OUR first whole day in Tarifa was spent reuniting with the swimmers we met 3 years ago in Sardinia. Brothers Chris ( London) and Ben ( USA) , Dan from the USA, Yves from Swimtrek and Chris G from London. It’s also great to be with Lisa and John Donati, Jordan’s parents and Cameron Rob’s friend from Brisbane.
We met and there was a lot of discussion about logistics of the swim. Which swimmers would make up the two teams. We thought it was settled, but the next morning it changed again and finally the teams are Yellow- Chris and Ben, Yves and Dan. Red team Steve and Rob, Cameron and Chris G. It’s hard because they are different speeds but for the swim they must stay together.
Steve and Rob will probably be the only father and son to do the Gibralter swim which is pretty special. They had a meeting with Rafael who is the main organiser of the swim. He is very particular which I guess you have to be when it’s such a difficult swim. It all depends on the currents and the pilot of the boat will give them instructions on when to push harder and use the current. There are 3 possible landing points in Morocco. If the currents sweep them too fast and they miss the first then they add a km or two to their journey. Oh boy. It’s sounds so hard and there are a few nerves around and that’s just from the supporters. We keep looking across at Morocco and asking WHY!
The day finally came for the yellow team and we all went to the port to see them off. I even became “Miss Vasolina” and got to rub the vasoline in to prevent chaffing. Quite a job on all those muscles!
Rubbing Yves with Vasoline.
The Yellow team. Yves, Ben, Dan and Chris.
The day then became a waiting game and using ship tracking watching where they were. We started waiting – at a very nice cafe by the beach. Everything was white. Really restful and beautiful.
The white beach cafe. Very pleasant. Check out the breakfast with a view. Not bad at all.
To fill in the time the girls went shopping and I bought a very nice maxi dress and a top. All very reasonable. Had a delicious tapas lunch, they were still swimming …….. a short nap……… They were still swimming Went for a walk …………they were still swimming. Until finally at 4.33pm I got the message from Yves. They had finished. Yves and Dan did it in 5 hr 35 mins and Chris and Ben the brothers did 5hr 42min. The last kilometre they can do a sprint ( as if you’d have any energy left in the tank!)
So we went to the wharf and waited and waited and at nearly 6pm they arrived back. Smiling. Also a huge effort by John Donati who went on the rubber duck as the support person and did the feedings and water bottles – a job I’ll be doing tomorrow. Jordan will also come along and take photos.
The jubilant yellow team. Do they look any different? They were tired and happy it was over but brimming with stories of fish – tuna and huge fish they thought were sharks but weren’t.
So tonight a celebration for them and a waiting game for our team. Wish Steve and Rob, Cameron and Chris good luck and let’s hope they aren’t in the water for 5 and a half hours. Rob is figuring on about 4 to 4 1/2. Fingers crossed.
One big bonding session.