P2P Plymouth to Provincetown

rondirondi Member
edited August 2012 in Cheering Section
I'm excited to be supporting the upcoming Plymouth to Provincetown, MA, or P2P swim. Beginning in the early hours of Tuesday morning Greg O'Connor, Mo Siegel, Eileen Burke, Janet Harris, and David Barra will splash in Plymouth and attempt to swim the 20 miles across Cape Cod Bay. 

The swim was first done sometime in the 60s and has not been attempted since (as far as I know), so this definitely is a pioneering effort. The weather forecast looks good. Swimmers are expected to finish in about 12 hours. I hope to tweet updates at http://twitter.com/8_bridges


  • ChickenOSeaChickenOSea Charter Member
    Wow that's huge! I'm going to google map it now :) good luck all!
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    Rondi, will there be any GPS tracking available?
  • Hi Evan, working on a gps. Will let you know if we get one up and running.
  • My crew will be tweeting updates at https://twitter.com/BostonLightSwim
    We will be leaving from Whitehorse beach in Plymouth and shooting for the beach at Herrings Cove in P-town. Sart around 3:00am.
  • A little history of P2P:

    I have found that many people have attempted the swim from Plymouth to P-town or the reverse, but only Russell Chaffee of Sayre, PA has succeeded.
    Chaffee was known for his long river swims such as the Susquehanna River (250 miles). He would swim 30 or so miles during day light and get out at night, much like the 8 Bridges.
    He swam from Plymouth because of the counter clockwise rotation of the current in Cape Cod bay.
    Chaffee made his swim on Wednesday August 14, 1968. He started from Manomet Beach in Plymouth at 4:00AM and finished at Herring Cove Beach just south of Race Point in Provincetown at 6:40PM, about 14 hour and 40 minutes. The distance is about 20 miles. The tide was going out when he got to P-town and he had to “work like mad” to finish. Chaffee was 41 at the time.

    The first reported attempt for a bay crossing before Chaffee was in 1915. On a bet (most marathon open-water swims back then involved a lot of boasting and money to back it up) Henry Sullivan of Lowell (1st American to cross the EC!) and Samuel Richards of S. Boston left Nantasket way up in Hull and swam for P-town. Charlie Toth of Boston (3rd man to swim the EC) jumped in at the last minute. Richards quit after 5 hours, then Toth after 10. After 14 hour, with 9 miles to go, Sullivan got out.

    There were several failed attempts in the 1950s to swim from P-town to Plymouth.
  • Sorry, no gps tracking... I was just activating the Spot tracker but was blocked as it is a product recall.
  • latest update is that they are more than 2/3 way to PTown- conditions have been terrific, water temps ranging from 63 at start to 67-68. Seems like they will arrive at PTown monument earlier than Greg expected- before 1:00 probably!
  • Thanks to Rondi (and gregOC) - following along, especially with the photos of glorious ocean, really improved my desk-bound day!
  • david_barradavid_barra NYCharter Member
    Results... not official:
    Greg O'Connor 10:22:13
    Eileen Burke 11:10
    Janet Harris and yours truly 11:45:35 (yes we were working on our syncro routine a bit)

    It came together amazingly well. All newby swim-pilots and night escort virgins. Janet and I swam together with Rondi Davies as our entire swimmer crew... glad we have a bit of practice swimming together! Conditions were damn near perfect. We all took separate routes and landed at different spots at Herring Cove. We will be comparing notes sometime soon.

    A new MOWSA swim is born!

    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

  • edited August 2012
    Congrats to all!

    Just goes to show why the word "Barraesque" is an OWS adjective: http://openwaterpedia.com/index.php?title=Barraesque


    “Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess.” - Oscar Wilde

  • Great job! Whose idea was it to swim this and how long have you all been planning it?

    Mike G
  • I think we all came up with the idea independently. I have been slowly planning for it over the past 3 years and I know Eileen and Mo have been thinking about it for a very long time as well. I don't want to speak for Eileen, but the seed was probably planted for her while she was growing up on the Cape.
  • david_barradavid_barra NYCharter Member
    I think when facing a body of water, we all look for land on the other side and wonder... how far? how long? how cold? how difficult? could I? should I? will Clare let me? (OK.. the last one is less universal)
    It was no surprise that the group of us had all been thinking of swimming this stretch of water for some time; especially considering the distance, temperatures, and currents which put it on par with the EC and CC in a region that has been a great incubator of channel swimmers and aspirants.
    That we were able to connect our common goal here is directly the result of how closely knit the OW community is.

    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

  • JanetJanet NYCMember
    I think I was the only one among the swimmers who didn't play a part in dreaming up this adventure . . . but I had the good sense to recognize to a really cool opportunity when it came along! I was so glad to be a part of this adventure--it was an amazing swim. Props to my fellow swimmers for having the gumption and discipline to make their ow dreams come true.
    (I've written up the first part of my experience of the day, if anyone's interested: http://forums.usms.org/blog.php?b=24318)
  • jcmalickjcmalick Wilmington, DECharter Member
    Great initial write-up @Janet...can't wait to read part 2!
  • GarbageBargeGarbageBarge NY (Hudson Valley)Member
    Well done! So now having so many successful swimmers in one day, any insights on why so many EC swimmers failed this swim previously (from gregoc's P2P history)?
  • david_barradavid_barra NYCharter Member

    Well done! So now having so many successful swimmers in one day, any insights on why so many EC swimmers failed this swim previously (from gregoc's P2P history)?

    I don't know if there is sufficient data to come to a conclusion. Though we all tracked a bit differently across the bay, we did benefit from beautiful conditions. I'm not sure if this is a common occurrence or if perhaps we were lucky.

    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

  • david_barradavid_barra NYCharter Member

    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

  • LSjswimsLSjswims Member
    edited August 2012
    Janet - great, great write-up. Thanks so much for sharing your perceptions and your goals. I might borrow those in the future - they made a lot of sense. Congratulations to you and Dave and Eileen and Greg on an amazing swim.
  • JanetJanet NYCMember
    Thanks for the kind words! I've put up the third and last installment:
  • david_barradavid_barra NYCharter Member
    Bumping this up...
    Paul Rekoff will be splashing sometime tomorrow morning. There is a new MOWSA group on FB..... Go like it!

    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

  • NiekNiek Heiloo, NetherlandsMember
    edited August 2013

    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!

  • It looks like smooth swimming for Mo Siegel who starts his P2P attempt Saturday morning around 6:00am.
  • david_barradavid_barra NYCharter Member
    Trying to catch some zzz's.... But I'm parked between dualing bands at the Crabby Shack and East Bay Grille. Agent Orange is locked and loaded....

    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

  • Mo Siegel is about 6:30 into the P2P and about half way across.
  • Mo Siegel has 2 miles to go in his P2P crossing! Go Mo.
  • Mo is the 6th person ever to cross Cape Cod Bay. Unofficial time is 12:32:31. Congratulations to Mo Siegel.
  • Thanks Greg & gratitude to Dave Barra in Agent Orange, Eileen Burke for crewing, Ted Thomas for kayak support & Elaine Howley for observing & support. Great swim - challenging & highly recommend it to swimmers looking for an East Coast challenge
  • emkhowleyemkhowley Boston, MAMember
    Amazing swim Mo. It was an honor and a pleasure to be a part of it. Well done!

    Stop me if you've heard this one... A grasshopper walks into a bar...

  • Yes, thanks! Great swim and I'm looking forward to supporting future P2P Swims --- should become an exciting challemge for OWS swimmers
  • The Massachusetts Open-Water Swimming Association (MOWSA) web site is up and currently being constructed. Information for the 19-mile Cape Cod Bay crossing (P2P) is on the site, including the escort pilot contact, rules and application.
    The Cape Cod Bay crossing is an USA Atlantic Ocean swim modeled after channel swims such as Catalina or the EC. Just scroll up for some recent history of the swim.

  • NiekNiek Heiloo, NetherlandsMember
    edited October 2013
    @gregoc Nice looking website but I miss your swimming rules.

    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!

  • @Niek, the rules for the Cape Cod Bay crossing are a link at the bottom of the web page along with the application or in the drop down menu under Cape Cod Bay Crossing (P2P)
    ->Forms->Rules. Kind of burried. We'll move it up the menu so it is more obvious. Thanks.

  • NiekNiek Heiloo, NetherlandsMember
    edited October 2013
    That would be nice.
    You could put it under: Learn about MOWSA

    It's better to prevent people from coming in a stinger-suit and duck-tape. :)

    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!

  • IronMikeIronMike Bishkek, KyrgyzstanCharter Member
    Just read a small sidebar on Mo's swim in the latest issue of H2Open magazine (p18). Incredible. Plus, I'd never heard it was called the "American Channel."
  • gregocgregoc Member
    edited April 2014
    Just a reminder, all MOWSA sanction applications need to be submitted by Thursday, May 1st to take advantage of the lower fee.

    We have several in already for the 20-mile Cape Cod Bay crossing..
  • Congratulations to Nate Nathaniel Dean, Kate Owen, Helen Lin and Jonathan Gladstone! They are the 4 members of the record setting relay on Friday, August 1, 2014. The first relay crossing of the 20-mile Cape Cod Bay with a blistering time of 8:43:46. The swim was sanctioned and observed by Mass Open-Water Swimming Assoc (MOWSA).

  • emkhowleyemkhowley Boston, MAMember
    Great job, guys! Sounds like you had a blast out there! Does this mean that @kotjmf is going to lose the 'fro now?

    Stop me if you've heard this one... A grasshopper walks into a bar...

  • Ha ha. I don't think so @emkhowley. At this point, I might as well let it grow til I have to take a new drivers license picture in four months. Then maybe I'll shave it off...
  • Super fun to be part of my first relay! Keep the hair, Jonathan...
  • @courtneypaulk is crossing Cape Cod Bay right now. Start was around 5:30am. Follow her live at her SPOT link.
  • @courtneypaulk is about 6 hours into her swim and over half way across.
  • @courtneypaulk is on pace to set a new course record! About 2 miles to go. Go Courtney!
  • via Twitter: "Courtney Paulk is looking good and may break the 10-hour barrier. Less than 1 mile to go!"
  • @courtneypaulk has had unbelievable conditions. There is a tailwind and a 2 knot push from behind. She is going to set a record for fastest crossing!
  • She is about 6 minutes from the beach!
  • @courtneypaulk, Courtney Paulk, has finished her 20-mile solo crossing of Cape Cod Bay (P2P). Her unofficial time is 9:43:47. This shatters the previous solo record! Congratulations Courtney.
  • @courtneypaulk, Courtney Paulk, left it all out in the bay. How is this for a finish photo?!?
    I am incredibly excited and impressed by this feat!
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