Absolutely wild and unique day happened on the 17th of November. In the midst of a force 4 with building waves two swimmers set off from Gilkicker fort on the mainland with the supervision from two kayaks and a yacht with permissions from the Coastguard and The Queen's Harbour Master.
Raising money for charity Jeff and Tom had decided in the pub one evening a few weeks ago to swim across the Solent and set about preparing and informing. The weekend before it consisted of almost freezing on the river Arun!
It was not long before that Jeff contacted me asking if I would be their support kayak carrying food, drink and their safety blanket if things went south (figuratively as that was the direction they wanted to go). It's quite the different style of paddling trying to guide their swimming direction but not crack them over the head with the paddle or boat! Thankfully by practicing the weekend before we got into a rhythm and even managed most of the way against a rising tide to a pub!
The day itself
The day itself started with a lovely cycle into the wind and mizzle, down to Haslar. That was where he briefed the different teams on weather, route, formation and of course minced pies before heading down to the fort. Thankfully the clothing decision made by all parties was just right for the weather, I just wished I didn't forget the waterproof socks hanging on the dryer at home…
I shall let the video at the end tell the rest of the story from the swimmers point of view but there were a few funny moments we didn't capture! Having sat with water breaching the gunwales for about 2hours I didn't realise that the muscles had started to forget how they worked. This was no problem whilst seated so upon beaching and attempting to stand the term jelly legs really was apt!
All in all it was a brilliant day with a great bunch of lads (and their family looking on, also supplying the hot drinks and the most divine brownies) doing something rather unique!
If you'd like to find out more here are a few links:
If you'd like to enquire about sponsoring some of Conrad's activities then get in touch here.