Channeling

A while back, I foolishly proclaimed in a blog post that I would be swimming the equivalent of 21 miles across the English Channel this summer. With the calendric summer half over, let’s take a look at where I’m at.

Well, that’s not far enough. At this rate, I will be at just under 17 miles out by the end of August. I will be too far from Dover for the British to mount an ocean rescue, and the French simply won’t care.

The reality is that crappy weather got me off to a late start swimming this summer, and I strained a knee ligament during my first open water swim which has slowed me a bit. Oh, and I also injured my butt when I had the “brilliant” idea to try jumping part of the way across the Channel.

I’ve been trying to split my swims between pools and open water. At this point, I have 5 miles of pool swims in with 3.4 miles in open water. Getting in the open water swims has not been as easy as I expected.

I had hopes of cycling through fields of Purple Coneflowers and Black-Eyed Susans to get to a secluded, illegal swimming hole, which is typically the best kind. Well, the flowers didn’t disappoint.

The swimming hole was likewise picturesque, starting just after some rapids and heading under a bridge.

18 lengths from the rapids to under the bridge netted me a quarter mile, but it was a painful quarter mile as submerged rocks nicked my shins.

I tried an old quarry close to my house that has been made into a swimming area. Yeah, there’s sand and water, but the water is super shallow except for a diving area and some lap swim areas.

It’s more like a pool masquerading as open water. I stuck to the lap swim areas to avoid children. Kids! Gross.

I’m hoping to get in a few more Saturday morning open water swims in a quarry about a half hour north of me. Despite cool, cloudy weather this morning, it was a good place for a swim and also apparently for metal detecting.

I’m sure I’ll make the 21 miles across the Channel to Calais by the technical end of summer on the 21st of September. I just hope the French don’t have a big celebration planned for my arrival at the end of August. The croissants may be stale by the time I actually make it to Calais.

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