In the space of 7 days to yesterday, I did a lot of swimming, and not a yard of it in a pool.
I kicked off on Tuesday, with a 4 miler from La Jolla Cove to Scripps Pier, plus a diversion to the ‘Mushroom House’ just along the shore. I was lucky enough again to be accompanied by Dan Simonelli, fresh from a triumphant SCAR week, completing umpteen freshwater miles in 4 days in Arizona. 2 Hours or so in a swelly , sloppy Pacific did a great job of helping me shrug off the jet lag, for I had only arrived the previous evening from the airport, after a typically tedious 11 hours from Heathrow.
The following two days I had a couple more swims on my own, 2 miles and 3 miles, both of which were still swelly and more of a challenge than a pleasure!
This video was taken at Scripps Pier, the turnaround point of the 3 mile swim. The typical sunny SoCal weather had deserted me, but still a good training swim!
Friday was my final morning in San Diego, and Dan joined me again, this time for a fast dash across the Cove to the Shores and back, 3.5 km in 53 minutes (not including the couple of minutes rest we had at the Shores when Dan took this photo). Much faster swimming this time in an almost flat ocean. Dan and I pushed each other pretty hard!
So after 4 swims in 4 days, I boarded the 777 back to London on Friday night, getting back home late Saturday afternoon.
Sunday morning at 9 AM, Helen and I joined the hardy group of souls on Swimmer’s Beach in Dover Harbour for training. The water was somewhat of a change to the balmy 19C I had enjoyed in La Jolla, more like 13C I was told.
Nick Adams did the briefing on Freda’s behalf: In for 2 hours, return for a feed, then back out for a further ‘unspecified time’. The water felt better than I had feared, and soon the 2 hours was complete. While the conditions were pretty choppy and the wind blew, the sun shone goloriously out of a blue sky, so psychologically it wasn’t too bad. I was sent back in for another hour. In the end I completed about 9.5 km in the 3 hours, though I did sneak in a few videos while I was in there (don’t tell Freda).
The next day dawned beautifully, and we were back in Dover early this time, so I had the opportunity to take some aerial footage of the harbour. It was calm, as the wind had shifted round to an offshore direction. Hazy sunshine warmed our bones.
This time Freda briefed us. Another 3 hours! The going was much more straightforward this time, and I made better distance. It felt colder though, as the sun soon disappeared, and the wind slowly increased to provide some bonus windchill. Another 3 hours and another 10 km in the bank, we left Dover. Another step of the way on my Channel journey.