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Swimming the Channel Unsupported

#1
Has anyone had any experience or knowledge of anyone (other than David Walliams) swimming the English Channel?

I am planning to attempt it this summer, I have googled the topic and done some research however all I can find out is that various companies provide a service by which they accompany you and sort out the various permits ect. I'm not really interested in any of that, as I plan to do on my own without any support or assistance, also, I'm not too concerned regarding permits, as once I land in France, I don't intend to make a big song and dance about how I got there. I'll just travel back via one of the usual methods. In essence by doing it this way there are virtually no logistical concerns other than my travel to the departure point and my travel back to the U.K.

I also would appreciate any practical advice on how best to tranport the various bits of essential kit with me during the swim. So far I believe that I'll need some water, some energy food, simple compass, and my passport for the return leg. The passport could be squared away by having a mate meet me at the other end with it.

Finally any tips re preparation would be greatly appreciated, I do a fair ammount of phys, however anything specific to this sort of activity would be greatly appreciated. I'm a reasonable swimmer but have never really taken to it as a sport.

Cheers
 
#4
Get in touch with the British long distance swimming association. If I remember correctly you will have to have swam a number of long distance races before they will sanction your attempt.

I hope you have got about three grand for the support vessel.

A mate of mine did it sometime ago a certain Pete Hawksworth. He was my coach at CPLDSC.

Advice, Swim fcuking miles and miles. Get used to being cold wet and fcuked.
Please do no do it unsupported.
 
#7
Cheers for the heads up re the other thread gremlin.

It seems that a lot of people who are attempting this or who have attempted it in the past have thrown a lot of effort, planning and training into it before making their attempt. My own vision of swimming the channel, was more just to rock up with a good level of overall phys and have a bash. It seems that people are putting (perhaps too much) emphasis on support vessels, permits and such like. I'd rather keep things simple and do it on my own.

I'll drop the author of the other thread a line and see if he can give me a steer as to how he found it all.

Cheers for the encouragement the gimp, not sure who you're refering too, however I'm sure he's a worthy comparison.
 
#8
This a wah?

So, when you suffer vomiting, diarrhoea, cramp, hypothermia, hypoglycemia, hyponatremia and whatever else? ........ and you've nothng to cling onto? ........ will you just die? :omg:

Though, perhaps you won't be on your own? I guess everyone on this thread might charter a wee boat, to come and watch you. :excited:
 
#9
martin7606 said:
Cheers for the heads up re the other thread gremlin.

It seems that a lot of people who are attempting this or who have attempted it in the past have thrown a lot of effort, planning and training into it before making their attempt. My own vision of swimming the channel, was more just to rock up with a good level of overall phys and have a bash. It seems that people are putting (perhaps too much) emphasis on support vessels, permits and such like. I'd rather keep things simple and do it on my own.

I'll drop the author of the other thread a line and see if he can give me a steer as to how he found it all.

Cheers for the encouragement the gimp, not sure who you're refering too, however I'm sure he's a worthy comparison.
I think the emphasis on support vessels is for the carriage of the things you mention in the first post like food, drink, clothes, passport....plus someone being on hand to rescue you from drowning - since its patently clear you have no clue what you're talking about re sea swimming.

A quick question if I may - how do you think the many many vessels of often extremely large size are going to see one tiny little dot in the water while you attempt to traverse one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world? Believe me from my attempts at skippering small dive boats its hard enough to spot a scuba diver with a large Orange/Yellow/Red SMB in the English Channel when the water gets a touch choppy (and further out 'a touch choppy' can = troughs deeper than most people are tall).

I strongly suggest you get yourself down to the nearest bit of coast line to your home and go for a swim - not parallel to the shore, out and back, then come back and let us know when you're setting off for France.
 

mysteron

LE
Book Reviewer
#10
Scuba - Angel has it in one. The main reason for the support vessel is to stop Norfolk Line running you over. Remember that the English Channel is still the busiest sea lane in the world.

You need some arrogance to attempt ultra-endurance events - but not that much. Attitudes like that get others killed or hurt.

I have done many endurance events - all had support to ensure my and more importantly others safety. You volunteered to put yourself in that position, the poor sod that stumbles over you didn't. Wake Up and give your head a wobble.
 
#11
you'll be wanting a map and a wetsuit for starters, fablon the map so it doesn't get wet. but draw a line on it between dover and calais so you know where you are going
 
#12
To the authors of the above posts: Firstly, thanks for the input. I hadn't really considered the impact that shipping may have on my attempt. I envisaged the channel as being a very wide body of water and therefore ships would be relatively few and far between, I also imagined that I would be able to manouver out of the way with plenty of time should I encounter one, however you seem much better qualified than myself regarding this so I will happily bow to your experience.

Bovvy, no not a wah, I would hope that I have a sufficient level of overall fitess to make the crosing without needing anything to "cling to".

However, fitness wont protect me from large ships, which leads me to ask, is there any other route that is viable that would avoid shipping lanes? Also does the time of year affect how choppy it is? From the descriptions above it sounds pretty severe and not what I imagined, if possible, I'd like to make my attempt during calm seas.

Scuba angel - you're quite correct my experience of sea swimming is limited to Limassol, Tenereife and family holidays in Wales! Once again, thanks for the advice.
 

mysteron

LE
Book Reviewer
#14
P_F - Agreed. Even if it is a wah, I have seen enough idiots attempt things and get others hurt whilst getting away with it scott free that I feel duty bound to bite.
 
#16
"The English Channel is one of the world's busiest shipping lanes. There are two separate shipping lanes. Every day over 400 boats pass through and across them, including super tankers. All boats are frequently alerted over the radio whenever there are swimmers in the water, sometimes shipping gets very close!

There's a name for folk who try to swim the channel unsupported......




















Corpses!
 
#17
martin7606 said:
To the authors of the above posts: Firstly, thanks for the input. I hadn't really considered the impact that shipping may have on my attempt. I envisaged the channel as being a very wide body of water and therefore ships would be relatively few and far between, I also imagined that I would be able to manouver out of the way with plenty of time should I encounter one, however you seem much better qualified than myself regarding this so I will happily bow to your experience.

Bovvy, no not a wah, I would hope that I have a sufficient level of overall fitess to make the crosing without needing anything to "cling to".

However, fitness wont protect me from large ships, which leads me to ask, is there any other route that is viable that would avoid shipping lanes? Also does the time of year affect how choppy it is? From the descriptions above it sounds pretty severe and not what I imagined, if possible, I'd like to make my attempt during calm seas.

Scuba angel - you're quite correct my experience of sea swimming is limited to Limassol, Tenereife and family holidays in Wales! Once again, thanks for the advice.
You really, really need to think about what you are writing! As the waves will be upto and exceeding 6', how the hell are you actually going to see the ships? :?

Your knowledge - or lack of, is more than likely going to get you killed!
 
S

stabradop

Guest
#19
Why not run around Tel-Aviv burning the Israeli flag whilst thrapping over a copy of the Torah?

You would probably live slightly longer........
 
#20
stabradop said:
Why not run around Tel-Aviv burning the Israeli flag whilst thrapping over a copy of the Torah?

You would probably live slightly longer........
Funnily enough, I live in a Turkish area of Dortmund in Germany and the Emperor Mong keeps whispering to me, that I should hang the Israeli Flag out of my window during the World Cup. :twisted:
 

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