This is the question I have been asked the most over the last week… and unfortunatley not one I can answer accurately! So I will explain…
Whether you are a solo swimmer or a relay team you are given a slot and within that slot you will be one of many boats. Our slot is 14th -21st August and we are 4th boat, so we hope to go sometime within those dates … It is as you can imagine all dependant on weather, tides etc. If we don’t get to go within that slot then we drop to the bottom of the priority list for the following week and the wait continues – so fingers crossed for great weather for us… until then we wait 🙂
SO in the meantime our bags are packed… I am not sure I have enough flamingo gear 🙂
So what happens when we get the call?
We have been told we will could get only 8 hours notice to get down to Dover and we may leave at any point eg may have to swim through the night. When we do we have to head down to the harbour where we will meet our pilot Eddie and see our boat Anastasia. Once we’ve boarded we will head around to Shakespeare’s beach and our number 1 swimmer will swim the 200m to shore, they will have to step up the beach and clear the water and wait for the claxon. Once it has gone off they go swimming for an hour, we will be given flags which let us know 30 min gone, 45 min gone and 55 min gone. At just before the hour the next swimmer will jump/dive off the boat into the water behind them and swim past them. Number 1 swimmer then is able to get out onto the boat dry off, warm up and take on fuel. This will continue to happen until we get to France!
We will have our order decided before we start swimming and once chosen we then have to remain in that order throughout and everyone has to swim a full hour each time. If someone fails to swim or complete their hour we will be disqualified 😦 We will have an observer onboard to ensure that we are sticking to the rules. This also includes ensring we are only wearing one traditional swimsuit, a pair of google and one swim hat.
Fingers crossed we get all the way to France without the tide causing us too much grief – swims are usually in an S-shape across the channel inline with tides/currents rather than the journey the ferry would take. Once about 200m away from the French coast the boat will stop and the swimmer will be accompanied by either a kayak or a small dingy until they hit the rocks/beach. The plan is to land on Les Gris Nez but if the current pushes the swimmer down then they will aim for the beach north of there. Once landed they will have to clear the water and our swim is done 🙂
Hopefully we will have fab weather, flat water and currents in our favour and we will be heading back on the boat celebrating and drinking our bottle of bubbles 🙂
In the meantime we will sit and wait for the call and I will try not to start on all my treats for the boat – too much chocolate and other wheat free delights (jaffa cakes, choc brownies etc :))
If you are keen on tracking our journey you will be able to follow us as we swim on the following link – lovechannelswimming.com or alternatively follow the boat on twitter and send support on https://twitter.com/AnastasiaSwim
Lastly don’t forget we are all doing this in aid of a fantastic charity – Aspire. If you would like us to help those who have suffered from spinal cord injuries to lead a better life don’t forget to donate on the ‘donate’ button above or click here – https://www.justgiving.com/lisa-williams20
Thanks all and wish us luck 🙂