2017 English Channel swim

Thursday, July 23, 2009


I apologize in advance for the length of this post. While Pat has yet to swim there have been many dramatic twists that deserve some further explaination. Pat explains below how she was able to extend her stay. Another significant factor are the tides.
Everyone who lives near the ocean has familiarity with the fact that the magnitude of the High and Low tides varies during the month with the lunar cycle. In the last two weeks we have moved from the slack or NEAP tides to High/SPRING tides. Along with the higher tides are much stronger currents. In 1926 when Gertrude Ederle made her record-breaking crossing in 14 hours 39 minutes the conventional wisdom was to swim on the Spring tide and attempt to take advantage of those currents. Today the preference is to swim on the NEAP tide when the tide/currents are much less a factor. There are many variables that determine success or failure. Pat has learned for example that while we have heard about the tides, jellyfish, waves and hypothermia, etc. many have to withdraw from something as mundane as seasickness and vomiting. In this context the SPRING tide is just another variable to consider and try to put to use. It has however made it possible for Pat to swim this weekend as explained below. It is also why Pat is likely to start her swim at around 2 AM (9 PM EDT) to take maximum advantage of the tide and currents.
Geoff; please read on---

Thursday, July 23, 2009 4:29 PM

I'll email you tomorrow with the update from Reg--- again I will hear from him at 8pm (3pm eastern)
Reg studied my chart of my swim last year. He said that the currents never assisted me that day. He believes with the right current, tide, and lack of wind would help me get across sooner. However, I know my pace and I don't see that happening.

July 23, 2009 4:49:13 PM EDT
I've received a number of emails asking about my 10-day slot. The rule is that a swimmer in a prior slot cannot "bump" a swimmer on the next 10-day slot. The next 10-day slot was reserved for swimmers going for a "double crossing" however the tides are only good this weekend for a one way crossing. The swimmer in the next camper happens to be preparing for a double crossing. We have been training together in Dover Harbor all week. She was happy to let me use the first days of her 10-day slot that were unsuitable for her swim.
I truly believe that many of the prayers and positive thoughts coming this way have helped. I greatly appreciate everyone’s support during the past couple of weeks.


Rick Charette said...

Hi Pat,

Just realized that I could write on your blog.Just got off the phone with Jim who mentioned it.
Been following your blog faithfully ever since your 2009 trip began. We are so hoping that you get the weather conditions you need to get the nod to begin your monumental swim. We are so excited for you. And to think that things miraculously worked out that you can stay a few days longer to complete your swim is simply incredible. Thinking very positive thoughts. I think it definitely is YOUR time.

Rick & Maureen

claudia gallant said...

Hi Patty!

You go girl! We are all cheering for you here at work. If anyone can do it you can you crazy fish!!!!! Good Luck!