Monday, 20 August 2012

We swam to France!

On Thurs 9th August, we got the call to say we'd be swimming on Friday the 10th, so to get our asses to Dover sharpish! As mentioned in the last post, Sophie briefly went a bit blind due to some prescription seasickness medication (lesson - if there are side effects, Sophie will probably get the most exciting ones...), so spent a bit of a panicked Thursday in eye A&E waiting to find out if she'd be fit to swim. Gladly, all was okay (and the consultant gave us some sponsorship money, winner), so we finally set off from Leeds at 5pm, with Sarah's dad Trevor at the wheel, and Sarah's sister Lisi on board to supply the gossip and bubblegum-flavoured bonbons en route!


After a night in our trusty tent (and poking someone's trailer-tent with a pole whilst putting it up in the dark...), we headed down to Dover marina to meet our fantastic fellow Seals and begin our journey on our boat Gallivant! Sadly, team member David had managed to get hit by an 8-foot wave whilst training in France, which perforated his eardrum and ended his 2012 swim dream - onwards and upwards to 2013 - get well soon, David!



After some comedy frolics with the Olympic torch, we were off! The team had decided that in David's absence, Sarah would be swimmer number one, which introduced some last minute nerves (oh, swimming hats, ever glamorous)...


...but then she was off!



Despite almost getting squished by our sister boat Sea Satin - what are sandwiches without mayonnaise?!


Boat leader, aspirant solo swimmer (good luck in September!) and David's replacement Alice was up next...


...she had a great time!


Then it was Jackie's turn to enjoy the beautiful weather...


 ...she was off!


Next up was Heather...



...beaming her way across the Channel!


Then it was Sophie's turn...



...who looks like she thoroughly enjoyed it!


A master switchover by Sophie and Kay...


...led on to Kay having the most adventurous swim of us all!


We carried on, one after another, through the evening...




...and then the night...


...whilst trying to keep warm and stop throwing up!



And after fourteen hours and fifty-nine minutes, Jacky touched France!! We were happier than we look, promise!



After the triumphant and snoozy three hour ride back to Dover! Hooray!



We even got to celebrate briefly with the legend that is Freda Streeter! Although she was a bit put out that we weren't getting back in the water...


A fry-up was next up - after eighteen hours of not keeping anything down, it was downright necessary!


And then we got to immortalise ourselves on the wall of the White Horse (well, until they next have a refurb!)...


...alongside Channel legend Alison Streeter...


...our boat pilot Mike Oram...


...and many many more!


We did it! And in case you've not had just about enough of us...here's our swim video!



More thank yous, of course, to our latest sponsors during and since the swim - Jenni, Timandra, Lesia, Scotty & Nige, Col, Trevor P, James, Trevor (Sarah's dad), Sharon at Best Pawz Forward, David, Will, Jess, Callum, Dougie, Julie, Matt, Carole, Andy and Katie. You're all fantastic, thank you! We (literally!) couldn't have done it without you. THANK YOU! x x x x x

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