Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The following is a link to the newspaper article in the Daily Herald.  I will post pictures and videos of the swim for my dad as soon as I can!

(Kate ;)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Time to swim!


Well, the time is here! The decision has been made! I will be doing a night swim staring around 9:30 p.m. Dover time. That will be 2:30 p.m. Central time. The wind is 10 miles an hour and I'm hoping for calm waters. I decided having favorable conditions out weighs having the sun and possibly waiting forever for an opportunity to swim.

I'm going in with the fact that I have been swimming in cold water with clowdy days and am able to handle the cold. Thank you for your support and I will make it.


Sunday, July 19, 2009


The weather isn't cooperating at all. The waves are 6-10 feet the last couple of days. The #1 slot swimmer ended up not making it Thursday. She fell 1/2 mile short. It was disappointing that I didn't get to go. Mo, a swimmer from Ireland did make it and the conditions were ideal. The worst part of it was the swimmer was from London and could have come to Dover anytime to swim the Channel. I really wish she would have given me the slot since I came such a long distance.

Mo was in the forth slot but her captain moved her up because she came from a longer distance. Enough of that because it's over and done with. I'm looking at a possible swim Tuesday morning at 10 a.m. That would be 2 a.m. Chicago time. If that doesn't happen then the next possible window moves to the weekend. The weather really is bad. I was prepared for cold water, the distance, etc. but not in the fact I may not get a chance.

I've spoken to numerous swimmers who have had the same thing happen. Chris from Ireland didn't get a chance last year and here he sits in the same position again. Several swimmers are leaving Tuesday because they can't stay. Mary and Ray, along with Mike will return and I will stay. This is a real test mentally to stay focused and not get to down. On top of waiting, I don't have my office here so working is quite tough to do.

Well, that's the update. Pray Tuesday opens up and I get my chance.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

The waiting game


Today is Thursday and still no chance to go. As I type right now my boat pilot is a third of the way across the English Channel with the number 1 slot swimmer. The way it works is there are four slots. When a window of opportunity presents itself the captain calls the first swimmer and asks if they want to go. If they say no then the 2nd swimmer is called and so on. I'm in the number 2 slot so now I move to #1. Unfortunately, the weather doesn't look good until Saturday or Sunday. If the conditions aren't what I want then I will stay next week and leave on the Spring tide. The Neap tide is preferred but I'm a strong enough swimmer to go on the Spring Tide.

All that is happening right now is I'm swimming 1.5-2 hours easy in Dover Harbor. Trying to prevent soreness in my shoulders and lower back from laying around and waiting. This swim is a mind game for sure! So, I'm hoping for the weekend. Thanks to my supporters and keep well.


Monday, July 13, 2009

Today is Monday the 13th. I've been here for three days and it has already been an experience. Dover is quite old with much history. The Catholic church dates back to the 1200's. Unbelievable, this church was built 250+ years before Columbus discovered America. The Fort on top of the Cliffs of Dover is amazing. It has defended the area against many threats to include the possible invasion by Napoleon. Dover and the harbor were bombed by Germany during WW II. There is still evidence from that yet today.

The first night I arrived I went down to the Dover Harbor. There wasn't anyone there and I entered the water- intimidated. The water is dark and the salt heavy. Just outside the breaker wall the waves were 4-5 feet. It was a real wake up call to the fact the Channel is a powerful body of water. After an hour, I completed the training swim and felt very comfortable with the water temp. Intimidated no longer!

Saturday and Sunday I swam with Maureen (from Ireland) and Mark (from San Diego). They are staying at the Victoria House as well. Bill and Audry(0wners of the Victoria House) have made our stay comfortable and are really nice people. They have seen quite a few English Channel Swimmers through the years stay at their Guest House. The History on the walls motivates you to want to have your successful crossing displayed on the wall. We swam with the Channel association swimmers on Saturday and Sunday. A nice group of people. Many of them have crossed the Channel. One interesting and nice lady is Freda Streeter. Her daughter Allison is the queen of the English Channel, doing over 40 singles, a double and triple. Freda offers sound advise as well as the other successful swimmers. It's really nice that they offer advise and really do want to see you make your crossing.

Mike Carson who is going to be on board with me arrived Saturday and he is ready to go. All supplies are packed and I'm now waiting for the phone call to tell me LETS GO! After two training days I know that I'm ready physically, mentally and above all comfortable with the water temperature. The one fact I've come to realize is that great swimmers have come here to swim the English Channel and failed. The English Channel has an inviting appeal to it but the power of the English Channel and the weather conditions are key to one's successful completion.

Mary and little Ray are here as well. Mary has been very supportive and Ray has been a gem. He traveled on the plane like a pro and has been excellent throughout the day and night. Kate, Joe, Caroline, Beth, Dan and Mike are with me in my heart. They couldn't come because of their activities, school, work, etc. that they have going on. I wish they were here.

I've met 8 swimmers( all very capable to swim the distance) here from all around the world. We all have our windows of opportunity over the next 7-8 days. We are all facing one realization. We most likely aren't going to get favorable conditions this week. The water temp isn't the problem. It's the wind and the waves created. It now looks like Thursday night or the weekend will be my best opportunity. By the weekend I will know if I will stay on next week trying to still get a chance. I hope I get to swim while Mary, Mike and Ray are here. I've trained very hard and I really want the chance to succeed. No matter what, once my Boat pilot and I decide it's the best window of opportunity I have, I will give it my all. Having the time to rest and know before hand about the upcoming weather has been a good thing. The more I think about it the more I can prepare myself for the conditions. The English Channel is going to test me for sure. What an interesting time it will be! I will update the Blog when I get further information from my Boat Captain.


Sunday, July 5, 2009

July 9th is Closing Fast!!!

This week (June 29th-July 5th) went well as far as training. Total mileage was 25 miles. On Saturday I was able to train with Marcia Cleveland and get my final marching orders. The lake was a warm 64 degrees and smooth. As I finish my final week of training and taper I really am feeling strong in the water.

I don't know when I will start the swim but as soon as I do I will post it on the Blog. Additionally, there will be updates during the swim on my blog via Twitter. For everyone who has supported my efforts I want to thank you very much.


Sunday, June 28, 2009

The training has been going well. In the last two weeks I've done a six hour and eight hour swim in Lake Michigan with the water temperature between 55 and 59 degrees. Last week my mileage peeked at 47 miles. This week June 22nd I completed 30 miles of training. I leave on July 9th and my window of opportunity is between July 13th and the 20th.

My boat captain is Mr. Foreman. I've had numerous phone conversations with him and we are confident in our skills and what we need to do individually to succeed on the crossing. I believe I'm ready for the 59-60 degree water. I've been training in 48-60 degree water since May 1st.

The training for this week June 29th-July 5th will be 23 miles. I'm looking forward to beginning my taper. The shoulders are quite sore and tired. Today I mentally could see that I've trained hard and well for the swim. There is no doubt that I will swim the English Channel. My prediction is under ten hours. That being said, I'm well aware of mother nature and have a deep respect for the English Channel. I will have the mind set that time does not matter, making it does. So if it takes me 15, 20, etc. hours then so be it.

I will be posting pictures and a you tube clip on the blog tomorrow. I will have more frequent updates as the time approaches. To my friends and family, thank you for your support.