|Anthony McCarley's Channel Swim||
Note how tide tides pushed me along nearly parallel to the shoreline. That's called making a long swim longer. It's very hard when you can see shore so close yet you have another two hour swim.
Thank you all for all the kind words and good wishes. They mean a lot to me and helped get me through the swim.
A giant thank you to Steve Smith of San Francisco, Jim Morrison of Atlanta, and Santi Minguela now of Madrid, Spain – originally of Pacifica, California. They were the crew. And you cannot do something like this without serious help. It was great to have family support from my sister, Cassandra and niece, Lindsey, on the boat! They all spent their time and money to be there. I am so lucky and blessed to have such wonderful people in my life.
A couple of clarifications… my official time was 13:29. My mother started the 13:41 rumor, but she didn’t know that we left a few minutes past 4am and her “he-made-it” text was sent a few minutes after I stumbled up the beach. It is only a couple of minutes, but you can bet that I am going to say “less than 13 and half hours”!
It was a tough, brutal swim. Rough and choppy except for about a mile or two and the last 1,000 yards into the beach. And about halfway through, I had my first experience with a man-o-war… got me on the lips, forehead and both shoulders. I screamed like a baby… except for the nasty swear words that I added in. Again, I thank you for your encouraging words – many of them ran through my head at the hardest times.
For those of you who don't know, you're not allowed to use a wetsuit and the water bounced between 58 and 62. Dealing with the cold is a big part of the challenge.
Sorry about the trouble with the GPS tracking. I guess it lost the signal a couple of times. (I am just amazed that such a thing exists and it ever works.) And it only shows up to 50 spots at a time. So, after 50, when a new spot is added, the oldest spot goes away.
A friend of mine pasted the images together to create a total picture of the swim (see below). The first few spots are from the harbor to the beach where you start the swim. And at the end, about 5-6 hundred yards out, the water gets too shallow for the escort boat, so they drop a dingy in the water and one of the boat crew escorts you to the end. (This guy did a great job. There were a bunch of people on the beach that came running up to me when they realized what was happening. He blocked them from me, because if one of them had touched me before my feet completely cleared the water, I would have been disqualified! Can you image the pain of that happening?)
Again, thank you!
It's now nearly 0230 in Dover and we're making our last minute preparations and checking gear. We plan to all meet at the Dover small boat harbor at 0315 with an expected swim start around 0345 - 0400. I'm glad we did not go yesterday. Weather was a little on the rough side. Today should be better.
A 0400 start should put us into France mid-afternoon and back in Dover for dinner. Let's hope the weather cooperates. So, we're off. Stay tuned on the GPS for constant updates throughout the day.
Arrived in Dover on Sunday afternoon, crew is all here and we're ready to go. After waiting for nearly a year, tomorrow looks like it will be the day - maybe. The weather may deteriorate beginning on Thursday so I hope it holds through tomorrow at least. The swim slot calls for a 0400 start. That means I need to get up around 0100 to eat. Then we will depart for the boat around 0230 - 0300. If all goes well, we should be back in Dover in time for dinner. That is, if the weather holds. It changes so fast here we can only hope.
Well, the time is nearly at hand. I depart for London this evening. The swim could go as early as Tuesday ... but then again it might not go for ... well, who knows…
Weather in the Channel today was calm. Here's hoping that the weather holds. I am very much looking forward to finishing off this little piece of unfinished business. My three major goals are: 1. to survive, 2. to finish the swim in France, and 3. to have fun.
I would like to express a special thanks to five people who are making big sacrifices to support this swim. My teammates are Steve Smith of San Francisco, Santi Minguela of Madrid, Spain, Jim Morrison of Atlanta, Cassandra Passmore (my sister) of Pacifica, California and Lindsey Passmore (my niece) of Pacifica, California. Nothing is possible without help. This is very special help.