Monday June 23, 2008 - 09.00 Hrs. - Mark's swim is probably on for tomorrow morning at 01.00am. There is a slight doubt due to the predicted weather on Tuesday afternoon.
Monday June 23, 2008 - 12.00 Hrs. - Speak to Mark and make sure he has the last few details all tied up. Chris Pountney e-mailed me and is now coming on board as a late crew member. I have been up to the town to get all my food ready for the long day out, and spoke to Mark again on the mobile. All is set. I am leaving for Dover at 21:00 Hrs.
Monday June 23, 2008 - 16.20 Hrs. - Mark's pilot, Fred Mardle phones me. The swim is off. It looks like bad weather on Tuesday afternoon as predicted, so it now looks like the best day will be Thursday at 03.00am. I speak to Mark who has just filled his car up with petrol and was on his way to Dover. His wife has already broken the news to him. That's Channel Swimming for you, expect the unexpected! Have now unpacked all the food and put it back in the fridge. Will keep you updated with any further news.
Tuesday June 24, 2008 - 12.10 - No further news on Mark's swim yet, but just got the official swim list for the FINA Open Water Grand Prix in Serbia on July the 13th. I will be competing against English Channel World Record Holder, Petar Stoychev. I am also the only swimmer entered from England/GB and the second oldest swimmer in the race. No pressure there then! Full list of starters can be found by clicking on the link below:-
Wednesday June 25, 2008 - 12.00 - Spoke to Mark's pilot's wife who said she didn't think it looks too promising for Thursday morning. Sam Jones has text me from Dover saying "Just down at the harbour its really windy and the sea is pretty rough with lots of white horses! Hope its going to calm down for you.". Doesn't sound too good, but will wait for Fred Mardle (Mark's pilot) to phone later. Went to the pool last night to thrash out 4KM and relieve all of the stress of the past week.
Wednesday June 25, 2008 - 14.15 - IT'S OFF AGAIN! Just spoke to Fred Mardle, and the conditions are not suitable for tomorrow. We are now looking at Friday at 04.00am or Saturday at 05.00am. Very frustrating for Mark, but it's all part of channel swimming.
Wednesday June 25, 2008 - 18.00 - What the papers say about Mark's swim:-
Thursday June 26, 2008 - 10.00 - Had an e-mail from Freda Streeter last night saying Saturday looks good for the next swim, which will unfortunately mess my Saturday training schedule in Dover up, which she is worried about as I obviously need to get as much training in for my two-way channel swim as is physically possible. Therefore I hit the pool at 07.00am this morning and did 3,350 Metres at Culford School Pool, as well as some weights, press-ups and stretching before I went to bed last night. It made me feel a bit better about things.
Thursday June 26, 2008 - 13.15 - ...and so it continues...! Just spoke to Fred Mardle. Neither Friday or Saturday are looking good at present. 25mph+ winds on both days. At least I will be training in Dover on Saturday! Will update when we have further news.
Thursday June 26, 2008 - 16.45 - The swim cannot go ahead tomorrow due to the weather, and Mark, who works as a paramedic, cannot get any time off work this weekend and so at present the swim is cancelled. He will speak to his pilot to see if he can get another chance later in the season.
What a week! Unfortunately, this is the nature of channel swimming, and unless the weather is right, you simply cannot swim.