25th Sep, 2010

Channel Swimmer!

Hello Everyone,

I have recovered sufficiently and now have enough energy to post!

I started the swim at 7:55am with perfect weather conditions. There was next to no swell or wind and the sun was just coming up. The sea temperature was between 16 and 17 degrees, which when compared to a regular swimming pool (28 degrees or so) is relatively cold, but as open water swimming goes, is relatively pleasant!

There were at least 3 other boats leaving before me taking other channel swim attempts across. One was a relay and I believe 2 were solo attempts. They all started between 5 and 20 minutes before me. For those of you who know me well, you’ll know I can’t resist a little bit of competition! Within the 1st hour I had overtaken all of the other boats! I ended up around 20 minutes ahead of the nearest boat!

The swim started well, and it wasn’t long before my 1st feed after 45 minutes. I was feeling good, not cold… yet!

For me the next few hours were relatively uneventful, although I could hear a strange clicking under the water every now and then, which I later heard for my support crew was porpoises playing and following me! I also heard that there were fish jumping around me for quite a while, although I didn’t see any of this, I was far too focused on the swimming!

I got a little shock during the swim when I heard a very loud engine, moving very fast and it was very close! I looked around and saw it was a low flying plane (and I mean, very low flying!), which had been sent out to take photos of some of the channel swim attempts that were going on that day!

By four hours into the swim my arms were sore, but I knew that they were ok, and I hadn’t started to get too cold yet!

I managed to keep all of my feeding times reasonably short, between 15 and 40 seconds to take in all of the fluid and eat a jaffa cake, banana or swiss roll! Keeping the feeding times down was important as the longer the feeds are, the longer it takes to make it across and the colder you get as you tread water.

At 6 hours my friend and training partner, Kat Baker, jumped in to join me for a half hour swim alongside me to keep me company and boost my moral. Her first comment as she jumped in was “it’s cold!”

By the 6 hour mark I was getting a little chilly but coping. My arms were a little more sore, but again I was still ok.

I first saw France at about 6 and a half hours. It was a welcome sight, but I knew it was still a long way off!

By 10 hours, France was starting to look a little closer and Kat jumped in again for another half an hour swim alongside me. It was getting towards twilight by this time so the light sticks I was wearing were starting to come in useful!

I was told that we weren’t going to head towards the closest part of France that I had been looking at for ages as the tides were wrong and if I had tried to swim that way I would have never got there as I would have had to work against the tide. So I was swimming along parallel to the coast, a very frustrating experience!

As it got darker I could see the lighthouse towards which I was heading, at least I knew the end was in sight!

As I got closer to shore, the dingy was launched to follow me in as it was getting too shallow for the boat. I swam and landed on the rocks at 8:40 pm, giving me a time of 12 hours and 45 minutes for the crossing.

After landing I had to swim back to the dingy, and after being hauled aboard, the dingy made its way back to the boat where I was greeted by an excited support crew. Once on board I got wrapped up in many towels, sleeping bags and survival blankets!

On the journey back to Dover I was too exhausted to feel exhilarated by the fact that I had just swum all the way from England to France, and it is only really starting to sink in now!

I would like to thank everyone who has helped me to train, been there to support me and generally offered me encouragement. It really has ment a lot and without it I don’t think it would ever have been as possible as it was. I would also like to thank everyone who has sponsored me for their generosity, it is hugely appreciated and going to a very worthy cause. It is still possible to sponsor me for anyone who wants to and hasn’t managed to yet. It all really helps. Once I have collected in all of the sponsorship, I shall let everyone know how much has been raise by your generosity.

If I concoct any more insane plans or challenges, I will also let you know!

Happy Swimming :)

Chris

22nd Sep, 2010

I made it!

Hello Everyone,

Just a quick post for now, I’m very tired! 

I made it! It took me 12 hours and 45 mins to reach the French Coast. It was such a challenge, especially towards the end when I could see the coast but couldn’t get into it because of the tide!

I’ll do a longer post later when I have recovered!

Happy Swimming :)

Chris

20th Sep, 2010

One More thing…

If you want to stay updated throughout the day, my mum will be updating on my progress on my facebook group!
Happy Swimming :)
Chris

20th Sep, 2010

I’m Going!!!

Hello Everyone,

I have had final confirmation that I’m going tomorrow morning! I’m leaving between half past 7 and 8 and hope to finish around that time in the evening! I will let everyone know when I’m back!

Happy Swimming :)

Chris

19th Sep, 2010

Tuesday…

Hello Everyone,
Its now looking like Tuesday rather than Monday! Will keep everyone updated!!
Happy Swimming :)
Chris

18th Sep, 2010

Going… Going… GONE!

Hello Everyone,
Another quick message! Just to let you all know, if the weather remains as predicted, then I should be leaving on Monday morning! I’m not entirely sure on the time yet, but I think it will be around a 9 am start, but I could be completely wrong! I will update again when I know the time that I’m leaving.
Happy Swimming :)
Chris

14th Sep, 2010

When am I going?!

Hi Everyone,
I’ve been in contact with my pilot and he has said that I can’t go on Wednesday morning as the weather isn’t good enough. I’m waiting to hear when I can go, but all I know so far is that it is going to be nearer the end of the week. I will update and let you all know when I’m going as soon as I know!
Happy Swimming :)
Chris

11th Sep, 2010

Night Swim

After the night swimHello Everyone!

Just a quick one today, went for a swim yesterday evening in the dark so that I have at least experienced swimming in the dark before starting out at 2.30am on Wednesday! Weather predictions and sea conditions are looingk ok for Wednesday, so it all looks like its on for then!

Happy Swimming :)

Chris

2nd Sep, 2010

Nearly there…

Hello Everyone!

I’ve been speaking to my Pilot and if all goes to plan, weatherwise, etc. I should begin swimming at 0230 on 15thSeptember! This is only provisional and weather dependent I will confirm this when I know. I shall be told exactly when I am leaving 18 hours before the start of the swim.

A huge thank you to all of you who have sponsored me so far! For any of you who would still like to sponsor me please take a few minutes to do so on the donate page of the website.

Happy Swimming :)

Chris

15th Aug, 2010

8 hour swim!

Hello Everyone,

As promised here is my post after my 8 hour swim. I’ve just got home after swimming for 8 hours and I have found that I have the most ridiculous tan lines ever! The perils of swimming in the sea without sun cream…

I have to thank my dad and girlfriend for sitting and watching me swim for the whole 8 hours. Dad even joined me for the last hour of the swim! I also have to thank all of the people who were sat on the beach and cheered me on throughout the swim and particularly to the people who clapped me as I stumbled out of the sea! The support shown by complete strangers really does mean a lot, so thank you!

That really was a tough swim. I really started to struggle at 5 hours, but thankfully my support team made me stay in. I don’t think I was particularly cold, but I think the boredom had really set in and I had had enough. After a little chat with my support team, they persuaded me to continue swimming and I’m so pleased they did! I was capable of doing it, but when you’ve started swimming at 9am, by 2pm it gets pretty boring!

Again thank you so much to all of you who have sponsored me, it is very much appreciated.

Anyway, enough rambling from me, I’m sure that I’ll be posting again soon.

Happy Swimming :)

Chris

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