The Channel is Getting Closer

My time to swim to France is getting closer, and things which were previously somewhat abstract in my mind are coming into rather sharper focus.

Dover training continues; last weekend was a 3 + 6 hour allotment.  Saturday was rainy while getting ready, but soon cleared to a very bright, very blowy day in the harbour, with interesting swimming conditions, especially when fighting the chop to go back towards swimmers’ beach.  Freda gave us only 3 hours, expecting the conditions to worsen considerably.  They didn’t as it happened, but I stopped after 3 hours anyway, not wanting to pick up an injury, or get burned to a frazzle (I had neglected to put on suntan lotion that morning in the rain).

Sunday was better.  No sun, but much calmer conditions.  ‘6 Hours’ was spat out by ‘The General’ as Freda is affectionately known, and 6 hours was done.  Not very interesting, other than about an hour or so in the middle when a squall passed over the harbour, whipping up some chop and raining on the stoic swimmers.

On Monday Helen and I took the ferry to Calais.  It was great looking out over the water, seeing the crop of Channel Boats a couple of miles away to port as we steamed over to France.  Lunch in a very nice restaurant on the Calais beach front, watching the ferries ply up the beach towards the harbour, followed by a short trip down the coast, past Cap Blanc Nez and Wissant, to Cap Gris Nez, close to where Helen landed her Channel Swim in 2012, and where every aspiring Channel Swimmer would like to end up.

A gorgeous day in France, and another 9 hours training in the bank for the weekend.

Next stop – Ned Denison’s Distance Camp in Cork.  9 Days, and average of 15 km swimming per day.  Look out for blog updates from the camp!!

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