Well… was hoping the weather would be better, but I’m told yesterday’s 3ft waves are subsiding.
Fellow swimmer Andrew Hudson’s just sent me this photo of what the Solent looks like now:
Apparently there’s a swell left from yesterday’s big waves and it’s still choppy in the middle. (Don’t think swell means good.) The canoeists accompanying us tomorrow are discussing conditions right now, as they can’t go out if they’ll keep capsizing. So fingers crossed! The 12 Bestival swimmers should be setting off from GAFIRS lifeboat station, Stokes Bay, Gosport at 11.30AM tomorrow, or if it’s still too choppy, Friday at 12.30PM.
(UPDATE: SWIM’S ON FOR TOMORROW!!!!)
So I should be in my wetsuit about 11AM tomorrow , having handed my canoeist a carrier bag with my asthma spray, a high energy drink or two and a packet of shark repellent. (£8.85 from Amazon. So it must work.)
(You thought I was joking, Andrew!)
Then I’ll be running into the waves, complaining about how cold the water is for a bit, until I get past the tricky cold bollock stage. At which point it’ll be OK as I’ll still be able to stand up for a bit, then, a few steps later, it’s time to swim! Four miles. To Ryde Westsands.
As well as the kayaks, there’ll be a mother ship (called Alice, apparently) driven by Alan who will be communicating with the coastguard, Southampton VHS and the Queens Harbour master, Portsmouth. They in turn inform all the other mariners including ferry and shipping companies as we swim through the busy shipping lane that serves Portsmouth and Southampton docks. And I get a tap on the shoulder with a canoe stick if any shipping’s coming through.
I’ve been told we can’t get insurance for the sea bit, but we are insured for the shore bit. Which will be reassuring as I cross the road to the treacherously pebbly beach.
So hopefully the gusty South Westerly winds blowing waves against us as we swim to the Isle of Wight will chillax a little bit.
And here’s what you can do:
At 11.30AM tomorrow, please, please, please, please, if you’re anywhere BUT the Isle of Wight, please turn South to face the Isle of Wight, take a deep breath. And then blow as hard as you can.
(If you live on the Isle of Wight, you suck. Yes you do.)
I’m no Michael Fish, but there must be a small chance that will dampen the wind down, and if not, at least I might get off slightly at the thought of everybody blowing me.
What else you can do: http://www.bmycharity.com/swim2bestival4FAN
– Please help me help Families Against Neuroblastoma help children all over the country battling our deadliest childhood cancer. It needn’t be. Every little bit really counts, and it just takes a minute to click on the link above and help. So please pass the link on!
I’ll be thinking of Ashley Hyde’s family tomorrow (see my previous post below) who have tirelessly fundraised for FAN. Brave Star Wars fan Ashley sadly lost his final battle against Neuroblastoma, aged 7, one year ago, on September 8, 2010. May the force be with you, Ashley!
Will keep you posted,