Pre “Channel Swim ” Waiting & Uncertainty…..
The Weather has been unpredictable, the winds have been forecast to diminish but are still defiantly howling, and me, I am have become glued to the windsurfer guru website, watching the ever changing weather unfold and learning that there is nothing predictable about ” The Channel”, just what happens minute by minute, hour by hour for the Channel is like a fiery dragon, tamable by some and fierce to others and I am about to find out first hand.
Time to Swim Colm……
Colm, gets the call on Tuesday evening that he is on for a 3am start Wednesday morning, he is set ready to go, I am excited for him and me, I feel my heart beating in my throat, it is all happening very fast, I can’t believe that the time is so close, I feel excited and nervous all rolled into one, but mostly I feel the massive uncertainty of the situation at hand, nothing is certain, in fact the air has a dense heavy feel of uncertainty about it and it is weighing heavily on my shoulders, I find it difficult to concentrate on the smallest of tasks for at this moment there is only ” The Channel”, life after that at this time does not exist, people nearby are going about their daily lives, but for me there is only the heartbeat of ” The Channel”.
A stand down for Colm…
Tuesday evening 9pm the winds are still fiery, Colm gets the call from our pilot to stand down, no swim for him, the winds have not let up, his 3am start is cancelled, I feel for Colm he is all packed up, he rested this afternoon, now he is wide awake faced with yet another ” night before the Channel” sleep, and I am finding that those sort of sleeps are not very restful. We say our good nights, Colm and his family head off the their caravan, me to mine, I crawl into bed wearing a woolly hat, a fleece and sweat pants, I curl up under the covers wondering what tomorrow will bring, I wonder if Colm is wondering the same, finally in the wee hours of the morning sleep comes.
Colm gets the Thumbs Up…..
Wednesday morning dawns a new day, I am up early, 9:00am soon rolls around, Colm gets the thumbs up from the pilot, he is swimming this afternoon and is to meet at Dover Marina at 2:30pm, I get busy packing up, after Colm swims it is my turn. I pull out my lists for my feed bin, equipment bag and after swim gear bag, time to get all the final details in place, the task at hand feels over whelming, we have no shortage of gear, I pack it as Cynthia checks off the list.
It seems to take a very long time, in between packing I receive an email from Ned, he is diverting to Dover, if Colm indeed swims today and I swim Thursday Ned will be on the boat, I am so happy that he will be there with his first hand Channel knowledge and experience, meanwhile Colm comes in to say goodbye, final good luck hugs and he leaves, I watch him walk down the path to his car with his family, I linger on the view wondering what he must be feeling, so stoic and composed he strides away with a lifted chest and confident stride, if he is nervous he doesn’t show it, what steel like composure, then he is gone and I wait to hear news… I am up next but as darkness falls in the evening I am not only thinking of my swim, I am thinking of Colm swimming out there in the Channel in the night, the winds have dropped and now a thick layer of fog has rolled in, I can’t see the caravans beyond mine, it feels damp and cold, once more I slide under the covers with my warm hat firmly pulled down, ” this is may be my final sleep pre channel” I think, ” Rest, Rest, Rest”, I command my mind, but sleep does not come, I find myself tossing, turning and wondering, finally I get up, I have not been able to get a connection to follow his tracker most of the night, but luckily at 3:30am I catch a glimpse, he has made great progress and is close to the French Coast, what great news, I snuggle back under the covers, happy that he is looking so good, at 4:30m I get up and take another look, he is now so close the boat looks like it is on land, but it’s not and it seems to be sitting a very long time, something feels off…..
Did Colm arrive in France?
Will I head to the base of the White Cliffs of Dover today to start my Channel swim?
I’ll Keep you posted
Closing Thought: With Patience all will become clear in time
– Charlotte J Brynn