Report by Stuart Gleeson
Met the team at 0300, Introductions - hello again to Arni who swam with me last year, joined this time by his friends Halfdan, Birna, Kristinn, Bjorne, Hegier & supporter Heimiron. Crewman Stuart Adams & I made preparations for leaving as CSA Observer Sam Jones runs over the rules of relay swimming to remind the team of how the challenge will be regulated.
At 0409 the swim was recorded as beginning. Cool air, but swimmers happy enough encouraging & looking after each other. Into the Sou'West lane at 0715. Usual conditions, a bit choppy but nothing too severe. A few big ships today - notable in the North East Lane is the Ebba Maersk - one of the 8 E class ships that are the biggest in the world - 1306ft long & 186ft wide. It is bound for Rotterdam. Everyday there is a Maersk ship that docks at Felixstowe, known as the "Daily Maersk." Felixstowe have not long extended their terminal to accommodate the new triple e class - 10 ships that when completed will slightly bigger than the E class. Traffic in the Channel - some 900 ships a day - is not likely to reduce in the near future - a new container terminal still under construction called the London Gateway situated in the Thames Estuary aims to attract more ships to the UK markets.
The team are engaged in a friendly battle against the team on Pathfinder - the lead shifts a few times on the way to France.
At 1418 we leave the traffic of the North East Lane & the team is happy. Weather conditions are perfect with no wind making for a calm sea. Even the sun shines on us occasionally. 1500 - a seal is sighted & some fishing nets to avoid. Debris in the Channel is common - discarded ropes & nets aren't good for swimmers or propellers. We keep a sharp watch.
1555 - Pace Arrow passes by close to give our team a cheer - their team are returning home.
We head towards Tardinghen beach - visibility is good, & team are in good shape so I'm happy for them all to swim in to shore together. The swim is recorded as complete by Sam at 1653 giving the team a time of 12hours & 44 minutes. Well done!