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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Monday 13th September

This morning slept in a little longer to 6am - woken by a squirrel running across the roof of the 'van' - very cute - oh, that together with the 'not so cute' constant hum of the motorway. 
When sitting at Dover Harbour, watching the ferries constantly shuffling in and out of the 10 terminals and the stream of lorries marching like ants going 2 by 2 into the chunnel you realise what a seething mass of movement Europe actually is.  But for today we are not part of that movement - we will sit 'perched' on our hill top in the caravan surveying the channel from afar.
We caught up with the pilot Chris yesterday - checked out the boat - quite adequate with a nice inside area out of the weather.  He said the first option looks like Thursday - therefore Duncan (being 2nd swimmer) will possibly go Friday.  This, of course, is exactly what I predicted as Friday just so happens to be our anniversary - how romantic!!!!!  (but just think of the 'browny-points' I am accruing - I am sure this must be worth at least one diamond!)
Anyway - back to the swimming - Guy the chap I told you about yesterday didn't set off in the morning - but actually had a window to leave at 3pm ! - we saw him just before he left - his head was a bit out of sorts knowing that he only had 3-4 hours of daylight to swim in and the rest in complete darkness - this is what the channel can offer - and you just have to take your chance when it comes.  Will update today if he made it.
Whilst the weather yesterday was absolutely wonderful (not a cloud in the sky and 20-22 degrees), the tide was still a 'spring' tide ('spring' being very strong and 'neap' being weaker).  Our pilot said he would not take anyone as they would have trouble landing in France.  What actually happens is that just when you are about 3-5 km from the coast the tides change and push you (at 4-5 knots) north and away from the coast - this is when you hear all those stories about people being so close to the end and yet still swimming 4-5 hours just to battle the tide and get to the end - this is when you need your strength the most.... yeah - right - after 10-12 hours of swimming they tell you to go for it and swim a little harder???  Easily said!

Yesterday Duncan, Cameron and Helen (another Aussie girl here they trained with at home) all had a few hours swim in Dover Harbour in the morning - all three said it was really warm - just shows how mad - oops sorry I meant prepared they really are.

Today will be much the same - another few hours swim then perhaps we will make a road trip up to Deal which is supposed to be a nice quaint little village just up the road a bit - and bound to be a pub lunch in there somewhere......

1 comment:

  1. Duncan,

    We being the last group have just arrived in Tarifa, after spending the last week travelling through Spain (Barcelona, Granada, Cordoba & Seville) with Tony Bostock and Annie Whitney.

    After spending some time down at the Tarifa Harbour, this afternoon the high winds have set a realization for the task ahead when the swim will take place for the two teams across the Gibraltar Strait.

    I am sure that the levels of excitement for you in your part of the world are the same and we all look forward to further updates.

    Take care Jan & Rowan Davies