However, that said, I had a wonderful day yesterday. As you're aware, it's been on my mind that I will be in the water for a long time on the day, possibly 18 hours or so.....and this is a long time to be in 16 degree water! So, yesterday I had planned a longer swim than the normal 6-8 hour sessions we've been doing at the weekend. My goal was to swim 30km, 20 return laps of Manly to Shelley.
We (Collie, Iain and I) started in the dark at 5.30am which was surreal. The stars were magnificent, and the water so clear with wonderful phosphorescence. After two laps my left hand was absolute agony. It was like I could feel a tendon joining my chest to my thumb, and on every stroke there was this tight, yanking sensation. I got out, had a stretch, and started worrying........how could I possibly cope all day!?
For the half hour from 6.30-7.00 I was seriously contemplating getting out, and also bailing on the whole channel challenge. I had thought through the consequences, the apologies I would need to make, the inner sense of failure, and the knowledge in my heart that if I didn't make it this time I would have to try again.........I had it all worked out.
Nicole (handler) was a legend with me yesterday. She gave me at least one pill almost every half an hour.....paracetamol, neurofen, ibuprofen, voltaren......you name it! I think the pills helped, also about 10am we strapped my wrists up even more than they were already (see photo), and by the time I had done 7 laps I knew I had to finish the swim.
I was blessed, the water was so clear I felt like I was swimming in Sydney aquarium. There were all manner of fish, and lots of friendly Port Jackson sharks. I was joined during the day by lots of people, and never swam alone. I am shocked by the level of support people have shown me, and I thank everyone of them. I could not have done this without you.
On each lap, there was a mini-simulation of the last 3kms at France, where the tide pulls against you. To get in at North Manly there was a reasonably strong rip, particularly on the outgoing tide. This was mildly annoying at the time, as you faced a choice of swimming an extra 200m around the rip, or pushing through it for 5 mins (which I chose).......good training!
The great news about yesterday was that I made it, and mentally was able to push through, and also that my nutriion plan worked. No sickness or tummy problems, so I was really happy about this!
So, on we roll. Not long to go......some tough weeks ahead, just hoping my hand calms down a bit, and I may have to get some more injections in m wrists! Oh the trials and tribulations of a Channel Aspirant!