The time is near…..
Another swim complete yesterday in Dover Harbor, this time a 2 hour, again I feel fortunate to have the company of some fellow Cork Distance week swimmers today, Jennifer Zwijen and Helen Gibbs welcome me with warm smiles, I check in with Freda the ” General”, and then line up for grease application, fantastic, Barry is there smearing grease under armpits and on necks, no greasy hands for me, what a luxury.
Then it is down to the water, the tide is out, we walk a long way out in the sand, there are supporters collecting our flip flops in bags so they do not wash away when the tide comes back in, these guys have this dialed in, what a treat. The swim is over quick, I head back to the trailer to shower, eat and rest, Jenny is swimming a 6 hour, I scurry back to the beach by 3:30 to say goodbye to her…….
Later this evening Colm arrives, my Irish swimming pal, it is fun to meet his family and we set up a plan to go see our pilot in the morning followed by a 1 hour swim in Dover Harbor, I turn in for the night withthoughts of meeting our pilot and seeing SUVA tomorrow, SUVA is the escort boat for both Colm and I, he is number 1 slot, I am follow him in slot number 2.
Time to meet our Pilot and boat SUVA…..
9:30am rolls around, Colm, his wife Maria, their 2 boys and I head off to Dover Marina, before you know it we are there, meet Neil Streeter and SUVA….
On to the boat I climb, followed by Colm, it is much tighter than I had anticipated, the deck is small, I look down into the cabin and step down, there is a galley, somewhere to heat water and a sink, being in the boat makes things seem very ” right now”, after 2 and a half years of preparation it is close and I am about to find out, closer than I think.
Neil starts talking about tides, ” Colm, you should be prepared, there is a possibility that you go between 1:00 and 3:00am on Wednesday morning, I look at Colm and he looks at me, I sense we are both doing the math…..” that is tomorrow night”, I think, ” that puts me Thursday, game on”, my mind clicks into gear, “time to get ready Vermont Kiwi”. We listen to Neil some more and figure out we are not going to know for sure today, we say goodbye and head off the boat and make our way to Dover Harbor.
The beach is deserted, but for a few hardy souls, we change ready to swim, ” we will not be as long as you”, says Maria, Colm’s wife, I am super impressed that Maria and the boys are taking a dip too.
Our swim feels great, I am amazed at the volatility of the weather here, all within an hour we experience torrential squally wind, but we finish up the swim happy and stop by the Whippy truck for a creamy.
Next up shower, food, nap and off to the grocery store to collect my final provisions, all the gear is ready to be packed up tomorrow, but not until later in the day, for in the morning I drive to London to pick up Jeff, Heidi and Soeren from the airport, I am excited to see them, Cynthia arrives around in around 1:00am Wednesday morning along with Deb and Paula, not all are coming on the boat, but all are supporting.
Finally there is another who may make it on the boat, I’ll keep tight lipped on that one until I have confirmation but a wise Channel swimmer who I hold in the highest regard just may be able to make the earth shake and appear for my swim.
When will I get the nod to swim? 70% chance it is Thursday August 9th
What time? I will keep you posted.
Conviction ( believe in what you’re about to do)
– author unknown