9/13 in dover
by, September 14th, 2009 at 03:52 AM (906 Views)
Frida is Allison Streeter's mother. Allison has done some 43 crossings that include several doubles. She now pilots swimmers across. It would not be a stretch to call Frida the patron goddess, but I have heard her referred to as "the General".
I got to the beach at 8:50 this morning. I told Frida I was planning to do a 4 hour swim and she told me to hurry up if I wanted feedings as they were leaving at 1:00. I was given a red cap to wear (red = longer swims + feedings; yellow = shorter swims, no feedings). Barry greased my pits, shoulders, jawline and neck told me to get in and come feed after 2 hours. Two hours always seemed to be somewhat of a feeding threshold for me, so I tucked 2 hammer gels into my speedo. The water was pretty flat this morning but it was cloudy and cold out. My arms felt cold on every recovery and the water also felt a couple of degrees colder than it has been.
Three loops (7500 meters) took me to 2 hours and Barry was waiting with half a banana and about 8oz. of warm Maxim (the channel sport drink of choice). It took longer than I wanted to stop to eat the banana, but it tasted pretty good as did the Maxim ; less sweet than I expected given the bright red color. Barry said “see you in an hour”...... back swimming. One loop + a trip to the north wall and back (4100 meters) at an hour and ten minutes.... feed time #2. This time a woman whose name I didn’t catch (earplugs) presented me the 2 course, Dover Beach special. I swam another loop with an extended 100m +/- up and down the south (wavey) wall and finished at 4 hrs, 5 mins. Feeling good though I knew my temperature would be dropping, I dried off and dressed quickly.
Terry and I lunched with John van Wisse at the Hubert House; a swimmer friendly inn and restaurant whose proprietor Pete (a swimmer himself) maintains a wall of fame with brass plaques for all the swimmers who have stayed there.
We caught a bus to Canterbury around 5:00 PM (20 mins away) where 2 time channel swimmer, tri-lingual school teacher, and TI spanish translator, Laura resides. She booked a dinner reservation at Zizzi (yes, its italian) and we had a bit of time to walk around the cathedral and the charming narrow streets surrounding it before dining. The food was top notch... pasta - al dente, salads fresh, deserts... to die for. I had the torta Zizzi; an almond, plum and fig torte with house made vanilla ice cream, double yum! (and anyway 8 out of every 10 swimmers here tell me I’m too skinny for a solo)
All in all; a near perfect day. A good swim, a couple of good meals, and excellent company.... it doesn’t get much better than this.
We made our daily call to Mike Oram... had him on speaker phone and hit him with rapid fire questioning from all around. Heres the skinny:
-Boats might start going out on Thursday. -2 solos (one single and one double) and one relay (might have to leave before their shot) on the queue ahead of us...................Fingers are crossed....... stay tuned.