Today marks 5 weeks that we have been waiting to go on our swim, many have gone and succeeded and some have gone and failed within this time but they have gone in their assigned slots or have had a long enough weather window to go one way, there just hasn’t been the opportunity to go there and back. However, we are hoping that we will get out this coming week.
Today, however, we lost a member of our team as they left yesterday to head off on their holiday in South East Asia. Hilary like us all thought that 5 weeks after our allotted slot we would have swam, even if we had to be delayed so had booked her summer holiday. Unfortunately this hasn’t been the case and yesterday she flew off. It is tough knowing that you have trained, raised money and put your heart and soul into something and now aren’t going to have the opportunity to swim – that is if we get out this year and our swim isn’t deferred until next year which is still something that might happen. The season will finish around the first week of October.
Hilary not being in the team makes me particularly sad because if it wasn’t for her I wouldn’t be doing this challenge this year. I had thought about another channel relay/long distance swim this year before my solo next year to get some more experience and it was talking to Hilary one day in the changing rooms after swimming that Hilary mentioned that Parviz was looking to put together a team for a 4 man two way relay and would I be interested… the rest is history. It therefore seems strange that we may now be swimming without her. I am making it my mission that if we go this year without her to get a team for her to swim in next year so she gets her Channel experience especially after such a horrible time waiting and then not getting to go. It isn’t the same but I want her to get a good experience from the Channel rather than feel let down by the experience which I can only imagine she must be feeling.
As you know we have a reserve swimmer in place, Brian, who has been training with us during this time so he is now ready to swim instead of crew, which has meant we are now crew members down. On top of that our other crew members are now unavailable so we have had to find others. Crew members are so important to the success of the swim, they help look after us before and after we get in the water making warm drinks, ensuring we are kept warm, making us eat enough food, helping us if we are sea sick and generally being there for us over the 30 hour period that we will be on/off swimming for. The open water swimming community constantly surprises me with it’s generosity. I put out some requests on some of the swimming forums on Facebook and within minutes had people offering to volunteer to come and help us out. They don’t know us but want to help us achieve our challenge. Thank you to them for their time and generosity. So we now have a few crew on standby, Brian stepping in as our fourth swimming member and we carry on waiting….but it is a sad day.