andy’s english channel swim: august 2007

August 27, 2007

2008 08 27 19h11

Filed under: Channel swim 2007 — andy @ 7:20 pm

Swim confirmed for tomorrow. 

We meet the pilot in the harbour at 07h00 UK time tomorrow. Low tide is at the same time, so it looks like a long sweep north with the flood tide, before turning south with the ebb tide soon after 13h00. My efficient crew has already packed their food & my various fuels, done dry runs of feeding routines, compiled lists etc etc and now have their feet up.  

Many thanks to all of you who have sent text messages, emails to my various email addresses & also made comments on this site.

Time for pasta again & to get some sleep.

2007 08 27 12h00

Filed under: Channel swim 2007 — andy @ 1:31 pm

The call every channel swimmer wants and dreads!

My pilot, Chris Osmond, has taken swimmers out 4 days in a row, and from my window I can see the flotilla of boats approaching the southbound shipping lane. Chris’ wife called to say that we’re 90% on for 08h30 tomorrow, and will confirm later today i.e. the swim’s on unless the weather deteriorates this afternoon. My "crew" have gone for the last minute shopping & to get out of my hair, and I’m off to Shakespeare beach for a last light swim to settle the nerves.

Please remember to monitor the SportsTrack link for realtime progress tomorrow

In addition you can sms 082 777 8186 on the boat, but please do not reply to any other number, as you will clog up our outgoing communications.

Finally, the comments facility has been reactivated - let’s hope the spam monsters don’t get us before the end of the swim.

August 22, 2007

2007 08 22 Wednesday

Filed under: Dover — andy @ 12:01 pm

Cecilia landed at Heathrow this morning and I fly tonight, and then on to Dover on Friday.

Weather permitting, I hope to get a swim in the spring tides next week (27/8 - 3/10)(see UK tide table ). If not, then I’m back into 3rd slot for the following neap tide (4/10 - 10/10).

SportsTrack has kindly made one of their newest handheld units available for this swim. This will provide near-live progress of my swim to be tracked on the web at this link which will go live when the swim starts. 

October 6, 2006

Seven days later …

Filed under: Channel swim 2006 — andy @ 6:09 pm


"I know you better than that!  Probably, not maybe; and sooner rather than later.

"Lots of love. Doe"

 How can I let my little sister down after 40 years of unfailing support?

August 28, 2006

Five days later …

Filed under: Channel swim 2006 — andy @ 7:54 pm
  • maybe later, maybe never …

August 24, 2006

Two days later

Filed under: Channel swim 2006 — andy @ 6:06 pm

Shit I was stiff & sore yesterday morning - too sore to even sleep; I was up again before 07h00 wandering around aimlessly trying not to wake everyone else. Regaining some sense of functionality now, but my wrists & shoulders are still stiff. I think the stiff wrists are a result of bracing in the uneven water, something which retarded forward progress.

My first thoughts when I climbed back in the boat (and promise to Cecilia) were two promises:

  1. I would have made it in semi-decent conditions
  2. Never again

The S-shaped track in the map below shows the actual route swum; the straighter light grey dotted line was the boat trip back to Dover. The S-shaped route is the result of the tidal push, first SW for about 3 hours, then NE for 6 hours, back SW, and then the final half-tide NE before abandoning the attempt.


The actual target & shortest route is to Cap Gris Nez (centre below on map). However the wind & swell had initially combined with the  tide and pushed me far further North than planned. When the tide turned South, the wind & swell opposed the tide, preventing me from getting below Cap Gris Nez & being washed towards the Cap or onto the open beach of Wissant to its’ right. Once past Calais, the coastline falls away fast, making landing impossible.

August 23, 2006

final update 03h30

Filed under: Channel swim 2006 — andy @ 7:38 am

sms received at 3:30am : "Abandoned swim after 15.5 hours due to foul weather - 3 miles off the coast of france. What an effort!"


The spirit was willing but the flesh was weak.

August 22, 2006

swim update 22h57

Filed under: Channel swim 2006 — andy @ 10:27 pm


sms update : "Andy still going strong in spite of force 4 wind and very rough sea. Stroke rate 48. He remains in good spirits."

Pic1 Night stick visible in goggle strap. Pic2 "Keep the damn flash out of my eyes!"

swim update 19h57

Filed under: Channel swim 2006 — andy @ 7:57 pm


SMS update "Andy still going strong but conditions are shocking. Boat rock +n rolling and nearly all sea sick. Only the toughest of the tough can do this." Sounds like fun…. Just received GPS update…N51 3 753 E 001 42 145 which translates to googel earth’s 51.06255 N 1.70242 E

swim update 16h59

Filed under: Channel swim 2006 — andy @ 4:59 pm

latest sms : "just past halfway mark after 8 hour swim. Windspeed has increased and the weather conditions are deteriorating. Changed feeding to hot honey. Playing chicken with tankers and ferries. Whole crew seasick"


Pic1 Ferries travel in the same direction as the swimmers. Pic2 crew getting fresh air on the bow. Only Fran didn’t get sea-sick; she didn’t miss a beat through the whole trip.