On Sunday, Rondi Davies and I will be swimming clockwise around Manhattan – or a Reverse Manhattan. Only two people have completed a Reverse Manhattan swim. My friend Kris Rutford was the first to complete a Reverse Manhattan in 1995. And, my friend Liz Fry was the second in 2009. Kris crewed for my 2x Catalina swim and Liz will be crewing for this swim. So, I’m hoping I have some good mojo from them and thank them for their advice.
Because of the tide/current, this swim is a little more tricky than a typical counterclockwise lap around Manhattan. We will start at the Staten Island Ferry Terminal around 6:30 a.m.. We will head north up the Hudson River and this leg should go relatively smoothly. We will then turn right into the Harlem River. We should be with the current for the first part of the Harlem River. But, around High Bridge, I will start swimming against the tide/current. Rondi is super speedy and she should make it deeper into the Harlem before the tide shifts. Because it is a big tide (which will help in the Hudson River and when we get to the East River) there will be very, very slow progress made in the Harlem. Hopefully, the tracker won’t show the slow-down occurring until after High Bridge – which will mean less time swimming against the current.
Once we reach Mill Rock, the current will be with us heading down the East River. However, for me, making it to the Battery in the East River before the tide shifts will depend on when I hit the current in the Harlem, how long it takes to break through to the East River, how speedy I am going up the Hudson, etc.. Hopefully, I will beat the final tide shift and make it back to the Staten Island Ferry before the tide turns – because you just can’t swim against the current in the East River.
I’m heading into the swim with the spirit of adventure. I’m hopeful that I will have recovered enough from my English Channel swim 20 days prior. Not necessarily ideal recovery time – but, I’m going to make the most of it. Thankfully, I will have two of my favorite kayakers – Pat Kerrigan and Terry Lopatosky. Perhaps the saddest part of this swim is that Matt Paulk will not be with me as he had a conflict. I expect he just might break the tracker from refreshing it so much. Liz Fry has big shoes to fill stepping in for Matt!