The Granite Mon

The Granite Mon, formerly known as the Long Island Challenge, possibly out to be named the Granite Wo-Mon, is a thing.

It is a thing that always seems to involve a long swim in Blue Hill bay, and often (sometimes?) includes a bike ride from Blue Hill to Millinocket and a climb up Katahdin.

It has been going on since 1995. It was begun when Justin Pollard and Ben Walker decided to swim from Long Island to the mouth of Blue Hill harbor. To the best of my knowledge, there was no preparation whatsoever. They survived.

The next year, Andy Wanning decided to do it, too, and I went along for the ride. The next year, a bunch of people did it, and it’s been happening on a pretty-much annual basis every year.

In 2001, Justin added the bike ride and the climb up Katahdin. It’s quite something.

The best source of information about the Granite Mon is probably the yearly posts that document it, in a somewhat haphazard way.

The Swim

Blue Hill Bay is a nice place to swim. Well, sorta. We get up early and boat over and stand on the rocks and seaweed and feeling cold, and then we jump in because there’s no real way out of it at that point. Traditionally, we haven’t worn wet suits, relying instead on Crisco’s finest.

In more recent years, wet suits have been more common; in 2010, all but one had a wet suit, and in 2011, everyone did.

In even more recent years, wet suits have become less important, due to global warming; in 2018, two people swam without wet suits, and the water was measured at 68 degrees fahrenheit before the swim. In 2019, on the other hand, it was very, very cold.

Here’s the route, more or less:

Little Chart

Little Chart

The water is cold but not that cold; it usually hovers around 19 degrees celsius, but it can vary quite a bit based on recent weather; a good solid overnight offshore wind can bring up some really cold stuff.

Also, we make the most of tidal current. We swim at full flood, and there might be as much as two knots of flow. Which, when your swim is two nautical miles, means that as long as you can keep pulling for an hour or two, you’ll probably get there.

History / Yearly Posts

There’s a post for every year.

All Swimmers Ever

I think I’m biased toward the swimmers because I’ve swum more than doing anything else, and because the swimmers are easier to count (using the post-swim picture.) Also, this list is almost certainly incomplete, not least because I have absolutely no information whatsoever about 1999 and 2000. Any information appreciated!

(updated for 2020:)

  • Justin Pollard (x18, first year 1995)
  • John Clements (x16, first year 1996)
  • Andy Wanning (x13, first year 1996)
  • Ben Walker (x10, first year 1995)
  • Mary Clews (x10, first year 2011)
  • Mark Read (x10, first year 1997)
  • Charlotte Clews (x8, first year 2010)
  • Tricia Sawyer (x6, first year 2014)
  • Oliver Grantham (x5, first year 2002)
  • Amanda Herman (x5, first year 2015)
  • Moira McMahon (x4, first year 2011)
  • Ted Heyd (x4, first year 2003)
  • Chris Guinness (x4, first year 2013)
  • Sean Guinness (x3, first year 2013)
  • Lane Murnik (x3, first year 2017)
  • Alice Clements (x3, first year 2013)
  • Pat Starkey (x3, first year 2012)
  • Ann Neuhauser (x2, first year 1997)
  • George Pendle (x2, first year 2019)
  • Jerome Lawther (x2, first year 2012)
  • Jenney Wilder (x2, first year 2018)
  • Louise Bourne (x1, first year 2011)
  • Byron ?? (x1, first year 1998)
  • Bill Hinckley (?) (x1, first year 2004)
  • Jerry Millay (x1, first year 2007)
  • Erin Taylor (x1, first year 2009)
  • ?? (x1, first year 1997)
  • Kim Parrot (x1, first year 2011)
  • Heather Dawn Jones (x1, first year 2019)
  • Wing Taylor (x1, first year 2003)
  • Juan ?? (x1, first year 2001)
  • Dan Walker (x1, first year 2002)
  • Bahia Yackzan (x1, first year 2011)
  • Samantha Lee (x1, first year 2014)
  • Molly ?? (x1, first year 2019)
  • Matt Stallard (x1, first year 2013)

Swimmers by Year

Here’s the list of swimmers by year. If you’re missing, let me know!

2020:

  • Mary Clews
  • Mark Read
  • Tricia Sawyer
  • George Pendle
  • John Clements

2019:

  • Mary Clews
  • Amanda Herman
  • Lane Murnik
  • Moira McMahon
  • George Pendle (1st time)
  • Mark Read
  • Tricia Sawyer
  • Jenny Wilder
  • Heather Dawn Jones
  • Molly ??

2018:

  • John Clements
  • Jenney Wilder (1st time)
  • Amanda Herman
  • Ted Heyd
  • Mary Clews
  • Tricia Sawyer
  • Justin Pollard
  • Lane Murnik
  • Charlotte Clews
  • Chris Guinness
  • Sean Guinness

2017:

  • John Clements
  • Mary Clews
  • Chris Guinness
  • Amanda Herman
  • Lane Murnik (1st time)
  • Tricia Sawyer
  • Pat Starkey

2016:

  • Alice Clements
  • John Clements
  • Mary Clews
  • Amanda Herman
  • Charlotte Clews

2015:

  • John Clements
  • Charlotte Clews
  • Mary Clews
  • Chris Guinness
  • Sean Guinness
  • Amanda Herman (1st time)
  • Tricia Sawyer
  • Pat Starkey

2014:

  • Alice Clements
  • Charlotte Clews
  • Tricia Sawyer (1st time)
  • Jerome Lawther
  • Moira Mahon
  • John Clements
  • Samantha Lee (1st time)
  • Mary Clews

2013:

  • Chris Guinness
  • Sean Guinness
  • Charlotte Clews
  • John Clements
  • Mary Clews
  • Ted Heyd
  • Alice Clements
  • Oliver Grantham
  • Justin Pollard
  • Matt Stallard (1st time)

2012:

  • Charlotte Clews
  • Jerome Lawther (1st time)
  • Justin Pollard
  • John Clements
  • Mary Clews
  • Pat Starkey (1st time)
  • Moira Mahon

2011:

  • Charlotte Clews
  • Bahia Yackzan (1st time)
  • Louise Bourne (1st time)
  • Kim Parrot (1st time)
  • Mary Clews (1st time)
  • Moira Mahon (1st time)

2010:

  • John Clements
  • Charlotte Clews (1st time)
  • Justin Pollard
  • Andy Wanning

2009:

  • Erin Taylor (1st time)

2008:

  • Mark Read
  • Ben Walker
  • John Clements
  • Andy Wanning
  • Justin Pollard

2007:

  • Mark Read
  • Andy Wanning
  • Oliver Grantham
  • Justin Pollard
  • Ben Walker
  • Jerry Millay (1st time)

2006:

  • Andy Wanning
  • Mark Read
  • Ben Walker
  • Justin Pollard

2005:

  • Oliver Grantham
  • Andy Wanning
  • Ben Walker
  • Justin Pollard

2004:

  • Bill Hinckley ? (1st time)
  • Ben Walker
  • Ted Heyd
  • Oliver Grantham
  • Justin Pollard

2003:

  • Justin Pollard
  • Ben Walker
  • Andy Wanning
  • John Clements
  • Wing Taylor (1st time)
  • Ted Heyd (1st time)

2002:

  • Justin Pollard
  • Andy Wanning
  • Oliver Grantham (1st time)
  • John Clements
  • Ben Walker
  • Dan Walker (1st time)

2001:

  • Ben Walker
  • Andy Wanning
  • Juan ?? (1st time)
  • Justin Pollard
  • John Clements
  • Mark Read

2000:

  • Justin Pollard
  • Mark Read
  • Andy Wanning

1999:

  • Justin Pollard
  • Mark Read
  • Andy Wanning

1998:

  • Ben Walker
  • Andy Wanning
  • Justin Pollard
  • Mark Read
  • Byron ?? (1st time)
  • Ann Neuhauser
  • Justin Pollard
  • John Clements

1997:

  • Andy Wanning
  • Mark Read (1st time)
  • Justin Pollard
  • ??
  • John Clements
  • Ann Neuhauser (1st time)

1996:

  • Andy Wanning (1st time)
  • John Clements (1st time)

1995:

  • Justin Pollard (1st time)
  • Ben Walker (1st time)