Posts tagged granitemon

Granite Wo-Mon 2017

:: granitemon

Whoops! The day is now past. The annual Granite Wo-Mon swim took place on August 6th.

Tricia Sawyer got the ball rolling this year, as she has in the past two or three, by asking when the swim was going to be. Favorable tides suggested either mid-July or early August, if I recall correctly, and we settled on the 6th.

We met on the dock at 6:30, and headed out to Long Island. I think we began the swim at around 7:15.

It was an absolutely gorgeous day, and the water was drop-dead gorgeous. That is, it’s so warm that it’s killing lots of marine life. Nice for swimmers, maybe not so nice for everyone else. I swam without a wet suit for the second year running, and I have to say; it wasn’t even cold. Even jumping into the ocean at 7:15 in the morning. Not cold. I’m guessing it was above 20 celsius. Very warm.

Also, there was a good breeze at 7 AM, and it picked up steadily. The chop grew accordingly, and it took me a full 2 hours to finish, compared to 1:38 and 1:15 (!) in 2016 and 2015 respectively. Even discounting the ongoing decrepitude of advancing age (and a near-total lack of preparation), I’d say it was VERY CHOPPY.

PICTURES GO HERE…NEED PICTURES.

  • John Clements
  • Mary Clews
  • Chris Guinness
  • Amanda Herman
  • Lane Murnik
  • Tricia Sawyer
  • Pat Starkey

Kudos to first-time swimmer Lane Murnik! Hope to see you many more times. Hopefully it’ll be a bit smoother next year.

Amazing Awesome Chase boats and welcoming committee:

  • Sara Ardrey
  • Guy Ardrey
  • Henry Becton
  • Jeannie Becton
  • Alice Clements
  • Anika Clements
  • Xavier Clements
  • Henry Clews
  • Hal Clews
  • Martha Faye (sp?)
  • Sean Guinness
  • Brennan Starkey
  • Eliza Wilmerding
  • Oliver (Wilmerding-Herman?)
  • His sister?
  • (?) Fellow with Lane Murnik aagh sorry I don’t know your name.

Granite Wo-Mon 2016

:: granitemon

Hey, today was the day! The day of the annual swim from Long Island to the mouth of Blue Hill Harbor, the current incarnation of the Granite Wo-Mon Challenge.

Before the swim:

pre-swim

pre-swim

Thanks to Chris Guinness for this excellent shot.

After the swim:

post-swim

post-swim

Charlotte Clews posted this picture, although she’s in the picture so I suspect she didn’t hit the button. Was this Henry?

Low tide was at 8:47 AM today, so by rights we should have started the swim at about 11:00 AM, but no one wanted to wait quite that long. We gathered at the KYC at 9:00 (or 9:10… or 9:15) and headed out to Long Island. I think we managed to start swimming at about 10:00.

Let me just say: choppy. Not end-of-the-world choppy but still chopping pretty good. Which is to say: bad. I think we all swallowed quite a bit of seawater.

My strava log suggests that the swim took about 1:38, which is quite a bit more than last year.

A special thanks this year to Tricia Sawyer, who pretty much organized the event, and didn’t get to swim. (N.B.: “Organized” = “sent an email to the rest of the slackers”.) It wouldn’t have happened without you!

For those of you completely confused: Granite Wo-Mon Summary Page

So! The swimmers! (In alphabetical order. I love it because Clementses go first. Unless Sara starts swimming.)

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

Amazing chase boat crew and welcoming committee:

  • Sara Ardrey
  • Henry Becton
  • Jeannie Becton
  • Anika Clements
  • Kitty Clements
  • Tom Clements
  • Henry Clews
  • Hal Clews
  • Chris Guinness
  • Sean Guinness
  • Stephen Labrum
  • Jerome Lawther
  • Jenney Wilder
  • Eliza Wilmerding
  • Renee (last name ?)
  • Others?

Finally, I note with mild dismay the absence of any first-time swimmers. Maybe Lucas will swim next year?

Granite Mon 2015

:: granitemon

Today was a spectacular beautiful Maine morning on Blue Hill bay. Especially at 7:00 AM. How do I know this? Today was the 21st running of the long island swim. Or the Granite (Wo)Mon. Or whatever you want to call it. This means that it was also the TWENTIETH ANNIVERSARY of the silly idea. Only five more years until the quarter-century….

This year’s edition was organized by organizer extraordinaire Mary Clews, and it went off without a hitch. The water was extremely warm (and yes, this is not good for the fauna), and the water was pretty much glassy smooth. There were enough chase boats, and everyone finished in a reasonable time. Yay!

Special mention this year is made of Amanda Herman, who is a first time swimmer and I have no idea how fast she was because she was way way ahead of me the whole time. Great Job!

Now, I just need some pictures!

Swimmers:

  • John Clements
  • Charlotte Clews Lawther
  • Mary Clews
  • Chris Guinness
  • Sean Guinness
  • Amanda Herman
  • Tricia Sawyer
  • Pat Starkey

Crew:

  • Henry Clews
  • Jerome Lawther
  • Jenney Wilder
  • Eliza Wilmerding
  • Sara Ardrey
  • Hal Clews
  • Jeff Rushton
  • Ann Luskey
  • Georgia Clews
  • Lucy Clews
  • Xavier Clements
  • Others I need to remember!

End-of-swim Hosts (tea and towels, many thanks!):

  • Henry Becton
  • Jeannie Becton
  • Guy Ardrey

Granite Mon 2014

:: granitemon

Well, it’s 10:47 in the morning, and everyone’s still alive.

This is only news because today was the twentieth running of the long island challenge granite mon thing, and everyone made it safe and sound.

As usual, we got up early; we met at the yacht club at 6:00 AM, which (I see) is actually an hour later than last year. In fact, we might well have started an hour earlier, as we would have had a wee bit more tidal assist and a wee bit less chop.

Be that as it may, it was an absolutely gorgeous morning, and the water was warm. Actually, if you must know, it was way too warm. Not for the swimmers, but rather for the aquatic life. I’ve been doing this swim for about twenty years, now, and the water just keeps getting warmer and warmer. I think it was 65 degrees, but apparently a few days ago Henry Becton recorded a temperature of 75 degrees. This is why all of our aquatic life is dying. Nice for human swimmers, though….

I think this might be a good time to give a shout-out to MERI, which has been monitoring the blue hill watershed since 2004, among many other projects. They report that the ocean temperature has risen by an average of 1.56 degrees celsius, which is … a lot.

So, the death of the planet notwithstanding, we had a really nice swim.

Here we are before the swim (apologies to Tricia, who is entirely hidden here):

pre-swim

pre-swim

Here we are after the swim:

post-swim

post-swim

From left to right:

  • Alice Clements
  • Henry Becton (didn’t swim, but he looks great in this picture)
  • Charlotte Clews Lawther
  • Tricia Sawyer
  • Jerome Lawther
  • Moira McMahon
  • John Clements
  • Samantha Lee
  • Mary Clews

We would never have attempted this without the astonishing volunteers, including:

  • Sara Becton
  • Ethan Coit
  • Kitty Clements
  • Robin Clements
  • Tom Clements
  • Molly Cooper
  • Henry Clews
  • Amanda Herman
  • John Jeffrey
  • Deborah Miller-Little
  • Wing Taylor
  • Will Taylor

Following the swim, Charlotte and Jerome biked up to Millinocket, and the next day, climbed Katahdin. Guys, may I include your picture at the top?

Thanks to Wing and Alice for pictures. And finally, Alice Clements once again gets credit for organizing the event. Thanks!

Granite Mon 2013

:: granitemon

Granite Mon 2013 is in the books. Well, in some books. This was the 19th running of the … well, of the Long Island Challenge part of the Granite Mon. This year it was organized by Alice Clements, and enjoyed by many.

We arose at an absurdly early hour on August 17th, and met at the KYC at 5:00 AM. Miraculously, we had plenty of chase boats, despite a few late cancellations. We counted seven swimmers and eight chase boats, if I recall correctly, so we packed kayaks into the motorboats and headed over.

It was a really lovely morning:

starting out

starting out

Here we are after we finished:

all done

all done

From left to right, in this picture:

  • Chris Guinness
  • Sean Guinness
  • Charlotte Clews
  • John Clements
  • Mary Clews
  • Ted Heyd
  • Alice Clements
  • Oliver Grantham
  • Justin Pollard

  • Matt ??

Also swimming was Matt, whose last name I can’t remember and who is cut out of the picture. That’s really too bad, and if anyone can give me a picture, I’ll stick it in here.

Granite Mon 2012

:: granitemon

As I write this, it’s Monday, August 6th. Charlotte Clews is organizing this year, and it appears that there will be two events that include the swim; the Maine Mountain Challenge, and the Granite Mon. Yesterday was the first swim. Here’s the picture:

2012 Swimmers

2012 Swimmers

From left, the swimmers:

  • Charlotte Clews,
  • Jerome Lawther,
  • Justin Pollard,
  • John Clements,
  • Mary Clews,
  • first-time-swimmer Pat Starkey, and
  • Moira McMahon

The water was extremely warm: Global Warming will kill millions of people, but it made Sunday morning easier. I think it was at or above 70 degrees. High tide wasn’t until 2:00 PM, so we started quite late. We met at the KYC at 9:30, and I don’t think we started swimming until about 11:00. We all arrived at about the same time; I got in at an hour and 28 minutes, and I think we were all in before 1:38.

There may have been a ride to Cadillac and a hike up it, but I’ll have to wait until I hear more to write about that.

Granite Mon 2011

:: granitemon

In 2011, Charlotte Clews organized either the Maine Mountain challenge or the Granite Womon challenge or the Long Island challenge or whatever the heck we’re going to call it. It was a resounding success, as evidenced by this picture that Charlotte took:

Granite Woman Swimmers 2011

Granite Woman Swimmers 2011

The swimmers, from left to right, possibly out of order?:

  • Charlotte Clews
  • Bahia Yackzan
  • Louise Bourne
  • Kim Parrot
  • Mary Clews
  • Moira McMahon

Charlotte writes:

What an awesome morning! All six women (Kim Parrot, Mary Clews, Bahia Yackzan, Louise Bourne, Moira Mahon and me) swam from Long Island to Sculpin Point in less than 2 hrs! We rock. And so do our support crew - it took a last minute fuel-line switcharoo, a last-minute boat put-in in South Blue Hill, and a last-minute kayak paddler to pull it off but we did, and the longer we waited the calmer the water got - and ultimately the current seemed just right. Let’s remember that timing for next year. (By the way, if you weren’t there this year, this email is your recruitment email for next year).

I continued the challenge with a bike ride to the base of Cadillac Mountain’s North Ridge Trail - it was 38 miles on my odometer and I stopped for a snack at John Edwards, so it took me 2.5 hrs and I only got side-swiped once - on the last mile of the Park Loop Road …. Otherwise it was a pretty nice bike ride. The (barefoot) hike up Cadillac felt super easy after the long swim and ride. It’s 2.2 miles and only took an hour with Jerome talking the whole way.

There are a whole bunch of pictures in Andy’s flickr set for this year.

Granite Mon 2010

:: granitemon

As I write this, the 2010 Granite Mon is still in progress. This morning at 6:00 AM, a hardy crew of four swimmers and a nearly-as-hardy crew of chase-boaters gathered at the KYC dock, and on a spectacularly sunny and smooth day set out on one of the warmest swims on record. Andy—the only one without a wet suit—exited the water when he got too cold, but Charlotte, Justin, and John stuck really close together for a near-simultaneous arrival at the Becton’s dock.

Andy has a bunch of pictures in his flickr set of the swim. This is one of the whole crew, before the swim:

Pre-swim 2010

Pre-swim 2010

Participants:

  • John Clements
  • Charlotte Clews
  • Justin Pollard
  • Andy Wanning

Later, Andy wrote:

As for this year - successful! JP, Charlotte and I completed the 108.7 mile trek to Medway, Maine, arriving at 11:15pm. In a slight twist, we elected to do the last part along the route where Ben got lost all those years ago - a little longer, but flatter. Unfortunately, pretty bumpy, which was a quite literal pain in the ass in the dark, but still not bad. A big shout out to Charlotte’s mom Retta, who met us twice for food drop offs etc. during the ride, and Charlotte’s husband Jerome, who met us at the hotel with all our gear and supplied transportation from then on.

So this year was nigh-luxurious (though mitigated by the late bike arrival) in that one can now register online for a parking permit - so we just had to arrive in the parking lot by 7:30am to claim our space. So we got up at 5:30 rather than 3:45 or 4:00, and made our way to the Roaring Brook parking lot. Then we made a rather quick ascent & descent, since we had started later (8:00) and had to return by 5:00 so that Charlotte & Jerome could get back to their kids. We were definitely feeling the ol’ legs and knees (hell, I’m still feeling my thighs) after that bike ride, but all in all it wasn’t so bad and we conquered that darn mountain.

So…huge congrats to Charlotte for being the first Granite Maiden/Lady/Beef (Jamaican term) to do the whole thing. I almost did it too, but as you pointed out I had to bail halfway through the swim for cold / lack of a wetsuit. Oh well. And JP did the whole thing for the 3rd or 4th time (?)

Here’s a picture from his flickr set of the climb:

Climbers at top of Katahdin

Climbers at top of Katahdin

Granite Mon 2009

:: granitemon

John Clements swam early and short with Erin Taylor from Jim Point (on Long Island) across to High Head (on the South Blue Hill shore).

Wing took pictures. Here’s one of them:

Erin and John swimming

Erin and John swimming

About his Granite Mon experience, Andy writes:

Hurricane Billy was threatening to hit shore on the morning of August 29, but nevertheless Justin and Andy roused themselves and met chaseboater Steve Neuhauser at the KYC in the early morn. Unfortunately, Billy started making his presence known quite stridently as they arrived, silencing even JP’s indomitable will to swim, so they gave up and went back to bed. The end.

Andy and Justin, victorious

Andy and Justin, victorious

Granite Mon 2008

:: granitemon

I think this was the year of the gorgeous fogged-in tour of the harbor, wherein it was deemed far too dangerous to try to make it to Long Island, much less back again. The water was incredibly warm, though, so we settled for a swim out to the nun, then over to Lappahanink, then to one of the inner-harbor cans, then back to the KYC.

Participants:

  • Mark Read
  • Ben Walker
  • John Clements
  • Andy Wanning (Andy, can you confirm this?)
  • Justin, were you there?

Andy Writes:

For ’08, yes I was there, but I was just a chaseboater, along with Lena (Kulikova) and Mark’s friend Will Etundi. There was no other biking/climbing that time, ’cuz it was Matt’s wedding day. JP might have done that stuff later on in the year though.

Ed. Note: Andy’s notes and my notes don’t exactly line up. It’s probably me that’s wrong.