A curious whale visits this swimmer circumnavigating Britain

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/07/26/a-curious-whale-visits-this-sw.html


I’m curious as to how fast he’s going.


First they say he’s going five miles an hour. Then they say he swam 16 miles in over eight hours, which is less than two miles an hour. I guess maybe he’s actually swimming 2 miles an hour, but because he swims with the tide at his back he goes much faster.


Yeah, probably highly dependent on current and winds. Open ocean swimming in water that cold is unimaginably badass, and I say that as a collegiate All-American swimmer.


On the other hand, Ross’s swim won’t be registered by the Marathon Swimmers Association, because it’s an assisted swim. Crossing the Channel or in the Irish Sea is only counted if you’re not wearing a wetsuit.

I don’t have much experience swimming in a wetsuit. It strikes me as uncomfortable. I guess there are pros and cons: pro, you don’t feel the cold as much, pro it adds to your flotation, pro it can correct bad body position; con, it’s going to chafe somewhere no matter how perfectly it fits.

I’m impressed, and I hope his skin doesn’t fall off, but he’s no Sarah Thomas. Not that I am either; the longest crossing I ever did was only around 10K.

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This is sort of ‘here, hold my beer’ stupid in epic proportion.

I had the pleasure of training with Doc Counsilman one summer, who at the time was the oldest person to swim the English Channel unassisted. Total badass.


Cool. I had a cool coach for a little while named Jefferson Mascarenhas.

Down in Manaus, where I used to live, they used to swim a race across the Rio Negro called the Travessia Almirante Tamandaré. It was about 10K. He helped me train up for it. I was never very fast.

Jefferson has done it 25 times. He was the youngest winner, when he was 13. In 2015, at age 48, he swam across, turned around and went back, and then turn around and did it a third time, for 30K, in 7 hours, 35 minutes. He’s kind of a local legend, two times South American champion. And a wicked nice guy.


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