Wednesday, August 11, 2010

England to France 3rd August 2010

What a great day. We started at 3.18am in total darkness from Shakespeare Beach. The water was beautifully warm and dead flat calm, just like a good day in the lakes in Inchigeela or Inniscarra in Cork. I was so happy to feel the temperature as it was my only big concern. I was very calm, and started out happy and strong, and then, Bang! Hit the wall at 3 hours-I guess it's good to get these things out of the way early! I felt horrible for the next 2 and a half hours, had trouble feeding and felt as if I was going nowhere. Luckily I had a beautiful sunrise to focus on until I eventually felt better and got into my stride again.

The conditions began to deteriorate throughout the course of the day, and by the final few hours, the water was very choppy. Lucky for me I quite like these conditions, and it certainly was not boring!

By the time I saw France there was nothing going to stop me and I plodded on until I climbed ashore 13 hours and 58 minutes later.

An amazing feeling after training for so long.

To my crew, Mick, Derek, John and Lisa, you were flawless and I thank you all. You're all crazy and made me laugh a number of times which was great.

To my pilot, Paul Foreman, you were fantastic, very supportive, and I felt that I was in good hands all the way to France.

To David and Evelyn at Varne Ridge, you guys are right in there in the midst of the craziness and obviously loving it, thank you for making our stay so enjoyable.

To Niamh and Caelan, thanks for helping Mum achieve this goal.
To those who helped me with my fundraising for Barretstown, thank you. We still have a bit to go to reach our target, so please keep donating. All funds go directly to Barretstown Kids Camp. You can donate here.
To everyone who supported me before and during my swim, thank you so much.

Last but not least, Coach supreme, Eilis Burns, you're the greatest!

And to the magnificent seven: 3 down, 4 to go!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Got the go ahead........

I'm meeting my pilot at 2.30am tomorrow morning and will be starting at 3.30am! The link to follow me tomorrow is here. There will be some twitter updates during the day also.
Crew busy packing, Mick busy cooking (again!) and I'm busy reading trashy magazines and getting ready to eat again. Very excited!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Looking good for Tuesday...

Have had a fun couple of days in Dover. Varne Ridge is a great place to stay and have met loads of other swimmers. Went for a swim in the harbour today and basically did nothing but relax and eat afterwards. Spoke to Paul Foreman, my pilot who said that his first slot swimmer is going tonight and that the weather is looking good for me to go in the early hours of Tuesday morning. This means that I'll be swimming at the same time as Donal Buckley, which is nice. We went out tonight for loads of pasta with his crew and mine and it was all very exciting. Everyone is getting a little hyper now. Will need to wait for final confirmation tomorrow, but it's all looking good.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Dover, here I come.....

Getting the last few things together and heading off to spend the night in Cork before flying out in the morning. Feeling strangely calm, which I keep expecting to change. Sick of eating, and feeling wierd not swimming during this tapering period. The weather is looking good for an early swim, maybe as early as Monday or Tuesday, but will know more and update when I speak to my pilot, Paul Foreman tomorrow.

Thanks to all who have donated to my charity, Barretstown . We are moving towards our target, so please those who haven't already, click here to get to the charity page where you can donate.
I will post a link to the gps tracker on the boat when I get it so you can follow my progress, and regular twitter updates will also feed to the blog and my facebook page.

A big thankyou goes to my lovely friend Jenny-Rose Clarke who has kindly agreed to take my mini monsters, Niamh and Caelan for the time we are away. By the sounds of it, they'll have even more fun than me!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Last swim at Sandycove....

The sun came out, the friends came down, and a lovely swim was had on Sunday. Rob Bohane, Ciaran Byrne and Gabor Molnar were at the end of their 8 hour swim when Donal Buckley, Liz Buckley and myself joined them for the last 3 laps. Liam Maher joined us for the last leg. There were loads of other regular Sandycove swimmers either in the water, or milling around enjoying the weather. Had a lovely feeling when we finished the last lap, all of us in a straight line as if it was organised that way. Nearly a year of training together and it was a lovely way to finish my last swim with them before I head off.

Last minute addition to the crew is Lisa Cummins, which I'm thrilled about. Will be lovely to have some female company, not to mention her experience after her two way crossing last year.

So, I head for Dover this Friday with Mick, Derek, John and Lisa. Getting very excited in between stuffing myself with pasta etc at every available opportunity.

Not sure exactly when the swim will start, but will update the blog as soon as I do.

Thanks everyone for the well wishes on Sunday!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Lee Swim 2010......

Well, what an experience, the first year in 5 years that I haven't swum in the Lee Swim in Cork. Myself, Niamh and Caelan set off this year as spectators and had a ball! Mick and Derek both swam, Derek taking the silver medal in his age group!! We watched the start and barely made it back to the finish to see the first swimmers home. The sun came out and as usual, it was a great day. Caught up with Liam Maher, my first time seeing him as a successful Channel swimmer and he was in great form, with a big smile permanently on his face. I spoke with many other Channel swimming friends who all wished me well. It was lovely to be socialising rather than swimming for a change, although I will be back in the water for next year's race! Thanks everyone for the well wishes!

So proud of Derek. He has gone from strength to strength in his first season, and came out with a fantastic result for his first mass participation open water race! Delighted that he'll be with me in the Channel next week, maybe he'll force me to pick up my pace!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Resting up....

As I lie in bed typing and resting, my fellow Aussie swimmer Chloe McCardel is out in the Channel, on her way back to England. I met Chloe during her stay in Clonakilty, Co Cork and we had a lovely swim, freaking out a few lifeguards in the process, and a lovely chat after numerous bowls of chips. Her two way attempt seems to be going well, she's flying it. You can track her progress here. Awesome job Chloe! Go Aussie Go! Channel 9 on board for all you intersted Australians out there. Another exciting day!