Day 30 – another early start for us and our last swim for a while! We travelled back to the PE harbour, and this time we were lucky that we did not have to wait to be let in, so we got going around 6:30 am on a clear, calm and flat sea with the sun shining brightly overhead.
We had a 75km trip to get to our start point, so we made ourselves comfortable, and off we set. We had to change fuel at the halfway mark, so it took us 3 and a half hours to get to our start point. Unfortunately, at our starting mark, there was no current, and the water was 17 degrees! So, we were not in the current.
We really needed to be in the current to get the gap closed. Cassie spotted the blue line just 5km further, so we opted to head towards it, hoping that it was the elusive current we required to finish our gap.
We travelled a further 5km to the mark where the depth was about 150-200m. The water was 21.5 degrees, and the current was moving at over 80m/minute. I stepped off into the water and started swimming. I was so relieved to be in the warm current again, and even more grateful for a smooth and calm ocean with the sun shining on my back. This was a gift that I was so grateful for, especially after 2 tough weeks of swimming in wild cold and volatile oceans. After a few kms, we hit a drop off 1100m deep.
We swam into a line of plankton, and shortly after that, I spotted some manta rays! They were pretty shy, but I got to see 3, and the crew on the boat saw about 7. It was so rad, and I realized we were in a zone full of life. I was so stoked to see some life again after such a long time.
The conditions were ideal for me to get into a nice rhythm, and the water was warm enough for me to take my time on the feeds without getting cold. It was a fitting way to end our first leg of this swim. In the warm current, going fast, surrounded by amazing marine life. It was the best!
We also spotted a hammerhead about 25m away on the surface. We stumbled across a line anchored yellow buoys. They were making such a splash. It was amazing to see the speed of the current flowing and how it was pulling against the anchored buoys. At times, they were even completely dragged under the water.
After about 2 hours of swimming, we hit an upwelling, and the sea got bumpy. My watch glitched, and I felt like I was swimming nowhere fast, working an uphill battle. We only had 9km to go, but I was taking strain, feeling like I was swimming against a current. Cassie assured me that the current was still flying, and I only had 8km to go. So, I soldiered on, and then my watch came right. Yet, my watch showed that I was going at about 6min/km, and then it said 23min/km. So, you can understand my frustration.
The last 8km went by with a struggle as my arms and back started tightening up. However, I was going at a good pace and knew that after this, I could rest for a long time. In the last 3km, a hammerhead came flying underneath me. My first shark sighting in 30 swims! Finally! And it was my first sighting of a hammerhead in the water under me.
I finished the last 200m doing backstroke and then climbed back into the boat. 760km done in 30 days of swimming, averaging 25km a day. Wow!
We have decided to postpone moving forward, as we have a string of cold fronts arriving tomorrow for the next few days, and we can’t sit waiting for it because of our funding issues.
We are ecstatic to have come this far against all the odds! It has been a tough journey for all of us on so many levels, and it will take some time to process and regroup before we start again.
The next 6 months will be busy as we fundraise and plan the 2nd half of our swim. It feels surreal saying this.
Thank you to every person, on my team and from the public, for everything thus far! It has been incredible, challenging and worth it.
Day 30 stats:
Start time: 10:38
End Time: 13:54
Total swim time: 3:16:58
Pace: 47/100 or 10km/hour
Water temperature: 22.5 degrees
Water quality: 12m good blue
Sights seen: Skua, albatross, gannets, manta rays, dolphins, buoys, hammerhead
Calories: 5646 swim
Weather: calm and clear with sun
Total distance covered: 760.8km