Around midnight of the 26th/27th Eddie called us from the middle of the Channel. Another swim had to be ‘abandoned’ midway, and he would be back in time to be able to take us around 4 a.m. of the 27th – the day we had secretly hoped to be able to swim on but not really expected. Lowest tide, perfect weather, sun predicted. We had everything ready, had gone to bed early – but Zuzka is still feeling weak and is coughing. Still, we went ahead, booked the taxi to take us down from Varne Ridge to the harbour (they were so busy with all the swimmers going out this night/morning), sent out messages to friends, took our sealeg pills and put the kettle and pots on for hot water and pasta for the boat.
But somehow it did not feel right. Zuzka was clearly afraid. Her breathing was not back to normal and she felt one or two more rest days would make a difference. The other option was a 3-person relay. After my experience last year, where I did not listen to my inner feeling, we decided to call Eddie again. When he heard Zuzka would be sad not to be part of the relay but very likely be fine in one or two days, he said he did not want her to feel sad and she should be able to swim since she had been training so hard and in fact it was ‘her’ relay.
So we cancelled the taxi, sent more sms-es – and were very happy about this turn of events. The weather is supposed to hold – and we want to swim with the whole team!
As I am writing this, other swimmers staying at the caravan park are getting ready to start their swim around 3-4 a.m. on one of the best days for swimming of the year. One special heroic person is also out today: Ros, a lady with polio, who had to abandon her swim last year after 25 hours in the Channel in difficult conditions and strong tides. Now she finally got a real chance.