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English Channel Attempt - August 2011

In Dover!

17th August 2011 - We met with Chris the boatman this morning, and his crewman Jim. The meet happened on the boat Seafarer II which was great for my crew as it gave them opportunity to get a feel for the environment and for what was already available on the boat, gear-wise. These guys have done the channel often and their experience shows with their advice and guidance as well as the “swimming gear” they have as permanent on the boat. The news is positive: a swimmer booked before me might not be available for potential slot on Saturday so this could become available to me should conditions be favourable. Hold thumbs: the sooner the better!
Liz arrived from Cape Town this morning and was two thirds through her own special triathlon by the time we plucked her from the train station: plane and train done, all was left was the swim. Went straight back to the harbour and we all got in for our first 2011 swim in the English Channel!
18th August 2011 - The first real day of waiting. A late start to the day with a trip to the harbour at about midday, where Liz and I had another swim. Even though the weather and ocean was  a lot harsher today we had a nice swim and felt a lot more comfortable. Lindsay and Nicky went shopping for the rest of the gear needed for the swim, and Mike went for a swim in the recreation centre. The weather turned in the afternoon to heavily overcast and the chop in the harbour was a lot worse than yesterday. Still no word from Chris the boatman and even though the weather and tidal forecasts for Saturday look decent it is still very uncertain. The waiting continues. Mike “the Airbus Captain” arrives tomorrow.
19th August 2011, 09:00am - THE SWIM IS ON. Word from Chris the boatman that weather conditions will be  good enough during Saturday to stat the swim. I am set to leave the beach at 3am Saturday morning, we’ll all be at the boat at 2am. There is some frantic action in the house as final preparations are made with equipment, packing, etc.
Bumped into Ishii and Miyuki on the beach - great to meet with old friends again. Good luck to Miyuki on her DOUBLE CROSSING attempt, and same to Aussie Ian on his attempt.

As we write the rain has started to fall lightly. Conditions are otherwise ok, and the braai is lit. More tomorrow.

Channel crossing done: 12hrs 35minutes. Thanks to everyone for wishes, messages and positive thoughts. The celebrations were massive yesterday!!

More pictures to follow soon.