4 weeks after heading down to Dover for our first training session it was time again and unfortunately although there had been promise of sunshine it failed to appear in Dover.
Team Flamingos were back in full force and ready to take on our challenge of the 2 hour qualifying swim.
We arrived onto the beach in Dover at 9.30am ready to get into the sea for a 10am start. The sea was looking a bit angry with choppy waters, high winds and swells – the ferries certainly seemed to be having problems turning and the waves crashed over them as they headed to France – eek that will be us in 8 weeks!
Freda the channel swimming beach ‘boss’ advised that we would not be able to try for our 2 hours on Saturday due to the weather conditions and instead we would be swimming 2 x 1 hour 15 minute swims with an hour and a half break in between. Compared to May, the sea was now at about 10/11 degrees – amazing the difference a few degrees makes.
We all did well mainly managing to compete the swims, unfortunately there were a few cases of sea sickness for swimming in the choppy waters with some swimmers getting out early.
After warming up we headed off to the pub for a drink in the beer garden as a glimpse of sun showed itself and then off to the local chippy, we certainly deserved those calories. This time round we didn’t have an evening pool session so we headed off to our favourite Dover restaurant and treated ourselves to 3 courses and wine.
The next morning after our full English breakfast we headed back down to the beach hoping that Freda was going to allow us to try for the 2 hour swim, we would have another opportunity to do this in July but always good to get something out the way. As we arrived at the beach it started to rain, waves were rolling and the wind was a blowing but brave we were and off we went to take on the 2 hour swim.
The water was certainly colder than the day before probably more to do with the outside temperature being colder rather than sea temperature. As we swam the wind was picking up the water and hitting it on our backs which at times felt like hail however, onward we swam up and down the length of the harbour getting colder as we went and probably slower too as our hands numbed and looked more like claws!
Although the vaseline man had slapped the stuff on my back and neck my costume was starting to chaff and we could feel the small jellyfish slipping through our fingers. We pushed on and managed to complete the two hours – a great achievement with all 4 Flamingos that entered the water finishing the 2 hours. It was certainly and experience and looking forward to a warmer swim in July! Next training session back down in Dover is July 6th & 7th.
On top of the successful swimming over the weekend team Flamingo’s are currently top fundraising team for Aspire with my efforts being top individual fundraiser – thank you everyone for supporting me on this journey so far.