This seems to be the most popular phrase that friends, family, work colleagues and work clients greet me with these days. Our slot was 9th-16th August and as I write this it is now 26th August, we have been waiting quite some time.
The problem started just before our slot started when the remains of Bertha decided to rear their ugly head, however, since then we have other issues. Firstly being that we are no longer in our slot which means that those swimmers whose slot it is has priority and we sit top in the ‘waiting’ queue behind them. The other issue is that the weather just hasn’t been good enough to get these swimmers out either so we haven’t been anywhere near going as each week we have to wait for those in front of us to go.
It has been hard for people to understand why we haven’t been as they sit in London where at times the weather has been blue skies, so when you say we can’t go because of the weather they think we are being fussy! But the issue is the wind which is causing high seas, if it is raining we will still go – we just need the wind to stop coming back. The other problem we are contending with is that when the wind is dying down it is only doing so long enough for swimmers to get across once which is the most popular option. As we have chosen to go there and back we are having to wait longer. We have been asked by the pilot if we want to do a one way swim instead – we have all declined.
Our boat pilot Mike chats to Parviz every couple of days to give us an update. The update before the weekend was that it was looking hopeful for this weekend but our update tonight has said ‘not likely’.
The longer it is that we wait the more issues and decisions we will have to make. Issues such as; one of our team mates has holiday booked from 12th August and we have others of us have weekends booked away such as my birthday weekend swimming the length of Coniston which Paul, Brian and I are booked to do along with other friends.
I do keep being asked if I am okay, is it frustrating, how is morale, how are you keeping motivated, how are you able to taper your swimming but carry on keeping fitness… It is all difficult and you feel at times that your life is on hold but it is part of signing up for channel swimming. Next year for my solo I may have the same issues but I won’t have a team around me then going through the same issues to talk to but it is helping me to prepare myself for the issues that might rise next year and is giving me the opportunity to deal with it now and learn for next year how best to cope with the situation.
Despite all of the above I remain confident that we will swim this year we may just have to sacrifice other things to ensure it happens. In the meantime the water starts to get colder and the days shorter increasing the issues that we will have to deal with throughout the swim. I was recently reminded of this advert for Guiness which I thought was very apt given our situation