Tomorrow morning at 7am, I and three friends (Team COSMIC Rays) will be heading off down to Dover to start our challenge, which is to swim as a relay to France and then back again. We are only one of 3 teams this year to attempt such a challenge as most relays just swim to France.
As you know we have been waiting 6 weeks for a good enough weather window to go and it seems our time has finally come. The rules state that we are able to only wear a swimming costume, a swimming hat and a pair of goggles each. We will take it in turn to swim an hour each rotating an hour on and three hours off till we have swam to France and then back again – the shortest distance to France and back is 42 miles (that’s about 2700 lengths of a pool) however we are likely to swim further and we estimate somewhere between 6 & 8 hours swimming each, taking about 26-30 hours – that’s a long time to be awake and that isn’t taking into account the travel time to Dover – I am getting up at 4am in the morning to drive down. The other rule that is worth noting is that if a swimmer is unable to swim their hour then we get disqualified, we also have to swim in the same rotation throughout the challenge (I am swimming as No 1 swimmer in the rotation) if we don’t the official observers on board will declare our challenge over so we really rely on each other to be not just fit but also strong mentally. There are then the joys of being stung by jellyfish, being sea sick, having to swim at night (the bit I like least) as well as the English Channel being the busiest shipping channel in the world.
So why I am doing this. Well it is simple really, to be able to help other people that are in need of it. By swimming and training as we have we are able to raise money for a very special charity. COSMIC –Children of St Mary’ Intensive Care is the Charity that supports the paediatric intensive care unit (PICU), it incorporates eight intensive care beds and a two-bed high dependency unit. The unit cares for children with life threatening conditions, including severe infections such as pneumonia and meningitis, severe trauma, airway problems, neurological conditions and those who have undergone surgery. COSMIC relies completely on donations and provides life-saving equipment and funds for vital research to ensure children in the unit get the best treatment possible.
Please do donate to a great cause – www.justgiving.com/lisaswims it really does help us when we are swimming and are tired and sore and would rather be elsewhere to dig deep and continue on.
And here is the fun bit you can track our journey across the channel and back, don’t worry if it looks like we are going the wrong way, we won’t swim in a straight line to France (or back) as the tide will take us in an S type shape (the tide changes around every 6 hours) as we swim towards France and back again.
The following links you can use to track us on our journey;
http://cspf.co.uk/tracking (we will be on the aqua coloured boat ‘Sea Satin’) http://cspf.co.uk/swim-routes (you can watch our route here, just add in the date, 7am, Sea Satin)
http://vaughanee.co.uk/cosmicrays2014/ (the charity have set up this link to track too)
I will also be tweeting when I am out of the water on @lisa_j_williams and will try to update my blog (do have a read if you haven’t yet) lisaswims.wordpress.com, so keep an eye on what is happening as it happens.
We will also have on board Patrick (also known as the bionic boy) whom the charity supported when he contracted meningitis when he was months old, he lost part of his arm and lost a leg but his life was saved by Dr Habibi one of our team swimming with us. He will be using COSMIC’s twitter and Facebook handles @cosmiccharity and https://www.facebook.com/cosmiccharity.org.uk to keep everyone updated.
Finally, as well as us, our crew, the official observers, the pilot and team we will also have on board the BBC following our journey ready for part of a series which will be shown later in the year, so you will be able to watch that to see what we went through- hopefully I won’t be too grumpy when I am tired!
Thanks in advance for your support and happy tracking!