Below is a brief account of what happened:
I took the plunge at 6am from Saphire Hoe just outside Dover. I maintained a fair speed for 16 miles. But then 5 miles from the French coast I started to drift towards Spain. I could pick out little houses and fences from the sea but instead of getting nearer I kept drifting south and parallel to France as the southerly tide proved too strong. The pilot gave me the benefit of the doubt to see if I could break through and so I continued on for another 5 hours but wasn't able to move closer to land. That resulted in the skipper calling the shots and halting the swim. 13 hours I slugged it out for and so I am still pretty pleased with myself, swimming an equivalent of about 35 to 40 kilometres in total.
But I have decidied I am doing the crossing again, except from France to England in 2 years time. That will give me the time and strength I need to build in order to break free from the rigorous tides of the French coast and make a beeline for England. But as for now, my feet are up, tea next to my bed, about to watch a dvd with my team and head back to London tomorrow. I will type up a full account of the day's events with video footage and photographs in the next few days so please watch this space!
Finally, thank you to everyone who supported me in my challenge and helping me to raise £2600 for Save the Children! Your generosity and kind words of encouragement have been overwhelming to say the least!
Many thanks to you all
I will leave you with a poem/affirmation that I have used often whilst swimming, and I will continue to use it until I complete my next channel swim:
if you want something bad enouh, go out and fight for it,
work day and night for it,
give up your time and your peace and your sleep for it,
if only desire of it makes you quite mad enough,
never to tire of it,
makes you hold all other things taudry and cheap for it,
if gladly you'll sweat for it, fret for it, plan for it,
lose all your fear of god or man for it,
if you'll gladly go after the thing that you want,
you'll get it!
friends and family (L - R): Anna, Me, Lyndy, Jules, Mike, Jane, Ian, (camera man Rob with baby Jake!)
me and pacers: Mike T, Jules, Rob and baby Jake - swimmers beach, Dover
pacers gearing up for a training session in the harbour
boat skipper Andy King (left) plots our course to France
5.40am: leaving Dover Harbour
6 hours into the swim: Mike T keeping the pace in the background
sea-sick feeder Ian in the Gallows endures the long day out!
Mike T enjoys the ride home
more photos still on the way!