Pilots report by Stu Gleeson.
We meet relay team brave heart at the loading pontoon at Dover marina at 2.30 a.m. We go through the swim plans for the day followed by a safety briefing. The team are all full of good spirits. We leave the harbour steaming down to Samphire Hoe for the start of the the swim.
We start the swim at 3.23 no 1 swimmer in Alan and swimming very strongly.
I call coastguard at 3.45 with details of the swim.
06.23 no 4 swimmer (Luke Beaumont) is in but changes side of the boat we enter the south west shipping lane at 06.30 just as we enter the lane the ship Sand Harrier crosses our bow less than quarter of a mile away.
09.23 changeover Lara is in we get a call from Dover coastguard to make sure we are contact with the ship Em Den - a car carrier but she has already seen us and altered course giving us a nice wide berth.
10.23 the last swimmer in the eight person team gets in Jamie and does well for his hour.
11.23 a nice quick changeover and back to no 1 the fastest swimmer Alan who will help the team across the north east lane Alan has covered 3 miles in his hour a really good effort .as he finishes is hour we are passed quite close by the ships Mn Toucan and the Emma.
No 2 prepares to go again and 12.23 we are now 2 miles from the inshore zone but moving quite nicely with the ebb tide so hopefully we will be close to the zc2 buoy when we leave the north east lane , Lydia clears the buoy and takes us in to the inshore waters .the swimmers spot a pod of dolphins which raises all the spirits on the boat.
01.23 No 4 Luke pushes us on for another hour.
At 02.23 no 5 swimmer gets in carina is 1.5 mile from Cap Gris Nez news lets hope she can get in before the flood tide comes through a seal has just popped up alongside the boat.
02.23 no 6 swimmer ( team leader ) John is in with 3/4 of a mile to go and the flood tide is through we are struggling to hit the Cap he has made a really good effort.
03.23 we have to put no 7 Lara in for a quick 6 mins into the beach to finish the swim off and landing the swim on the rocks next to the slipway of Restaurant La Sirene in 14 hours and 6 mins . Lara swam back to the boat then all her team swam into the slipway for a group photo which finished the day off nicely ...
|Bravehearts landing point|
|Swim track (with red crosses & thick black line) taken off on board GPS plotter|