Date: 5 July 2005.
Distance and route: Just over 4 miles round trip along the coast from Elephant Rock Beach in Westport, Massachusetts to the end of Quicksand Beach in Little Compton, Rhode Island.
Water Temperature: 65.3º F (temperature at Newport from NOAA website).
Time: 2 hours 45 minutes.
Swimmer: Philip Weinstein (for about 1.25 miles) and John Forasté (for 4 miles).
Kayakers: Diane Forasté (my wife who accompanied Phil) and Fred Massie (who accompanied me).
We planned a 5 mile round trip swim from Sakonnet Point in Little Compton to Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge in Middletown (and back again) in which we would cross 2.5 miles of very open coastal water - at the meeting of the Sakonnet River and the Rhode Island Sound. We had first intended on swimming this in 2004, but made only one way before kayak troubles caused us to give up the return leg.
Having scheduled our start according to the tides, we rendezvoused at 5:45 am. But we found the fog so heavy that we could see no more than a few hundred feet - so venturing out into the open water was out of the question. We waited in vain for about 30 minutes before reluctantly agreeing that we couldn't swim it that day. Phil then suggested a swim right along the coast in Westport near his house.
So, we entered the water at Elephant Rock in Westport and swam/kayaked a couple of hundred feet out parallel to the shore so we could keep sight of land (the fog never lifted until about noon). We four swam/kayaked to a landmark (a flagpole on a point of land). Phil then decided to return with Diane kayaking for him. Fred and I continued on to the end of Quicksand Beach and then returned. I found the water cold (65.3º F), but acceptable with a wetsuit - so long as I kept working to generate heat. It was a good 4 mile swim that somewhat compensated for the disappointment of not being able to go for the big 5 mile swim. That will still have to come on another day!
Map data ©2005 NAVTEQ from maps.google.com