Today we checked into our B&B in Dover and met up with my pilot Paul Foreman to discuss a possible swim date and to check out my boat which is appropriately called Optimist. It was also a chance to ask any final questions as Paul will be escorting swimmers across the channel over the next few days. We discussed at length the fact that apart from the obvious challenges of the cool water temperature and distance (which we can train for), the elements tend to dictate whether or not a swimmer is successful.
Wind speed, wind direction and tide strength can be predicted by analysing weather forecasts. However, things don't always go to plan. Conditions can change halfway through the swim and tides can be stronger/weaker than anticipated, which can affect the planned route across the channel. It is how a swimmer and their crew respond to the unexpected that determine if they will make it to France. I have worked really hard to get to this point and I feel more ready than ever to take on the Channel. But I know it takes more than hard work, preparation and confidence to have a successful crossing. Mother nature plays a massive part.
My swim could be anywhere between the 19th July-26th July and at this stage we may be looking at a swim at the beginning of my window, possibly through the night. However, as weather forecasts can change quickly, nothing is guaranteed until you actually leap off the boat and into the water. Hopefully, we will get at least 8hrs notice prior to the swim and will keep you all updated. The sun has been shining all day today and is forecast to continue for the next few days. The great thing about that is that the sun is warming the water up. The sea temp reached 16.7C today. Lets hope it continues to rise!
The Swimming 4 Jess tally for Cure Brain Cancer Foundation is also continuing to rise and we have reached $76 709! Thank you to everyone who has donated and for your words of support on the fundraising page. I have read every word and look forward to honouring your donations with an epic swim from England to France.