Swim reconfirmed!

The thick sea mist that cancelled my swim yesterday has lifted and today I received a message from the Leme to Pontal Swimming Association reconfirming my swim for tomorrow morning (starting at 3:00 am Irish time). All of the details that I gave in my original post announcing the start are still valid, apart from the 24-hour delay, obviously… Let’s go!!!

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24-hour delay…

 

A 2-person relay team called Dragão do Mar from the Northeast of Brazil had just begun their Leme to Pontal swim last night when unforeseen thick fog set in. Unfortunately, this meant that their swim had to be aborted for safety reasons. They will try again tonight, i.e. in the early hours of tomorrow morning. Thankfully, Monday still looks swimmable, so my swim should only be postponed by 24 hours. Keep an eye on Facebook and Twitter for confirmation…

“What date is the swim?”

A lot of people have been asking me about the date of my Leme to Pontal swim and some are a bit confused by why there isn’t yet a fixed date, so I thought I’d write a quick aside to explain the reason for this…

My swim window is 16-22 December and this is fixed. The reason for booking a seven-day window rather than a single date is that the swim requires reasonably calm sea conditions for the best part of a day, something that, given the local climate and exposed nature of the route, cannot be guaranteed for any given day at the time of booking the swim, which is often months or even years beforehand. So, booking seven days rather than just one means that I have a much better chance of actually getting to swim.

From the day I arrive in Rio, I will be in regular contact with the Leme to Pontal Swimming Association to discuss weather forecasts and should be able to confirm the actual date and time that I will start the swim a day or two in advance. Keep an eye out for updates!

Ned Denison’s False Bay Swim LIVE

Read below for an “as it happened” account of Ned Denison’s historic swim across the infamous False Bay, South Africa. Ned’s unofficial swim time was 11 hours 5 minutes and he is only the fifth person ever to have completed this swim…

Image – Google Earth

The above Google Earth image shows False Bay with the starting point at Rooi-Els (east) and the finish at Miller’s Point (west). Ned’s approximate route is shown in red…

16:22 A huge thanks to Roger Finch of Cape Town who kept us all up-to-date on Ned’s progress in the absence of the SPOT tracker…

16:18 Ned’s unofficial time was 11 hours 5 minutes, a super time for a 35 km ocean swim! As an added bonus, Ned finished the swim with the same number of appendages with which he started it. What an achievement!

16:14 Ned Denison of the USA and Ireland has just become the fifth person ever to complete the 35 km crossing of False Bay, South Africa from Rooi-Els to Miller’s Point on the Cape Peninsula. Congratulations, Ned, on completing this astonishing challenge!

15:38 There must have been a miscalculation somewhere along the line: the pilot is saying that he estimates another 30 minutes before Ned finishes. Very exciting!

15:33 Roger says all of the phones on the boat are busy so it’s likely that he’s finished, just waiting for confirmation now…

15:15 Really close now! Ned has been swimming for 10 hours 10 minutes and is just 1 km from the finishing point. No currents or obstacles so he should be landing at Miller’s Point in about 20 minutes… Go Ned!

14:50 Just 3 km to go now, Ned is powering on! He is in the water almost 10 hours now and still going strong. Very exciting for everyone present…

13:30 Nearly 8 hours 30 mins elapsed now and Ned has just 7.5 km to go. Roger says that there is a lot of boat traffic at Miller’s Point at the moment but that will be cleared for Ned to finish. Dig deep, Ned!

12:25 With 7 hours 20 minutes elapsed, Ned has 24 km down and 11 km to go. Roger says that the water is still 19ºC and the conditions are very good. As he gets closer to the Cape Peninsula, he should be getting more shelter from the south-westerlies. Lots of good wishes come in from swimmers and non-swimmers from South Africa and the world.

11:00 I just got another update from Roger. He says that, just coming up on 6 hours into the swim, Ned has 15 km to go (so he’s over half way) and the conditions are still excellent with water temperatures over 19ºC all the time!

09:20 Ned has been in for 4 hours 15 minutes and has covered 15 km. He is battling a strong head-current but is swimming strong! Send the boat some encouragement using the #CmonNed if you can… Coming up on half way now!

08:00 After 2 hour 33 minutes, Ned had covered 11 km. Below is a photograph of one of Ned’s feed stops taken from the main boat, hopefully we will have more pictures as the swim progresses! You can follow my Twitter feed directly to the right of this post for more frequent updates…

Photograph – Roger Finch

Ned during one of his feeds in False Bay!

07:20 At 06:57 UTC (1 hour 52 minutes into the swim), Ned had 25.5 km to go. Conditions are holding and the water temperature is now an “unbelievable” 19.2ºC! On Twitter, you will be able to follow #CmonNed soon enough.

07:10 Just over 2 hours into the swim now and conditions look as though they will remain good for the rest of the day. Hopefully the current will change before long and Ned will get back to something nearer a 4 km per hour pace…

06:47 Sorry for falling asleep there! Last update from Roger is that Ned started from the agreed point at 05:05 UTC. Conditions at the start were good except for a slight swell and the water temperature has increased to 18ºC. He had 5 km covered 1 hour 30 minutes into the swim. There is a strong current against him but he is swimming strong.

04:20 It sounds, at the moment, like the boats are still on their way across to Rooi-Els. I’d hope to have confirmation of the start pretty soon. Roger Finch will be in contact with one of the pilots and will relay the updates to me. He kindly explained that the SPOT tracker isn’t working because they do not cover much of the southern half of Africa!

02:00 This post has just gone live automatically and, as far as I know, the swim is still going ahead as planned. When I spoke to Ned yesterday evening, he had already put on his sun protection and eaten his rather ominous sounding Last Supper! More updates will appear above (under the Google Earth image showing Ned’s progress) as they come in…