Lindsay now swimming. The wind remains much the same but the water is flatter and the sun is trying to break through. 1110 another turn for Sarah, the water and wind is much calmer now. 1200 and the ebb has helped Sarah get inside the 3 mile bouy. It is getting tight with the tide so Sarah has been asked to work harder for her last ten minutes and Lindsay will have to swim a solid fast hour. 1210 Lindsay is in doing just that, 59 spm. She is clearly working harder and is taking deep breaths.
Now the flood is running and we are expecting to come ashore near Cap Blanc Nez within the next 2 hours. It is still overcast and the sun only managed to pop out for a few minutes. The water has flattened but is still lumpy. Sarah wonders how many more swims? I guess one for her and another for Lindsay and maybe the swim will finish by 15 hours.
Lindsay looks tired but seems to be fighting for more distance per stroke, swimming at 54 spm. The water is flatter now especially in the shelter of the boat, but very windswept.
1310, in goes Sarah and she sprinted. It may be her last swim but is probably too far for her to get in from here. Maybe Lindsay will do it. It all looks so close. Just a training swim left for each of them.
1315. Gosh, we just missed the Aberville light by 200 yards. It seemed miles away not so long ago. This flood tide is really running.
Cap Blanc Nez looks impossible from here, maybe Sangatte. Sarah is now swimming normally and the sky is not so menacing. 1345 and it is clear Sarah will not make it ashore within her hour. She can keep up the swimming but cannot go faster anymore. We feel a little cruel, we had told her she might get ashore and she worked hard trying. So it will be Lindsay. The sky is not so dark.
1400 and only a mile off now. The water is getting very messy again. 1410 Sarah is out. She gave it some, but we still didn’t get close in. Now Lindsay is swimming and France is looking so close, but the tide is strong and running us towards Calais. Sarah may yet have another swim to do. Suva has landed and passes us on its way home a few miles closer to the Cap than us.
1430 Sangatte town is dead ahead. There are people on the beach, but it still looks too far. Then you look again and see the surf breaking on the beach and it looks so close. Forty minutes left for Lindsay and I can’t see her doing it. The tide is fierce and the wind and water remains unhelpful. It looks like the sands of the Calais beaches will simply get in our way as the current takes us that way, rather than allowing us to swim into the beach. A couple of hours ago I would not have thought the tide would have so much authority.
Lindsay is happy and smiles every so often. We all know they will soon have swum the Channel. The distance is nearly swum, weather and tides will not conspire to defeat them now. We give Lindsay the thumbs up, and she gives one back……naughty girl, (both swimmers have done that so many times), and it breaks their rhythm. The water is less manic and slow now, just rough and windswept. 1440 and Garry is starting to prepare the dinghy.