When I received a message from Sal to crew for her English Channel two way solo swim, I was a little surprised. After all, we had only met a couple of times. To crew for someone is incredibly personal and such an honour and something I absolutely love to do – I again said yes immediately! Sal’s swim slot was at the end of August after I returned from my 20 Bridges Manhattan Island circumnavigation swim. A week after arriving home, I got a message from Sal to be in Dover on the 27th of August. I felt like a girl on the first day of school. Sal had three other swim crew members who all knew each other very well – I was the new kid on the block! She had Charlie her lovely husband as land crew, who I had met before and liked very much – he’s a Guinness drinker after all…!!!
I arrived and it was a HOT summer’s day in Dover. Paula Yankauskus and her other crew member Deborah were in town from the US too – I was due to also crew for Paula’s English Channel solo swim in the next weeks. Paula, Sal and I had a swim in the harbour. We then headed up to my beloved Varne Ridge Channel Swimming Accommodation staying in one of their cottages. I met the other crew members – Bianca Kempster, Cliff Golding and Graeme Lowe. Within half an hour it was as if we had known each other for years. This is very common in this sport!
Bianca and I were sharing a room and chatted into the small hours like a couple of teenagers! The following night we went to the pub for dinner. Half way through our meal, Sal’s mobile went off – it was Captain Neil Streeter (boat Suva) phoning to say the swim was on and could we meet him at 8am the next morning at the Dover Marina. That was it! Eat up! Let’s go!!! It was all action stations back at the cottage preparing Sal’s feeds and supplies for us as well!!!