On August 23, 1937 a physician checked out Charles Zimmy at the Albany Yacht Club, which was located at the bottom of State Street hill. The doc’s approval having been given, some young men from Albany applied a thick layer of grease to Zimmy’s body, he lit a cigar, and hopped off a pier into the water of the Hudson River. As he bobbled a bit in the water, he lost his cigar. That wasn’t a problem, though, as there was a supply of 200 aboard the Penguin, a 50-foot boat which would shadow him as he made his way south towards New York City. The cigars, Zimmy told a reporter, were as much a necessity as the watertight goggles he wore during his swim.
According to an article in the Times-Union on August 24, Zimmy anticipated losing about 80 pounds during the challenge, which he thought would require him to swim the equivalent of 200 miles – more than the actual distance from Albany to Manhattan – because tides would sometimes push him back upstream, through water he’d already swum. He’d be swimming day and night, catching sleep an hour at a time while floating on his back. [Read more…] about Charles Zimmy’s 1937 Swim from Albany to Manhattan