andy’s english channel swim: august 2007

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.

swim update 15h52

Filed under: Channel swim 2006 — andy @ 3:52 pm

sms received: "water very choppy. Wind has come up. Stroke rate dropped to 48. Andy is very cold but hanging in here".

Evidently the wind is responsible for his eastward drift.

swim update 15h24

Filed under: Channel swim 2006 — andy @ 3:24 pm

latest GPS : N 51 4 902 E 1 33 579 which translated into google earth is 51.0817 N 1.5597 E

This looks like andy has been swept north east by currents, from what I can remember this is part of the tidal current dance, or maybe finger trouble on sms. I will try to confirm.

Swim update 13h01

Filed under: Channel swim 2006 — andy @ 1:51 pm

Sea choppier. Causing a bit of sea sickness. Stroke rate remains steady at 52. Wind South West 2 to 3. Diesel fumes strong. Andy chirpy. Stop for bun.

swim update 12h02

Filed under: Channel swim 2006 — andy @ 12:02 pm

latest GPS N 51 2 178 and E 001 19 751 which once again translated to google earth gives 51.0363 N 1.3292 E . Andy seems to be heading SSW from dover.