Lake Windermere

Lake Windermere

Saturday, 20 July 2013


My pilot sent this to JLDSC members. Hope you like it! His spellings, not mine!

The next morning came with far better visual conditions as we took New Zealander David Coleman out after a two year wait of being blown out on Round Jersey swims, he'd plumped for a Jersey to France outing. The day started well with 'Charlie' ran Sea Swimmer 2 aground at the start point, giving both David and Mick a chance to sample the sea temperature up to their O levels as they returned the good ship to a floating position and we set off. we could see France from the start today, which promised much. David left the Jersey shore at some speed as he strongly pulled his way to France. Once more initial conditions were perfect, a flat sea with no wind at all to worry the ensigns. Today we had had Alice Harvey aboard to look after David's dietary requirements. Alice a veteran of Round Island, Jersey to France, Channel relays and Derwent Water is a vastly experienced crew member and did a superb job looking after her 'client'. David swam well enjoying his experience. Water temperature was recorded at 17C and David looked very comfortable as he moved forward at a good pace. Strong sunlight again gave Mick and I a track to follow although we were now conversant with the on-board nav aids which of course include the ships radio set on Radio 2, much to young Alice's disapproval, although I did catch her doing 'the onboard wiggle' to a less aged track. An uneventful first few hours saw David working his way across the globe. The French coast came and went in fog banks, however undisturbed we all ploughed on even taking turns to sun ourselves out on deck. Sea temperature was still rising at the halfway stage we recorded 18C, Alice was pleased with David's progress and recorded his stroke rate at a powerful 59. David made a magnanimous gesture in bequeathing his entire stock of mini Jaffa cakes to the crew which earned him much praise. As if we needed it! Again as the Ecrehouse sailed by and we hit the wall, In terms of a change in conditions as a placid sea began to build. However the worse the sea conditions and wind strength only made David more resolute and determined. It was becoming impossible to keep the escort boat in a nice friendly position alongside as we had previously achieved. Sometimes fifty to eighty yards ahead David rode the waves in great style without a moan or whinge, instead a big grin, he was obviously enjoying himself out there. In condition in which I've seen better swimmers think twice about staying the course, he applied himself to the task ahead. He was still making good progress towards the beach but wind and tide was driving us north of our 'aim point'. Sea temperature was recorded now at 19C and Alice had spotted one jellie fish, some way down. David latter confirmed a sighting of three so not really enough to bother anyone. Alice joined David in amongst the waves for twenty minutes and together they ploughed on. Eventually we lined the boat up for a finish again north of 'the house' but who carers. David had become the first New Zealander and we believe the oldest to conquer La Manche Two in a time of nine hours eighteen. A very gutsy swim by a very fit and determined swimmer, thoroughly deserving his success.

Don't forget the British Red Cross. Continued thanks to those who have contributed.

Back to normal. Rocking at full speed.

Photos still to follow but as there are no kids about it may take a day or 2!

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Setting off. 7am. Only 13 and a half hours to go!