Lewis Pugh is now on Day 5 of The Long Swim along the length of the English Channel. He reports, “It’s been quite an ordeal. It’s very technical to round the headlands – the tides are like rivers. The tides are such that I can swim for about 2 hours on each eastward moving tide. If I swim outside of those 2 hours, I go backwards.”
Ther has been a vast amount of media coverage, both domestically in England and globally, including coverage on Sky News in the UK. “Lots of people have asked whether they can swim sections with me. I think this is a fantastic opportunity to promote open water swimming and raise awareness of plastic pollution in our oceans.”
The 48-year-old is being escorted by pilot Stephen Praetorious with writer Jacqui L’Ange, first mate Rowan Fernando, trainer Nicola Johnson, chef Denise Wilson, photographer Kelvin Trautman, and Chief of Staff David Bush onboard the Aquila on the estimated 50-day stage swim.
Day 1 on July 12th (Swim #1)
Pugh spent 2 hours 12 minutes in the Channel swimming 3 nautical miles (5.55 km) on a ebb tide in 14.3°C water, starting at Sennen Cove – White Sands Beach and finishing at Carn Boel in Force 3 conditions. He started out by swimming at a 52 strokes per minute pace straight out from the coast, parallel to the headland where the conditions fair, but angry in places. He swam past lobster pots and then went fast around the headland of Land’s End. When the tide turned, he stopped making progress and exited the water where his watch indicted that he burned 1965 calories.
Day 1 on July 12th (Swim #2)
Pugh spent 1 hours 37 minutes in the Channel swimming 2.3 nautical miles (4.25 km) on a ebb tide in 16°C water, starting east of Runnel Stone in Force 4 conditions. He started by swimming fast on the ‘Land’s End conveyer belt’ and swam through the Runnel Stone. He later swam too close to the cliffs and close to the coastline in a very calm sea.
Day 2 on July 13th (Swim #1)
Pugh spent 2 hours 6 minutes in the Channel swimming 4.1 nautical miles (7.6 km) on a ebb tide in 16°C water in Force 2 conditions, starting east of Runnel Stone and finishing off Tetter du Point. He swam further out to sea to take full advantage of the spring tide.
Day 2 on July 13th (Swim #2)
Pugh spent 1 hour 31 minutes in the Channel swimming 3.05 nautical miles (5.6 km) on a ebb tide in 16°C water, starting near Tetter du Point and finishing in the middle of Mount’s Bay. He swam at 50 strokes per minute, got stung by jellyfish with a knot of current going with him.
Day 3 on July 14th (Swim #1)
Pugh spent 2 hours 1 minute in the Channel swimming 9.6 km on a ebb tide in 16.2°C water, starting in the middle of Mount’s Bay and finishing off Lizard Point. He swam at 50 strokes per minute along a line of kelp that mirrored the tide and a 2.5 knot current. He got stung by jellyfish with a pod of dolphin pod spotted ahead.
Day 3 on July 14th (Swim #2)
Pugh spent 55 minutes in the Channel swimming 3 nautical miles (4.87 km) on a ebb tide in 16°C water, starting and finishing near Lizard Point. On Day 3, he swam at 53 strokes per minute along a line of kelp and lots of dark purple jellyfish as the tide pushed him him out to sea.
Day 4 on July 15th (Swim #1)
Pugh spent 1 hour 19 minutes in the Channel swimming 2.3 nautical miles (4.26 km) on a flood tide, starting near Lizard Point Station and finishing near Lizard Point Lighthouse. He swam at 45° to the headland due to strong currents (“the strongest in my life”). Rowan uses the tender to escort Pugh around the rocks. He decided to continue swimming around the point later in the day. The water temperature was 12°C with a Force 2 conditions (southwest winds).
Day 4 on July 15th (Swim #2)
Pugh spent 1 hour 22 minutes in the Channel swimming 1.2 nautical miles (2.2 km) on a flood tide, starting near the Bass Point Coast Guard Station and finishing near Lizard Point Lighthouse. He swam near shoals of whitebait and struggled against counter-eddies without making much progress at 50 strokes per minute. The water temperature decreased from 19°C to 13°C during the stage.
Day 5 on July 16th
Pugh spent 1 hours 27 minutes in the Channel swimming 3 nautical miles (5.56 km) on a flood tide, starting near the Bass Point Coast Guard Station. He swam at an average of 52 strokes per minute in a jellyfish-strewn area as he swam on both sides of his escort boat Aquila during the swim in an effort to avoid jellyfish blooms. The water temperature increased from 12-13°C to 19°C during the stage.
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