Each swim always has a back story. The plan to swim this swim was born in the middle of the English Channel. My friend Roger and I were crewing for Charlotte Samuels, 16 years of age from New Jersey. It was the middle of the night and Charlie had been swimming already for about 8 hours. Roger and I were discussing how we had been applying to the organiser to swim the Strait of Gibraltar but were getting nowhere with a firm date. Roger said “we should swim this together, with Otto too”. That’s how dreams start, with an idea!
Some months later back on dry land, Roger phoned the organiser and successfully secured a slot for us to swim during the second week of June 2015. We took on a fourth person to join us as well. We learnt a valuable lesson in this swim. This swimmer was someone we didn’t know so well. This person showed such interest in swimming with us that Roger being him and me being me, we invited this person to join us. Never again will I swim with or have someone crew for me unless I know them very well. They did swim with us and it had a terrible affect on me physically and mentally – and on Roger as he could see this.
On this swim you are allowed up to four swimmers to swim together. It’s still a solo swim – a tandem solo. Sadly, Otto couldn’t join us in the end due to his incredible dedication to his profession as a leading heart surgeon.
Roger, his wife Lindsay and I all flew into Paris on the 2nd of June to get a connecting flight to Malaga, Spain. It was so great to see my friends again. I hadn’t seen Lindsay since briefly meeting her before my English Channel swim in 2013.
We had a two hour drive to our accommodation in Malaga. Our house was set down a gravel road down the side of the mountain. The first drive down there was actually scarier than the thought of the swim!! What a view though when we arrived. The house and terrace looked right over the Mediterranean to the Atlas Mountains in Morocco!!!
Our view from the 500m natural pool and accommodation – looking out to the Atlas Mountains.
Calm waters…a day when we needed back wind to get across the currents.
Swimming to touch the rock at the start of the swim.