The English Channel Piloting Federation requires swimmers to have completed a 6 hours swim in 60 degree (or less) water prior to attempting the English Channel. On Saturday, thanks to Al and Matt who not only volunteered their boat, but who also served as my support crew, I completed this prerequisite.
We left The Old Town Country Club in Newbury around 7:30 and headed down the Parker River. At 7:45 I jumped into the water and began my swim. I swam down the Parker River and out into the ocean. The day was amazingly clear and the water was pretty calm - great for the boat crew. Everything went well until about 3 hours in - this was totally expected, but not fun. After about a half hour of mental struggle (why am I doing this? this Goo tastes horrible...) I was back on track and actually got into such a zone I wonder if I was deep in meditation or actually asleep.
Andrew jumped in and swam next to me for the last 15 minutes. When I was told I'd swam for six hours and it was time to get out I can't say I was disappointed to leave the water. However, I feel as though I could have kept going and am surprisingly not too sore or tired. All of this gives me confidence going forward. While I have not doubted myself, knowing that I still felt string after six hours makes me feel I am ready to head across the pond.
Again, a HUGE thank you to Al and Matt and to Andrew. Without them I would not have been able to do the swim. I know that sitting on the boat (albeit drinking beers and snacking on delicious looking food) for six hours and going at a snails pace is not the most fun way one could spend an amazing August Saturday - THANK YOU!
Also a big thank you to Oliver - he is also an invaluable part of my support crew.