Despite feeling the need to rest after day 1 I had a morning of meetings. It started with a meeting with someone from BBC Radio Cambridgeshire who oversees the Make a Difference Award finalists. We discussed not only the MADA awards but also possible interviews and features that other areas of the BBC may be interested in filming with me about my channel swim. Thankfully it was all positive and since then I have done some audio recording for them.
That meeting was followed by an STA Ambassador catch up Zoom call, where we discussed all that has been going on and what there is to come. Finally my last meeting was with a new pupil who I am really excited to start coaching in the next week.
The rest of the morning also gave Loretta and I time to go through my feeding plan and what I had tried and what had and hadn’t worked. I was shown a MUCH easier way to prepare my feeds and a way that would be much simpler for my crew to sort it, after all, when I’m swimming, I can’t be worried about feeding; that’s the crews job!Before I knew it, it was lunch time and I tried Thai Green curry for the first time. It was yummy but a little too spicy for me – im a wimp when it comes to spice!
After lunch Geoff (Lorettas husband) fitted their kayak to the roof of the car and we headed to Tesco to buy the solid feeds I wanted to try out as the days swim was all about feeding. We bought:
– Milky bar
– Peaches in pots
– Chocolate Brownies
– A net (to try out a different method of feeding)
Once we were all sorted and had got what we needed we headed to Readymoney Cove, I’d no idea what to expect but it sounded like a lovely little happy place. However, all of a sudden when we were driving there was a huge bang and I honestly thought the kayak had fallen off the roof! We found somewhere to pull over and discovered it was just a strap that was getting caught under the wheel. If that didn’t add enough excitement to the journey we got stuck behind a huge harvester, however, all that was TOTALLY worth it when I saw the views as we were going down towards Readymoney Cove.
We got the kayak off the car and Loretta left all our stuff and me and went to park. Once I was changed and ready; I went and got in, this time the walk was short enough for me to just use my crutches. Again, as the previous day; the water felt cold, and the sun hiding didn’t help matters. I began doing loops of the bay in the swim area whilst Loretta got organised and out on the kayak with my food.
I swam round the bay and then over to the diving platform where Loretta was sorting my feeds out. After another lap Loretta threw my bottle at me so that the feed was being delivered to me the same way it will be in the channel. I had warm blackcurrant and apple squash and milky bar as a solid. It worked well as the chocolate coated my mouth giving me a nice taste instead of salt.
After the first feed I did another lap, this time I was more relaxed and enjoying myself and noticed hundreds of small silver fish swimming all around me. The next feed we tried was hot chocolate and chocolate brownies. The hot chocolate was great but the brownies were just too chewy to eat whilst swimming and I ended up having to spit most of it out.
I went off for another lap of the bay and on that lap I saw not only hundreds of small silver fish but also a couple of small crystal jellyfish too. My final feed we tried orange and passionfruit squash with Haribo as the solids and also my medication. Haribo Star Mix worked; it was chewy but totally worth it! However, the method I was planning to use for my medication didn’t work, instead of medication it was half disintegrated moosh and I couldn’t even get them out of the pot!
I did 1 final lap as Loretta got out, we got changed and got the kayak back on the roof of the car and we then drove up the steep hill and stopped at the top so that I could look out over the sea, it was an absolutely stunning view, and I was so grateful we stopped to look at it.
In the car on the way home myself and Loretta chatted about how the session had gone and also about life in general a d got to know each other better. We were quick to realise we had both been through quite a bit in the past and it was nice to chat to someone who could kind of understand my thought processes and my fears. We chatted about swimming the channel, I was given tips that seem so obvious but hadn’t occurred to me; such as getting the person feeding me to throw my feed from the front of the boat so it floats to me rather than me having to try and get it or go back. It seems so obvious but was something I hadn’t thought about.
That evening sitting on the sofa we went through our plans for the rest of the week and what we were going to do because doing a 6 hour swim and 7 hour swim wasn’t going to work due to the temperature. I was so excited to be going and swimming at all these different places!