andy’s english channel swim: august 2007

August 22, 2006

swim update 11h05

Filed under: Channel swim 2006 — andy @ 11:05 am

latest GPS N 51 2 801 E 001 17 829  which once again I "think" translates into 51.0467 N 1.2972 E for google earth. I am assuming that last three digits are xx/1000 seconds so N 51 2 801 is 51 degrees 2.801 minutes. Not sure about this so any comments appreciated…

Update 22 Aug 2006 10h33

Filed under: Channel swim 2006 — andy @ 10:33 am

Just on two hours. Water temp at 18 degrees. Completed 7,48km. Full of beans. Wind still north/north west. Stroke rate at 50.

Cecilia - the source of all the sms updates.

swim update 10h32

Filed under: Channel swim 2006 — andy @ 10:32 am

received sms "just on two hours. Water temp at 18 degrees. Completed 7.48km. Full of beans. Wind still north/north west. Stroke rate at 50."

Swim update 09h50

Filed under: Channel swim 2006 — andy @ 9:50 am

Just received update via sms of andy’s progress .. "sun coming through. Stroke rate at 56 per minute. Andy shouting goodbye to dover".

 Also received GPS coordinates 51 6 137 N, 001 19 107E which if my guess is correct translates into the following google earth coordinates 51.103 N 1.31963 E. Simply type into "Fly to" box and click search button. You will find a large grey expanse of sea, but zoom out a bit and you can see harbour wall from where andy left.

Update 07h35 22 Aug 2006

Filed under: Channel swim 2006 — andy @ 8:53 am

Swim commenced at 7.25 UK time from Shakespeare beach. Light northernly wind. Overcast but sun comming through. Stroke rate at 56 per minute. Andy shouting good bye to Dover.

07h15 en route to the start at Sheakespeare Beach. First the greasing up by Cecilia, and then the swim in to the beach, with Steve & Barend to wish me well before getting on my way.



06h00 Waiting for my lift to the harbour


August 21, 2006

Dover 2006 08 22

Filed under: Dover — andy @ 12:46 pm


Pilot Chris Osmond calls to confirm that the swim is on for tomorow 07h30. Because the tides have moved on since last week, I will start with the tide sweeping me in a southerly direction past Folkestone in order to try & finish in daylight, rather than the usual northern push. Nonetheless, given the time & weather constraints, I my estimated finishing time will at best still be after sunset.

As this is probably my last post before I swim, I must thank all of you who have posted comments on the site & sent emails to me - the support has been wonderful during the last week of cabin fever. I apologise for not responding individually to each of you, but getting access to the internet is not easy here. This is probably the only internet cafe’ in a 50km radius; all of those listed in the Yellow Pages etc have closed down, and only the 12 year olds knew where to find this one. Far better to have brought a laptop & a 3G card.

The window for tomorrow’s swim looks small; I’m not sure how many other swimmers will get away after me.

Dover 2006 08 21

Filed under: Dover — andy @ 12:39 pm


12h00 View of France

Just joking - a photo that David & Evelyn, the owners of Varne Ridge, emailed in January. 2nd photo of the usual training swim on the Dover harbour, a 2.25 km lap (summer weather genuine).



Hanging around on the cliff top at "home," Barend & Steve came for chat (pic 1). Barend will obviously take fewer strokes to France than I will (pic 2). Pic 3 of of the house where the South African contingent (John dickerson, Jonathan Crowther & Hugh Tucker etc) stayed in 2003

August 20, 2006

Dover 2006 08 20

Filed under: Dover — andy @ 8:59 pm

An email from Dion Woodborne, who seconded Hugh (in picture at the Varne Ridge roll of honour) on his successful swim of 2004, and who swam himself in 2005:

"Thoughts are with you all, may the weather gods soon be pleased. Have you thought of offering a human sacrafice, say like Hugh?"

The high pressure system that we’ve been waiting for is arriving - maybe Hugh is safe for now!

Note record holder Christof Wandratsch’s time below Dion; Christof currently holds a number of the Cape Town open water swim records.

August 18, 2006

Dover 2006 08 18

Filed under: Dover — andy @ 5:20 pm

Worst weather to date. Poor Clive, my neighbour at Varne Ridge, got back in the boat after 2 hours of retching in the water. The conditions don’t look too bad in the early morning light below, but the strong headwind makes it difficult for two reasons; firstly it is difficult to get "purchase" on the water with each stroke, and secondly the swimmer cannot shelter behind the boat because of the diesel fumes. It was his 5th attempt; I think the pilot refunded him part of his fee, as he should not have been put in the water.

Starting to rebel against the pasta now.

August 17, 2006

Dover 2006 08 17

Filed under: Dover — andy @ 9:18 pm

05h30 The girls relay team also staying at Varne Ridge left for their record attempt, hoping to cross faster that 9 hours. Five other boats joined them for a 06h00 swim start.

09h30 View of France

19h00 The relay team crossed in a credible time of 10h05, after a rough start to their swim. Again our pilot advises against swimming tomorrow. Cabin fever & awareness of swimmers behind me in the queue (including fellow South African Barend Nortje) is starting to make me edgy. Two years ago I persistently sms’d Hugh Tucker (see link on right) ‘patience & focus’ and now he is reminding me of that.

It appears that a high pressure system is due on Sunday or Monday; that should give us the good conditions that we are looking for. However it also appears that anyone attempting to predict the weather in Dover needs their head read.