclimate to cooler than usual temps. I'm feeling the wind chill factor on my hands.

I always cherish the new Friendships I make over here, and with all this free time, I managed to meet some wonderful swimmers and crew, such a wonderful sport. I think I have new project for the future, but to soon to elaborate.

This is a quick video (3 minutes) of what's happening here in Dover. I didn't put any music on it because of copywrite stuff and it's an easier download, so put your favorite on, I suggest 'Breezin' 2 dimension just doesn't do it right but it's all we have..

Mike Oram is keeping us all posted with the weather forecast, the following is his message today:
For all you frustrated swimmers (and pilots) -- it does not look good weather wise at the moment. 
Tomorrow and Thursday we have a strong winds warning and a forecast for West or South West force 5 to 7.
Looking at the pressure chart, inshore waters forecast - and the land forecast for Dover,Langdon Bay, shows Friday - Saturday getting worst, with gusts of 30+ knots and probably gales. Sunday does not look much better.
It looks like there is an Azores High trying to build in for next week - but - there is also another low pressure system moving across the Atlantic. It's to early to say which weather pattern will win.
Today we have had 28 knots of wind a metre seas on the Sandette with a short (5 sec) wave pattern.
Water Temperature is 59.5F (15.3°C)

 Dream, Prepare, Succeed

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Another blustery day.

We're trying to make the best of the wait.
An hour in the harbor this morning, before heading to a Organ concert in town.
Amanda likes to shop, she's pretty funny about it.

Here's a quick clip of 'why' no one is attempting to cross the channel today, and it's supposed to worse tomorrow.

Now we're looking at a late weekend swim swim.

I purchased a 10 swim membership at the Dover Leisure Center, to get some work in the pool also. The only problem is, I am spoiled with my low crowd at Mansfield Community Center. I shouldn't say uncrowded, MCC just opens a few more lanes for lap swimming. One lane for 5 different speeds is a bit frustrating, but I got through a quick 500/ 10 x 100/ 500 cool down.
Many open water swimmers hate pool swimming, but this is where I started and I feel good when I look at the clock, still right on my time.

I miss you all back home and look forward to next week, hopefully with good news.

Dream, Prepare, Succeed

Monday, July 9, 2012

Crew has arrived

Crew: Samantha Jones and Amanda Lawrence

It was so good to see Amanda Lawrence arrive on the high speed train this morning. I was able to play tour guide for my favorite swimming little town. The wind was up, and she got a good dose of the unexpected  weather we experience over the channel.
One minute it's sunny and warm, the next is cloudy, looking as if the skies are going to open and deluge us with rain.
It stayed dry, cool and windy.

The poppies are still blooming, makes me very happy. 

We will not be swimming tomorrow except some loosen up in the harbor.
I will call my pilot, Mike Oram for update tomorrow morning.

Be patient, we have to be, in the meantime, enjoying the local brews (1/2 pints this year) and as you can see stowing up on the fuel especially at breakfast at the Victoria.

Today was a quick afternoon dip, photo shoot for Gumby and Pokey, they enjoyed the water.

Be in touch.
Dream, Prepare, Succeed

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Weather channels from Mike Oram

Day 2 in Dover, I think we're going to have cross our fingers for the weather gods to cooperate later this week.

Old shot (2001) but we haven't changed much, ha!
Thanks to my experienced pilot, Mike Oram, he has shared some of the weather sites he checks before bringing out swimmers. I will share them with you, so you can experience some of the craziness we go through. I try not to look too much and know too much about swimming the channel, except "I do"... best to trust in your crew, get in the water, put your head down and swim to France, usually works for me.


The weather sites used by the pilots are --  enter Dover Harbor

Bit of everything from this site. It's the one on which most of the other sites are based. You can type in Dover (Langdon heights) for the land weather. - Or go to coast & sea and look at the inshore waters forecast for North Foreland to Selsey Bill . There is also a 12 hour predicted Atlantic pressure chart for the next 4 days which will show you the weather patterns that are affecting the UK. The tighter the iso-bar lines are together the stronger the winds. There is an explanation of the forecast and how it works on this site too. enter Dover, Kent

Gives you the shipping forecast - inshore waters forecast - coastal weather forecast (up to 12 miles out to sea) - the synopsis charts for both the British isles and the Atlantic (use the Atlantic chart for the best view) - a 5 day prediction of local weather (not very often right). This site also explains weather and has a lot of interesting reading in its supplementary articles.
Best sight for a basis, simple explanation and prediction of what they think will happen.

This is a very interesting site for weather around the UK and in Europe. It is linked to the data buoys like the one above and gives you a five day prediction. This site is good to watch if you want to see and understand how the "predictions" vary from the "actual" wind. Will help you realize that the Channel is very unpredictable and runs on a pattern of its own. Not usually 5that accurate for the Channel but aimed at windsurfers etc. in coastal waters. no need to put any location, all set

This is another site that predicts further into the future with up to 10 days forecast, unfortunately not that accurate, but worth looking at if you want to be optimistic.

Which one do you want to believe, or are they all "Pie in the Sky"
At the moment the British weather pattern for the South East and the Channel shows us in the "jet-stream" of low pressure depressions. We are sitting on the "polar front which has moved about 150 miles South and is giving us all these problems.

BTW: enjoying a glass of red while watching Murray vs. Federer at Wimbledon

... and yes, the water is cold.

Dream, Prepare, Succeed

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Awesome weekend,

Beautiful weather, sunshine and comfy water temperatures (68 degrees),
couldn't ask for anything better.

We are blessed to have Hammonasset State Park in our backyard to train, 4+ hours Saturday and Sunday next to Liz.
Thanks for the company.

Marty McMahon brought his niece, Rachel down today, I hope she enjoyed her swim and we see her real soon again, the next generation.

Happy 4th to you all.

See you a few weeks,
Dream, Prepare, Succeed

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.