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Can I Swim The Channel?

Updated: Aug 18, 2021

August 2021... I've done it!

With lock downs it's taken me a year - but was actually only 28 pool visits. This means an average of 48 lengths per hour session (some were a little shorter than an hour). But here I am "stood" on the beach at Cap Gris Nez.

So what or where next? Any suggestions? Holyhead to the Isle of Man has been suggested... not many landmarks along the way. The length of the River Dee (all 113km of it) has also been suggested but at least there are some landmarks along the way to break that up.

Below are some of my updates along the way and a breakdown of the miles.

August 2020 Our local pool has re-opened and I'm trying to get a few lengths in each week (socially distanced, numbers restricted, etc., etc.).

When I was ploughing up and down last week (well it's more of a genteel breast stroke) I wondered how many lengths I'd have to do to be the equivalent of swimming the English Channel. Well at the pool in Llangefni (a 25m pool) apparently it's 1352.

So I set myself the challenge!

I know that there are all-sorts of charity challenges out there that I could take part in but this is just a little challenge to myself. If for some reason I can't complete it (another lock-down, injury or Welsh class) then I can stand tall and say that I tried. If I get to complete it then I can put a poster up in my office to remind me that I did it.

I'm nowhere near a strong enough swimmer to do it for real and, although I love going into the sea I'm more likely to bob around than to swim any distance when I'm in.

So, 3 weeks in, I've swum 126 lengths - 3,150 m which is a mere 9.3% of the distance BUT that means that I'm 3,150 m "nearer to France". For those of you who work in "old money" that's just under 2 miles.

25 November Update

I'm still at it. There was a break when I couldn't get a "slot" and there was a break due to the Wales Firebreak but I'm back in the water. Last week I was disappointed to only record 38 lengths in the hour but this week I came back with vengeance and managed 54 lengths in 54 minutes (I slowed for the last 18 or so). But still not bad going.

9th December Update

After doing 56 lengths last week I got into the pool with great optimism. Unfortunately, I didn't manage 56 again this week. The water felt warm when I got in but as the hour went on I felt colder and colder (maybe the pool attendant thought it was too warm too and pumped cold in). I made a reasonable pace but not as good as last time. I suppose 50 isn't too bad a tally. See whether I can up it again next week. If I can do 50+ then I'll be 40% across.

5th May 2021 Update

Once again our local pool has re-opened (closed since mid December 2020) so I'm back in and ploughing up and down. Did 48 which isn't bad for a four and a half month lay-off. Fingers crossed that I can finish my Channel swim in 2021!

19th May 2021 Update

Yeah! I've passed the half way point. I'm at 52% across... 704 lengths or 17,600 meters. If I keep up this pace (and we're not locked down again) I'll hopefully reach the French shore by September (or thereabouts).

26th May 2021 Update

Today's progress I'll dedicate to my Dad. Today would've been him 89th birthday. It was him who took me to Liverpool's "Learn To Swim" Campaign back in 1965 so that I could learn to swim. He then became a swimming instructor. Being able to swim has allowed me to scuba dive and wind surf. Both my girls learnt to swim at an early age and my youngest, Jeni, is now a professional mermaid, qualified freediver, PADI dive master and Marine Mammal Medic. Thanks Dad... we couldn't have done all of this without you.

2nd June 2021 Update

Despite the pool attendant breaking all social distancing rules (as set down in the leisure centre) and bundling 8 swimmers into one lane I did manage 52 lengths. That takes me to 59 (and a bit) % across the Channel. I have already swum more than 12.5 miles! I find that quite incredible.

Next week I'll be over 60%... Wow!

16th June 2021 Update

Late into the pool today (don't ask... forgetfulness) so only managed 42 lengths BUT am I feeling it! For some reason it exhausted me... must be this wild living that we're doing. But any lengths will take me closer to the "French shore" and I'm not at 66.75% across... that's more than 2/3rds. Wow! The end is almost in sight.

7th July 2021 Update

Even closer now. Two weeks of 52 lengths a time has given me a boost. Fingers crossed that in 6 weeks I'll be there!

I'll post my progress on here. I'd love to hear whether you think that I'm crazy or whether you've done it yourself.

18/8/20 40 lengths 40 lengths total 1000m 2.95%

25/8/20 40 lengths 80 lengths total 2000m 5.91%

1/9/20 46 lengths 126 lengths total 3150m 9.32%

8/9/20 50 lengths 176 lengths total 4400m 13.01%

18/9/20 50 lengths 226 lengths total 5650m 16.71%

14/10/20 44 lengths 270 lengths total 6750m 19.97%

11/11/20 42 lengths 312 lengths total 7800m 23.07%

18/11/20 38 lengths 350 lengths total 8750m 25.88%

25/11/20 54 lengths 404 lengths total 10,100m 29.88%

2/12/20 56 lengths 460 lengths total 11,500m 34.02%

9/12/20 50 lengths 510 lengths total 12,750m 37.72%

15/12/20 52 lengths 562 lengths total 14,050m 41.56%

5/5/21 48 lengths 610 lengths total 15,250m 45.11%

12/5/21 46 lengths 656 lengths total 16,400m 48.52%

19/5/21 48 lengths 704 lengths total 17,600m 52.07%

26/5/21 52 lengths 756 lengths total 18,900m 55.91%

2/6/21 52 lengths 808 lengths total 20,200m 59.76%

9/6/21 52 lengths 860 lengths total 21,500m 63.06%

16/6/21 42 lengths 902 lengths total 22,550m 66.71%

23/6/21 54 lengths 956 lengths total 23,900m 70.71%

30/6/21 52 lengths 1008 lengths total 25,200m 74.55%

7/7/21 52 lengths 1060 lengths total 26,500m 78.40%

14/7/21 44 lengths 1104 lengths total 27,600m 81.65%

21/7/21 44 lengths 1148 lengths total 28,700m 84.91%

28/7/21 56 lengths 1204 lengths total 30,100m 89.05%

4/8/21 52 lengths 1256 lengths total 31,400m 92.89%

11/8/21 54 lengths 1310 lengths total 32,750m 96.89%

18/8/21 42 lengths 1352 lengths total 33,800m 100%

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