Thursday, October 7, 2010

Final Analysis

So this will probably be the last post, at least for a while.

This is the official chart of our path, the red line that wiggles (27.5 nm), the black line is the straight line distance (18.8 nm). Those work out to 31.6 statue miles total distance, and 21.6 miles as the crow flies. It was a long, cold bit of swimming.

Here is my official certificate of completion. Not too bad I guess.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The White Horse

The day after the swim, we slept in. We spent the morning wandering around Walmer Castle, one of the Cinque Ports of the Kentish coast, (it seems there are like 8 of them, I didn't really get a good explaination why they were called cinque). For lunch we visited The White Horse, in Dover. (So named for the resemblance between the white capped swells, often present in the channel, to galloping white horses.)

Outside The White Horse in Dover.
So called "white horses" of the channel, out past the break water. Maybe you can see...

Although a relatively recent tradition, when one swims the Channel, either solo or as a member of a relay team, one is then entitled to write their name, the date, the time, and a few words about their crossing, etc. on the walls or ceiling of the pub.
Here we are scouting a spot to record my crossing. The times vary from widely, the names are of people from all over the world. Some names have many dates and times under them. One of my favorites, because I could relate, had the name, time, date, and just said "It was bloody horrible."

Alison Streeter, MBE has under her name, "Queen of the Channel", and as though to justify this statement, there is a 41 with a line through it, a 42 with a line through it and a 43 with an exclamation point! (Although Major Bad-ass English-women would be appropriate, MBE is a form of knighthood, Member of the British Empire. 43 is the most number of channel crossings, by any person, ever, living or dead, real or imaginary. There are some ferries that havn't done this many crossings. She is amazing.)

I found a little spot right over he corner of the bar. It reads: DAVIS LEE 28/9/10 12:41 E -> F "IT WAS COLD"

Here we are with some celebratory pints.

If you are ever in Dover go check it out.

The Crew

I would like to use this post to introduce you to, and thank the crew. They are:

Lance Oram: Channel pilot, skipper of the "Sea Satin", chief Channel navigator and chief harasser of swimmers.

Toby: Mate of the "Sea Satin", future Channel pilot, secondary harasser of swimmers and auxiliary tea brewer.

Jordan: Official officiant representing the Channel Swimming and Piloting Federation, tea brew master and primary sheep counter.

Andrew Soracco: swim coach, Channel beverage apothecary and poop deck sleeping wizard.

Tim Lee: part time assistant coach, photo/videographer, communication expert, beverage and bottle hurler, water warmer and bhisti and, to coin a new phrase, a "poop deck polymath". (We were very lucky to get him on such notice, he can book up years in advance.)

Here are Toby (left) and Lance (right). This is on the dock after our triumphant, if exhausted return.

Here are Andrew (left) and Tim (right) that is the coast of France in the background.

Jordan proved a little more difficult to photograph, like a snow leopard or a yeti or something. Just as he had materialized out of the dark, simply appearing on the dock about 12:50 AM, so too, when we landed in the afternoon, he seemed to merely dissipate in to the luminiferous aether. Before we lost track of him, we were assured that he would take the required steps to ratify our unofficial time of 12 hours and 41 minutes.

I can't thank these brave souls enough, without them, this crossing would not have been possible. Working all through the night, with disregard for their own comfort, pushing through sea sickness and rain, huge swells, tankers, ferries, the pod of dolphins, they ensured that I was taken care of for every one of the 761 minutes I was swimming.