Well I successfully navigated up to London Gatwick and picked up Mom, Dad and Jane. They all arrived safely on the plane and the next step was to endure my drive back to Dover. Ah, another successful trip. They were all pretty tired, but I made them all get their act together to head to the swimmer’s beach. I went for a quick dip and they got a little bit acclimated to the training grounds. The Channel swimmers weren’t there yet, as they come down on the weekends, but I did get to introduce them around to the locals that have taken me under their wings.
Reg was out fishing on Friday and managed to come in and meet us for a pint down at the Three Mackerels pub. I of course stuck mostly to water, but since he was mentioning that Sunday or Monday looked possible, I did have myself a half pint of cider to calm my nerves. Reg gave me the impression of a solid pilot who’s goal is to help me to get across the Channel. It was a pleasure for all of us to meet him and his lovely wife. I felt more at ease after meeting him as he really was concerned about my safety. When discussing my swimming speed I mentioned that I was planning on a 14 hour swim. He turned to me and stated “12 would be better, Love.” I told him that if conditions were right that we might be able to arrange that. I went on to explain that I could swim 8 miles in 3.5 hours (I was padding my Alaska time just a little bit). He again looked at me and stated “So your not that fast but an average swimmer” My reply “I’m no Thoroughbred, more of a Clydesdale. Where I lack in speed, I’ve got the endurance!” After talking abit more with Reg and his wife, we took leave to go grab some dinner. My instructions were to call Reg at half 7 (7:30pm for those Americans) to see if we were swimming on Sunday.
Well Sunday was spent relaxing and napping; one of my favorite pasttimes. And getting ready for the phone call to Reg. We packed up all my swim gear and did a test drive down to Folkestone Harbor to make sure I would get lost on the day of the swim. At 7:30pm, I called Reg and got the word that Sunday didn’t look good as a wind was coming in, but Monday looked better. I mentioned the rain that was predicted for Monday and he laughed and said “What do you care about rain?” He had a point. Again the conversation ended with me getting the instructions to call at half 7 on Sunday night.
So today after getting in for a quick swim, we are going to head to the White Cliffs and walk around. I don’t think Mom, Dad and Jane enjoy the laying about as much as I have this past week. My excuse is that I’ve been trying to store up my energy!
I will definitely post tonight after talking to Reg. If the swim goes off tomorrow, it will most likely start around 3am UK time. (I believe that it is an 8 hour time difference to PST and 6 hour difference to Central Time). Hopefully if all the technical things work according to plan, my Dad will be calling my London friend Leroy. Leroy will then in turn be updating the blog and passing along the well wishes that I receive back to the boat, so that they can be passed to me during the swim. Be patient with Leroy as he will update as soon as he gets any information from the boat. He also has some terrible spelling, but we love him anyways 🙂
Some basic Channel information. The Channel can be broken down into 4 major parts. We are at least hoping to post when I enter the different shipping lanes. Please see the order and relative distance below:
- Shakespeare Beach to the Southwest lane = 5 nautical miles or 5400 meters
- Southwest lane across to the Northeast lane = 5 nautical miles or 5400 meters
- Northeast lane across to the French inshore traffic zone (ZC “buoy area”) = 5 nautical miles or 5400 meters
- French inshore traffic zone to Cap Gris Nez = 3 nautical miles or 5555 meters
Now I know that some of the distances don’t make sense, but just think of the shipping lanes. And don’t forget that on August 8th I posted the website where you can watch the boat cross the Channel. You are looking to watch the Viking Princess.Tags: English Channel, English Channel Swim