Pretty bad weather and unsafe turbulent conditions halted the forward progress of Ben Lecomte who had reached 583 nautical miles (1,080 km) off the coast of Japan on The Swim, his 8,721 km transoceanic stage swim across the Pacific Ocean from Japan to California.
The conditions are so bad that Ben and his team aboard the escort boat Seeker are all heading back to Japan. So instead of swimming to California, they are all motoring back to Japan. They lost time, fuel, energy and forward movement.
On July 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 24th and 25th, their total distance was a cumulative total of 0 nautical miles. Paul Lecomte reported, “We have been motoring for the most part. Our amazing team on land is taking care of the paperwork for our re-entry to Japan, and we just confirmed our destination is Yokohama Bayside Marina. Our ETA is 60 hours from now, say July 27th – 28th.
We know another system is coming, but according to the GRIB files, we should reach Yokohama before it hits.”
28-year-old Maks Romeijn from the Netherlands is the expedition medic and researcher onboard. He is another person responsible for the safety of the Ben and the crew. “Since my graduation from medical school in Leiden, I worked in several fields of acute medicine including cardiology and intensive care. I’m interested in the provision of optimum health care in situations outside the hospital. After following an expedition medicine course organized by World Extreme Medicine, it was only a matter of time before I would head off for an expedition.
Having sailed from a young age and kitesurfing year round whenever there is wind, water always played an important role in my life. To dedicate my time to preserve the oceans, while being an expedition doctor on a Pacific crossing, is an absolute dream and I didn’t need to think long about joining The Swim.
Together with Lauren [Horner] and our onshore medical team, I take care of all people on board and monitor Ben during the swim. Also, we will lead the medical research projects, including imaging studies of Ben’s heart in collaboration with NASA.
Besides the safe and sound return of the crew, I hope that we make people think more about the use of plastic and the effects it is having on our planet.”
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