The end of August saw the last weekend training swim down in Dover. I got up at my usual early time (or so I thought) and drove down the motorways to the south east coast. Not knowing it at the time, I hadn’t followed my normal weekly pattern, I had in fact got up 1 hour earlier, 5.30 instead of 6.30 so when I arrived at Dover I was the 2nd one there behind ‘Atlantic Dan’, closely followed by Freda, Barry & Irene.
Atlantic Dan (more on the reason behind his nickname in a later blog) told me he had planned to be in Dover earlier as he was looking to get a good 4 or 5 hour swim in before the planned Beach BBQ – He then suggested that I join him! At first I declined and said I’d wait for Ian (Down) to join me in an hour or so, but then I gave in to his banter of calling me ‘wimp’ and ‘chicken’ and entered into the cold water.
For the first half-hour or so there were just 2 of us in the water, increasing to 3 for another 30 mins and then a number more when the yellow hat crew appeared. I swam strong for another hour longer, and then mid stroke saw the familiar goggled face of Ian Down. we chatted for a minute or two and then swan on together.
After a good 4 hours or so, we headed in to shore for a dry down and change of clothes before enjoying the planned beach BBQ.
The crowd on that Saturday were fantastic, the chatter amongst the beach was all about ‘their day’ people recalling details of the day they had attempted their cross channel swim, the feelings and emotions as they battled with everything that that nature and the Gods could throw at them. With a number of successful stories it was quite inspiring to be among so many ‘channel swimmers’