[DAY 191] The Last day of The Swim

This morning on deck I put on my swim gear for the last time. I can see the shore, the buildings and Queens Beach where I will make landfall. The last piece of equipment are my fins, I wrote on them a message in memory of my close friend Gino. I slowly slide in the … Continued

[THE WIRE] Filming The Swim

Before I worked on this project I was no stranger to filming ocean expeditions. I have been a part of teams that explored newly discovered coral reefs at the mouth of the Amazon, conducted the first manned submersible dives in Antarctica, and hunted the depths of the Humboldt current looking for cannibal squids. Despite all … Continued

[DAY 185 – 190] Hawaii arrival

As we got closer to Hawaii, a plane form the US Coast Guard flew toward us, circled the boat twice, then went back to where it came from and disappeared at the horizon. They probably had been following us for a while and conducted a customary fly by surveillance. We waited for a call on … Continued

[THE WIRE] Why am I doing this?

Another 487 nautical mile to land. Although quite far when you think about it, land feels very close these days, with an increasing amount of albatrosses, petrels and whales around us. And, now that we escaped the ferocious gales in the North, you might even spot a pair of tropical birds on these more Southern … Continued

[THE WIRE] The threat of micoplastics

Each day of  The Swim the crew cast a net off the side of the boat, not in the hopes of catching fish but to collect microplastics. When plastic enters our oceans, it doesn’t break down but rather breaks up into smaller fragments from the combination of exposure to the sun and waves. They’re a … Continued

[THE WIRE] Education of plastic pollution

Education, spreading awareness and collecting scientific data, sounds like 3 things completely related. And they are. But, as I experienced during The Swim when you want to reach the three of them at the same time, there are some difficulties or at least some differences to keep in mind. Focused on plastic pollution in the … Continued

[THE WIRE] Converted to the plastic cause

My attitude towards plastic has drastically shifted during my time on The Swim. I joined the expedition not knowing much about ocean plastic aside from rumors that there’s a great Pacific garbage patch somewhere. Every Captain and mate laughed and told me that they had never seen a “plastic patch” crossing the Pacific or other … Continued

[DAY 179-184] Progressing towards Hawaii

For the past few days, our focus has been on collecting samples and data, doing observation and progressing toward Hawaii. We still encountered squalls and had to change sails back and forth. Those squalls brought with them winds and rain with such intensity that it felt like the rain was horizontal and painful when it … Continued

[DAY 178] One of my saddest days

Today is one of my saddest days ever. Gino, one of my closest friends died. I met him through this project 7 years ago when he asked me if he could meet me on a beach in Alabama to take some footage of my training. Like many others, Gino volunteered his time and expertise, he … Continued

[DAY 174 -177] Big swells

Day 174-175 In the first two days, we experienced big swells coming from a huge low pressure system north of us that had travelled hundreds of miles to get to our location. But that didn’t affect us much. However, we frequently had to make sail changes because of squalls. They were coming and passing bringing … Continued

[DAY 173] 100 days at sea

It has been 100 days since we left Yokohama the last time, this means that we have been at sea and not been on land for that long. It is a little odd to me because it doesn’t seem that long. I have lost all references of time, every day looks the same. There is … Continued

[DAY 169-172] The dateline

On day 169, we passed the dateline it was on November 19, and the following day it was still November 19th, we lived the same day twice. I spend my days at the helm, from sunrise to sunset. All day long I can only skim the surface of the ocean since I don’t swim and … Continued

[DAY 164 -168] Sailing mode

For the past five days, we have been in sailing mode to get to a lower latitude as soon as possible because strong low pressure systems kept on coming. On our way to Hawaii, we are still collecting our samples and data (plastic, micro plastic, fibers…). Nikolai, the expert who maps the plastic accumulation zones … Continued

[DAY 164] Back in the water

Today we had good weather condition, after towing our Newston net in the morning to collect micro plastic in our location, Ty and I got on the water. He was on Ban Ana, our yellow kayak and I was back in the water. This day was unique for Ty and I; it was the first … Continued

[DAY 161-162-163] The moustaches!

Last night the winds picket up in no time from around 30 to about 50 knots. Mark was at the helm, the boat drastically heeled and this combined with big waves made it very difficult to handle. After a quick change of sail in challenging conditions, sailing become more stable in those extreme conditions. Yesterday … Continued

[DAY 160] Pushed to the limit

We have been slowly sailing south all day with the tri sail under heavy wind and high seas. After this low pressure system passes, more are forecasted. Today we had an open discussion about the limitation of the swim, the challenges we are facing, the many constraints we have to deal with and what it … Continued

[DAY 159] The broken sail

Today we put on the tri-sail to save the main sail and started sailing south east to get out of the worst part of the low pressure system moving in our area. These low pressure systems have kept on coming one after another. For the past few weeks, our weather team has been sending us … Continued

[DAY 157-158] Repairing the sail

Those past two days, we had the same weather conditions as the day before with strengthening eastern winds… and no swim. The main sail was lowered and Maria and Gonzo worked on repairing the reefs on deck. Every so often a big wave crushed against the hull, water got propelled straight in the air and … Continued

[DAY 156] Everything went wrong

Today was a day where everything we tried went wrong. The wind speed was in the mid 20 knots and the waves were breaking which made it not possible to swim with the kayak. So using the boom to tow our net and collect micro plastic in the early morning, we hooked a long stream … Continued

[DAY 155] Time

I had a great start of the day, I talked with my children. It had been 155 days since I last saw them. Sometimes it feels longer than that and other times shorter. Being at sea with no weekly schedule makes me lose all notion of time. Today was too rough to swim with the … Continued

[DAY 154] The Ban Ana

Most of the high winds had passed us but we still had some gust of 20 knots this morning. We motored to the swim point with our mainsail on deck for some repairs. Last night, the strong wind ripped off the last stitches that held up our reef two. Maria and Gonzo were working on … Continued

[DAY 153] Fresh food

I started my day by eating some fresh yogurt. Maria made it with our powder milk and some yeast. This was quite tasty but I have to admit that eating anything different from our regular plan meals taste good anyway. For dinner we had also a treat, Maks caught a mahi-mahi and Gonzo prepared it … Continued

[DAY 151-152] Strong winds

For the past two days, the wind has been too strong to swim. It started with 20 knots of wind, jumped to 25 and then 30 in a matter of seconds accompanied by heavy rain. The rain fell so hard that the visibility dropped to less than 50 meters. Had I been in the water … Continued

[DAY 150] A capsized kayak

Unfortunately, the dinghy was still out of operation and I had to use the kayak to pace me. Swells pushed us in the right direction, south east. Some of them were cresting, giving me a good push. Maria, in the kayak was surfing as well and managed to keep the kayak up almost through the … Continued

[DAY 149] The capsized boat

I started the day with Maks doing an echo of my heart. GE put at our disposal a very compact and mobile unit, the same kind the astronauts use in the International Space Station. We go through the same procedure and get data and images to monitor any changes in the structure of my heart. … Continued

[DAY 148] Painful routine

I was finally back to my painful routine. Today we started the swim with some wind and big swells, they were coming from opposite directions and created choppy conditions. I used Seeker’s tracker, mine refused to charge in the morning. I hoped this was just moisture and after cleaning the connections it would be back … Continued

[DAY 146] Another day off

Well, today wasn’t the return to swimming I had hoped for. Overnight the wind dropped and even using the engine this morning was not enough to cover the 50 miles that separated us from our destination. I used this extra day to make some modifications on my fins. The foot packets on some of them … Continued

[DAY 145] Maintenance and repairs

Today with strong winds we were able to maintain a speed of 9 knots for most of the day. We had put some fishing gears in the water and even at that speed, we caught two big mahi-mahis. We had a fresh and delicious lunch and dinner. Yoav estimated that we should be back to … Continued

[DAY 144] Good news

We started the day with a great news from our weather routing partner; the super typhoon had been moving north west, away from us and we could now turn around and sail back to our swim point. The weather had changed also, the wind speed had decreased and it was finally sunny. This boosted everybody’s … Continued

[DAY 143]

Today, Yoav got a new weather maps for the next 5 days. As I clicked on them watching one day after another, I looked at the progression of the super Typhoon and noticed a change in its course. It seemed to be moving north west. If the forecast held, this would mean that the system … Continued

[DAY 141-142] Sailing mode

The next two days were about the same, with waves and high winds. The crew was in a pure sailing mode, which meant different watches and a different life on the boat altogether, no swimming nor data collecting. The only data collected were my microbiome. WRI, our weather forecasting partner kept on updating us about … Continued

[DAY 140] Bad weather coming our way

Yesterday, right after we stopped the swim, we received some information from our routing team about a strong system moving our way in addition to the smallest one we knew was coming. We decided to follow their advice and sail south-east. The winds picked up during the night and became stronger early in the morning. … Continued

[DAY 139] More and more plastic

The conditions became a little more challenging today but it was still swimmable. Ty was in the dinghy with Brian and I knew I could rely on them to make everything possible for me to swim even in those very difficult situations. Some of the waves were crashing on me and in the dinghy, they … Continued

[DAY 138] A storm is coming

Day 138 Paul and James were on the dinghy, the waves were  coming from about two o’clock. It was a choppy sea and difficult to swim in. The waves threw me off my course. Every so often a wave stopped my right arm in its forward motion and made me loose my balance and streamlined … Continued

[DAY 137] A shark sighting

Today the water was a little warmer, but just by one degree centigrade. This was enough to feel comfortable for the full day. I didn’t shiver at the end of the day when I removed my wetsuit in the water, I took some time to relax a little and rinse my body and wetsuit. Ty … Continued

[DAY 136] Dinghy issues

I started my day with three phone interviews with Forbes, Business Insider and Vice followed by my weekly call with Dr. Montel, my psychologist. I jumped in the water a little later than usual and I got stopped before even starting. Brian and Maks, on the dinghy, noticed that the propeller was acting odd, it … Continued

[DAY 135] A normal day

I only made one feeding stop today. I swam for four hours before my stop, then I swam another three and half hours. The water is not warm enough for me to sweat, so I wasn’t thirsty and I didn’t get hungry either. Gonzo and Mark paced me on the RHIB, it was a normal … Continued

[DAY 134] Swimming with my nephew

Today my nephew Paul and Ty were on the dinghy. We had good conditions and I didn’t feel my little cuts under my right armpit most of the day. I kept the same feeding strategy as the previous days to give me longer swimming blocks; I made fewer stops, I stayed as long as possible … Continued

[DAY 133] My family

I started my day with a call to my family, it felt so good to hear their voices. This is what I miss the most. I spent most of my day thinking about them while swimming. I relived simple moments we had together, like a Saturday morning and thought about what we would do when … Continued

[DAY 132] A unique day

I started my day with a heavy breakfast. Maks was on the first watch and he always tries to fat me up (or juice me up) and put extra carbohydrates in my food. He even gave me a big protein shake that I couldn’t finish. I felt it in the first hours of my swim. … Continued

[DAY 131] Stars

I always wake up in the middle of the night and usually more than one time. Last night when I woke up around 2 a.m. I decided to go on deck and what a display I saw. The entire sky was lit up with stars, they looked so close and bright. I remembered that our … Continued

[DAY 130] Excellent swimming conditions

Last evening, during our daily meeting safety was the main subject. Due to our ongoing electrical issues, some of the crew members needed to be reinsured that we have redundant systems and if one fails we have a backup or backups. This is the case for our freshwater system, generating electricity, communication and emergency systems. … Continued

[DAY 129] Boat issues

It has been five days now that our main satellite communication system is not working. We use it to upload video and big files. We have a secondary system but it only allow us to send and receive regular emails and it is still working. Last week we started having electrical issues. For whatever reason, … Continued

[DAY 128] The Sunfish

I knew this day was going to be challenging. We had 17 knots of wind and the waves were moving in the opposite direction. The sea was very choppy and the waves were steep and tight together. Throughout the day I constantly had to blow water out off my snorkel. Some waves broke right on … Continued

[DAY 127] Engine success

This morning as we were sailing toward our swim point some pilot whales came very close the bow of the boat and stayed with us for few minutes. Their dorsal fins are amazingly big compared to the size of their body. On one of them, the fin had been damaged, a big portion was missing. … Continued

[DAY 126] 30 knot winds

Yoav told me yesterday that today would probably not be a swim day, winds of 30 knots were forecasted. He had the crew prepare the boat, securing everything on deck, bringing and securing items below deck as well. The wind picked up overnight and this morning I woke up by the sound of the waves … Continued

[DAY 125] A new approach

The winds had picked up and the air temperature was cooler this morning. Ty and James paced me on the dinghy. I wanted to try a change in food breaks. Every time I take one, my muscles are cooling down and with a cooler water temperature,over night it is harder to get back into my … Continued

[DAY 124] Cold temperatures

Since Seeker main engine doesn’t have any electric power, we still cannot turn it on. We can only maneuver our mothership under sail. This morning there was little wind and it took us a while to sail to the swim point. I had a late start and it gave me the time to repair one … Continued

[DAY 123] A sleep in

This morning when I woke up, light was shining through the hatch. Usually the crew on watch comes to wake me up and it is still dark outside. Did someone forget to wake me up? On my way to the galley, I stopped at the nav-station and looked at the monitors. The wind was blowing … Continued

[DAY 122] Just another day at the office

Today was just another day at the wet office. We had good weather conditions, the wind and waves were pushing me to the east. The first hour, a blue object caught my attention, it was bobbing 2 feet under the surface. I reached for it, it was the usual light plastic bag. I picked it … Continued

[DAY 121] Changes to my body

For the past few days, I have noticed some changes. When I step down the stairs, my legs shake. I have lost a lot of muscle mass from those muscle groups I hardly use. My legs are much thinner. This is expected, I calculated that everyday I spend less than half an hour standing and … Continued

[DAY 120] Engine issues

We started the day with some mechanical issues on our mothership. The generator and the engine wouldn’t start. After spending some time troubleshooting the problem, Yoav and Brain could not find a fix. Yoav called Ras, our chief engineer who worked on the preparation and delivery of the boat to Japan. Ras was able to … Continued

[DAY 119] Battling the northern current

I was back in the water today and still battling the northern current. I had decided to put on a sleeveless wetsuit to provide me a better range of motion but I was feeling the cold on my arms. During my first food break, I got a little cold. I resumed swimming and decided to … Continued

[DAY 118] Making 1000NM

When I woke up this morning the waves were still crushing dangerously and we waited a couple of hours before we could make a decision. During that time the wind speed decreased and the waves became less dangerous to launch the dinghy. So, we let our team on land at Seeker know that we would … Continued

[DAY 117] A rest day

As forecasted the wind had picked up, overnight they increased to over 40 knots. This morning we still had a rough sea with high wind, these were no conditions to launch the dinghy. It would be a no swim day for me. I would have to wait another day before reaching the 1,000 miles marker. … Continued

[DAY 115] The squid

We are getting close to being 1,000 miles away from the closest mainland and strangely enough, we have been seeing dragonflies, we can’t figure out how they came here. This morning we got new and up to date currents maps. As we expected, the curve of the Kuroshio that we have been fighting against, moved … Continued

[DAY 116] The milestone

I was back again fighting the northern push of the current. The conditions had changed, the wind had picked up and the waves were rolling. Maks and Maria had to bail the water out of the dinghy. The direction of the waves was somewhat on my favor and I was able to slide a few … Continued

[DAY 114] A difficult and frustrating swim

Last night we moved our clocks one hour forward to allow me to swim more at the end of the day. At sunset, jellyfish come up and yesterday I stopped half an hour earlier, so many of them were near the surface and kept on stinging my nose 🙁 Today was really a very difficult … Continued

[DAY 113] Thank you

Hello everyone, and thank you for following us. Sometimes I forget that there is a world out there on land with humans! Here in our microcosm, every day I interact with the same 9 amazing people and this is the extent of my social life. For most of the time though, I am even alone lost … Continued

[DAY 112] Cheese!

Today, we were fortunate to have the same weather conditions as yesterday, calm sea with little wind coming from the west. James and Mark, our cameramen had been needed aerial and underwater footage for a while, so we decided to schedule some time in the afternoon to do that. In the morning, I swam four … Continued

[DAY 111] Another swordfish

Ty and Maks were on the tender and the conditions were more in my favor today; the waves were much smaller and the wind had almost died. On my second food break, Ty told me they spotted some whales but they weren’t able to get close to them on time. I asked people on the … Continued

[DAY 110] The Eddy

Last night, was the first time the temperature dropped since we left Yokohama and I didn’t have to keep a damp T-shirt on my chest to keep me cool. Today was a little different than usual; our route and progression were going to be very important because of the location of an eddy. Eddies are … Continued

[DAY 109] A jet of water

I started my day with a call from my psychologist Dr. Montel. He had sent me a protocol that would help me relax if I ever was stressed or experienced some type of anxiety. I haven’t been able to test it since I haven’t had any problem falling asleep nor experienced any anxiety. If I … Continued

[DAY 108] The rocking boat

The strong rocking of the boat woke me up this morning. The wind had picked up overnight and big waves were crashing into us. We had 24 knots of wind and it was not a condition the dinghy could handle. We waited to see how the wind would evolve. After a couple of hours, the … Continued

[SCIENCE] A sea of cesium

As Ben swims with the Kuroshio current away from Japan, radioactive cesium is following the same path. All of the world’s oceans contain cesium, but the recent (2011) accident at and continued releases from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Japan represent a new point-source of the element. Prior to this, radioactive cesium, which … Continued

[DAY 107] Mind games

Today was a day for a mind game. When I swim I occupy my mind in different ways. One of them is by playing games, particularly memorization games. Paul and James were on the dinghy. I asked Paul to pick random numbers between 0 and 99 and write 4 series of 10 numbers on a … Continued

[DAY 105] My crew

The forecast was correct, today again the conditions did not allow me to swim. It has been a while since I had not been able to swim for two days in a row; it was more than a month ago when we were in Yokohama. This is the closest I would ever experience to having … Continued

[DAY 104] A rough night

The forecast was correct, we had 35 knots of wind today with breaking waves. It was a no-swim day and I slept in. For the past month, I have been sleeping in a bunk instead of the “coffin”. We call the coffin a bunk that has a flat surface and half of its length is … Continued

[DAY 103] Feeling off

I wasn’t feeling my best this morning when I woke up, I was a little off. I didn’t have a great night of sleep but it wasn’t too bad. The conditions had improved from yesterday but we still had big waves and strong wind. Ty and Gonzo were in the dinghy and dressed with rain … Continued

[DAY 102] The guiding fish

A couple of days ago I reached a milestone of 1,000 nm swum. Now I am working toward a second milestone, 1,000 nm from the coast of Japan. Today I jumped in the water thinking about this new milestone. I haven’t been swimming in a straight line and I have been following the Kuroshio, a … Continued

[DAY 101] A day off

Day off today, the wind picked up even more than yesterday and the waves were too big to safely launch the dinghy. I tried to spend this time to rest but it was difficult, I was tossed around in my bunk. Every time we have big seas and I am on the sailboat, I get … Continued

[DAY 100] Swimming 1,000 NM

Last night I heard a lot of excitement on deck, I was already in my bunk and couldn’t wait to start my night. But I was too curious and got up to check out what it was all about. Gonzo was shining a spot light on top of the water and with a net, catching … Continued

Why balloons are harmful to the ocean

What goes up, must come down… When cutting down on plastic in your life a good way to start is by reducing the amount of single-use plastic. Single-use plastic is often used while shopping in the supermarket (think plastic bags) and take away food (coffee cups), but the reality is, we rely on plastic in … Continued

[DAY 99] Swimming with whales

My day started with a talk with my son and daughter. I think they really brought me good luck for the rest of the day. Ty and Maks were on the dinghy and a full day was in front of us. It started during my first food break. Out the corner of my eye I … Continued

[DAY 98] I was alone

602 pieces of microplastic was the final count for yesterday’s collection! This is a very sad and disturbing number. With great weather conditions, I started my day of swimming with Gonzo and Mark on the dinghy. At my first food break, Gonzo welcomed me by saying: “Today, we have on the menu soup, bread and … Continued

[DAY 97] Micoplastics

One of our scientific protocols is for microplastic. A microplastic is a piece of plastic 5 millimeters or less in size. It usually comes from bigger pieces that have been degraded mainly by the effect of the sunlight. All the plastic we see on the surface of the ocean or those I see while swimming … Continued

[DAY 96] A normal day of swimming

“Tonton Benoit, your breakfast is ready!” Said Paul to wake me up. Every morning I wake up at least two hours before swimming to give me enough time to eat, check my emails and write. Maks and Maria were on the dinghy. Last night when we decided on the watches and duties for today, Maks … Continued

[DAY 94] Albatrosses and plastic

I started the day with a scheduled call with Dr. Montel, my psychologist for The Swim. I shared with him the propeller incident and let him know I was ready to go back in the water after a day off. He asked me if I had any anxiety about the incident and the shark, which … Continued

[DAY 93] Engine exhaust pipe crack

Today was a day off for me, I slept an extra two hours this morning, this felt wonderful. When I woke up my forehead was soar but other than that everything else seemed ok. I didn’t feel I missed a good day of swimming. Had I decided to swim, I wouldn’t have made great progress. … Continued

[DAY 92] The injury

What a spooky day it has been. It started when I woke up to the sound of an alarm. We had lost GPS and the system kept on dropping the signal each time Yoav rebooted it. I stepped on deck to have my breakfast and saw a curtain of fog on our starboard side, the … Continued

[DAY 91] The turtle

I have been able to swim every day for the past 13 days. Today, our luck is still with us. First thing I do, when I woke up, is to check the weather and sea conditions, and what a sight it was. A beautiful sunrise over calm waters greeted me when I stepped on deck. … Continued

[DAY 90] Another fantastic swim day

Another fantastic swim day. Since we have move our clock by one hour, not only do I get an extra hour of sun light at the end of the day but I also wake up with amazing sun rises. I swam for 9 hours and 20 minutes, the most I ever swam since our departure … Continued

[DAY 89] Extra hours

Last night we moved our watch forward by one hour, to start our day earlier and get more sun light at the end of the day. This would allow me to swim longer and not be stopped by the sunset. In the past I had to make my swim day shorter because I cannot swim … Continued

[DAY 88] The wooden cable stool

Day 88 No shark, no pilot whale, no albatross only two lonely fish were following me at the start of my day. Paul and Gonzo were on the RHIB, the wind and waves were in our favor and the sun was bright and shiny. Every time we were stopped for my food breaks, Paul and … Continued

[DAY 87] Whales

I started my day with a call with Dr. Sebastien Montel, a psychologist who is monitoring my state of mind and counseling me whenever I need it. Then, our onboard physician, Maks did an echo of my heard. It is one of our protocols, the procedure is conducted once every month to monitor the structure … Continued

[DAY 86] The return of the shark

As I entered the water this morning I thought about the shark visit yesterday. Was he going to be back today? During my swim in the Atlantic, one shark came back every day for 5 straight days. Paul and Brian were on the dinghy. The conditions had changed from yesterday, I had to battle the waves … Continued

[DAY 85] The shark

Maria was on the Kogo watch, a special watch we called after one of our Japanese friends. The watch starts at 4 a.m. and the person is responsible to prepare the food and equipment for the dinghy and my breakfast. Yoav always wakes up at 4 a.m. to make the necessary adjustment to our route … Continued

[DAY 84] Ty’s Birthday

The wind and waves were still helping my progression and the waves had subsided since yesterday. I felt their occasional push once in a while. Ty and James were on the dinghy today. During my first food break, I asked Ty to call Paul on Seeker because I had a question for him. Seeker was … Continued

[DAY 83] Sore body

The day started with rough seas that prevented us from launching the dinghy, but it wasn’t forecasted to last the entire day. Fortunately, it didn’t, and by midday the waves were getting smaller and I was able to start swimming. Paul and Maria were in the dinghy. We still had a few good waves but nothing … Continued

[DAY 82] Crashing waves

Waves, waves and more waves were on the program for today. Brian and Maks were on the RHIB and had a rough time riding some big rollers. On the positive side, the waves and wind pushed us in the right direction, east. The waves were about 2.5 meters, evenly spaced out and all moving in … Continued

[DAY 81] Fish bites

Today was another day at the office, a fish bite my nose, I had a fist-beck bump with an albatross all that with a lot of plastic. The weather conditions were pretty similar to those of yesterday except that the wind and waves were a little stronger but pushing me in the right direction Southeast. … Continued

[DAY 80] Swimming with albatross

I will have to thank Neptune again for this wonderful day at sea with great swimming conditions. Ty, the dinghy master and Gonzo were pacing me with the dinghy. After the first two hours I took off my hoody, I was getting too hot. I kept my wetsuit on, even though it was warm enough … Continued

[DAY 79] The return of The Swim

What a perfect day to resume the swim. We got back to the swim point at around 10 a.m. Everybody was excited. Everything around us was very calm, the ocean was flat with no wind. We had those conditions only once or twice before. Maks was in the kayak ready for me to jump off … Continued

[DAY 78] Finding plastic

We have been very lucky with the weather, we have been able to avoid the typhoons and still make great progress toward the east. We have kept a study pace taking advantage of the wind whenever we could and used the engine when we lost speed. As a result, it looks like tomorrow we will … Continued

[DAY 77] Back to routine

We have been at sea for few days, the team is getting back to a routine and the new crew members are acclimating to their new “home”.  We have three new members to replace Lauren and Joe who decided to not go on. I will miss them, both of them brought valuable skill sets to … Continued

[DAY 76] Fishing

If we look at the number of fish we caught and compare our last three days with the rest of the time we have spent at sea, they could not be more different. During our first 50 plus days, micro plastic we only caught one barracuda. Since we left Yokohama we caught 16 fish. The first … Continued

[DAY 75] Back at sea

Finally we are back at sea. Three days ago, our on land weather routing team gave us a glimpse of hope when they emailed us their latest weather report. It was not quite the report we were looking for but it gave a small weather window that we had to take the chance. When we … Continued

[DAY 71] Ghost Nets

One big problem that we have witnessed are ghost nets. They are nets lost at sea or have been discarded by fishermen. I never encountered one when I have been in the water but we spotted three from our sailboat. One of them was too big to get on board, so Maria got on the … Continued

[DAY 70] Keeping focused

For me, the most challenging part of swimming 8 hours a day is keeping my mind busy… and not go crazy. Even though it is very difficult on the physical side, the mental is more important, it is all about mind over matter. The best way to keep my mind focused is by having a … Continued

[DAY 69] My nutrition

One of the most challenging aspects of open water swimming is nutrition. I have been battling with it since I started swimming long distance. In any endurance activities, nutrition is essential because it directly affects performance but it is very difficult to find food that is easily digested. Swimming adds another level of difficulty because … Continued

[DAY 68] Who inspires me

No matter what we do, we always look up to certain people and get inspired by them. For me, one of them has always been my older brother Christophe. He is 3 years older than me. From an early age, he inspired me. I remember when we were teenagers, he spent so much time at … Continued

[DAY 67] Jellyfish

I don’t want to swim past a certain hour in the day for two reasons: in the late afternoon, the sunlight does not penetrate the water as much and I start losing visibility. The water beneath me turns into a darker blue and my field of vision is limited. This becomes a problem for me … Continued

[DAY 66] Toothbrushes

All I do when I swim is dream and think. I think about general subjects or problems we encounter during our expedition. The other night when I went to our head (bathroom) to brush my teeth, I counted the number of toothbrushes we were using and it didn’t make any sense. On the boat we … Continued

[DAY 65] What do I stand for?

What do I stand for? I am not against plastic, I am for a responsible way to use plastic, one that doesn’t pass on any liability down to the next generation. Like many people, I am struggling with how I can reduce my use and limit my impact. My bad habits are still entrenched in … Continued

[DAY 64] Connection

When I swim in the middle of the ocean, I don’t have a WiFi connection but I am experiencing the most intimate connection. In our hyper-connected world, we often forget how important it is to have some for yourself, by yourself without any interruption. Well on that end, I am one of the most fortunate … Continued

[DAY 63] Every day I swim is a day to celebrate because: 

Every day I swim is a day to celebrate because: Every day I swim is another chance to get people’s attention. Every day I swim I hope to inspire them to take action. Every day I swim we contribute to learning more about our ocean. Every day I swim is a new adventure. Every day … Continued

[DAY 62] My perspective of the ocean

I wanted to share with you how I experience life on the boat and live in the water and why they are different for me. I reflected on those differences on day 49, here was my blog entry. My perspective of the ocean is totally different from the deck of the boat or in the … Continued

[DAY 61] Whales

I can’t wait to go back in the water because of those particular intense moments I experienced like the one on day 48: “Whales!” Screamed Maks pointing to our port side. Paul was at the helm this morning, I was on deck with them. Paul changed Seeker’s heading and sailed toward the sprays while other … Continued

[DAY 47] Avoiding the Typhoon

Dear followers, I am sincerely sorry for the delay this past week in sharing information on the status of our journey. I am responsible for not finding a solution faster on how to efficiently share our latest updates with you while respecting the communication needs of our media partners. I am honored to have Seeker … Continued

[THE WIRE] Silver back

A frequently asked question we get is about encounters with ‘dangerous’ animals out here. Sharks are especially appealing to a lot of us and I have to admit that it is exciting to spot the dorsal fin cutting through the waves- an event occurring roughly every week on this expedition. Unfortunately, the sharks we have … Continued

[THE WIRE] Citizen science

A few years ago my only approach to science was to read articles. In University, we kept reading papers about many environmental subjects, but most of the times this research was done far away from where I live, made it from people far away from me. Then for a long time, just the word science was something … Continued

[DAY 46] The swordfish

Today we had favorable weather conditions, yes it felt good to wake up and see the winds and waves had subsided. During part of the morning we sailed back to our waypoint, once we got there Maria was ready to handle the paddles and lead me eastward. Within the first few minutes of swimming, in … Continued

[DAY 45] Feeling better

Even though the conditions had not changed, I felt a little better my body was adapting to the rocking but it will change again next time I am back in the water… Maria spotted a Japanese boat on the horizon and decided to contact it on the VHF radio to ask them about potential rendezvous … Continued

[DAY 44] Nausea

This morning the conditions hadn’t improved and it was forecasted to have the same weather for the next day as well. Squalls were passing through and dumping rain on and off the entire day. Maks told me to take advantage of that down time to rest and eat as much as possible. So I did. … Continued

[DAY 43] No two days are the same

I woke up and the winds and waves had changed. These conditions wouldn’t allow me to swim with a kayak. We still sailed to our waypoint hoping the conditions would improve but by the time we got there, they didn’t. In this situation, we could have used the RHIB, but it was pushing the limit … Continued

[DAY 42] The World Cup and The Swim

“Ben, do you want to eat?” Are usually the first words I hear in the morning. Most of the time it is Yoav who ask me, he is up early to sail the boat back to our waypoint . The first thing I do in the morning is eat, then very often I fall back … Continued

[DAY 41] The bird

The bird is still with us and Maks is keeping a close eye on her. The conditions today were perfect with very little wind and small waves. We started the day with Mark on the kayak, we both had great expectations on seeing sea life with those great conditions. But as the day progressed and … Continued

[DAY 40] Strong rain and wind

Last night was difficult for everybody, we got hit by a few squalls that brought a lot of rain and strong winds. It was loud and the boat was tossed in every direction. The crew on deck had to be very vigilant and tied themselves to the tether lines to prevent them from falling of … Continued

[THE WIRE] Another brick in the wall

Being in and around the ocean for several months doesn’t go by unnoticed. Sun, clear skies and deep blue seawater are predominant and the salted bleached hair and brown skins, collected in a rate your sun studio will be jealous of. But looks can be deceiving since these picture-perfect conditions also form a constant threat … Continued

[DAY 39] Family bonding

The conditions were pretty similar to those of yesterday; strong opposite wind and waves. Paul, my nephew, was in the kayak. It had been awhile since he last spent time on the RHIB or kayak to pace me. The both of us were alone on that vast ocean, or at least it felt that way … Continued

[DAY 38] Another challenge

This morning the wind and waves were coming from the north and were stronger than yesterday. We still had to progress toward the north and this was going to be a challenging day. Maria was back in the kayak. She communicated a few times with the crew on the VHF to verify that we were … Continued

[DAY 37] Spotting plastic

We drifted quite a bit over the night and had we spent a good part of the morning sailing and motoring back to the way point. During that time I was standing on deck scouting the surface of the water for plastic. About every 15 minutes I spotted a new piece. It was a day … Continued

[DAY 95] Record temperatures

I wake up to the sound of the engine. Yoav has been battling with the exhaust pipe again. The last fix didn’t hold. He had been working on it since very early in the morning. We had drifted for a while and now we had to motor back to the swim point. It took us … Continued

[DAY 36] Whale spotting

Great swimming conditions again today, I couldn’t be happier; instead of easing myself down slowly into the water from the side of the boat like I always did, I jumped off from the deck, making a horrible landing but I enjoyed it. I started the day with Maks in the kayak pacing me. Our Torqeedo … Continued

[DAY 35] Swimming with the kayak

Today again I started my swim day with Seeker and like yesterday I had some issues moving at the same pace. Three times I found myself falling behind the streamline and having to increase my speed and push to catch up with our sailboat. The crew has a very difficult job to do, since we … Continued

[DAY 34] A tiring day

We started the day with another problem with our electric outboard engine. Our main engine and the back up both gave us some error codes that we could not clear and both were down. I had to swim beside Seeker. Once the crew got the streamline ready and the safety line with the kayak secured … Continued

[THE WIRE] (Im)possible

Do you ever get restless back home, where everything is settled and feeling the urge to change scenery sometimes, to test yourself and your capabilities? It is a driving force for many to go out and do things. A force giving you the “power” to see beautiful places and meet extraordinary people. And, who knows, … Continued

[DAY 33] The crab

We had great weather conditions overnight and for the rest of the day. Paul and Maria paced me in the RHIB. Maria had her eyes focused on the surface of the ocean to pick up any debris she could find. I could feel the RHIB veering course each time they spotted a piece and went … Continued

[DAY 32] Jellyfish

We still had strong wind in the morning but the forecast predicted the conditions to improve within hours. After a few hours, live the waves got smaller and I could start swimming with the RHIB. The conditions started relatively good for the rest of the day. We still found plastic, I retrieved a big water bottle … Continued

[DAY 31] Ear infection

Yesterday after my short swim Lauren diagnosed that I had an ear infection. She started to treat me and I used that day of rough weather to recoup and keep my ear dry for a day. I didn’t see the time passed, I spent most of it sleeping in my bunk or in the galley … Continued

[DAY 30] Tangled streamline

Today, the winds had picked up and the waves were too big to swim with the RHIB, so we set up Seeker with a pole and the streamline. The sea drogue was also deployed behind to reduce the speed of the boat. After about an hour of swimming, the sea drogue got tangled up in … Continued

[DAY 29] Another shark encounter

Another great day for swimming, little wind, waves were rolling in the right direction, and the water was warm. Ty and Mark were in the RHIB pacing me, it was an uneventful morning until I heard Ty scream “Ben, Ben shark!” I swam toward the RHIB, Ty was pointing in the direction toward my right … Continued

[THE WIRE] Keeping position

Sitting around the saloon table the hot discussion of the morning today is the GPS location and the fact we missed our timing again to drop Ben in the water on our first approach. At the end of each days swim we take the point of when Ben finishes so we can return the next … Continued

[DAY 28] The shark

The high-pressure system was still with us, bringing with it great weather conditions for the day. Within the first hour I was in the water, Lauren and Maks screamed: “Ben, there is a shark!” I very quickly lifted up my head out of the water and looked into the direction they were pointed. I couldn’t … Continued

[DAY 27] Swimming with turtles

A high-pressure system was bringing us again nice weather conditions today. Ty and Mark were in the RHIB. Early on in the day, Mark spotted a turtle swimming at my right side. It came pretty close to me about 2 meters and started to circle me, looking straight at me. A school of about 20 … Continued

[DAY 26] Finding more plastic

Today we had great conditions, so Maks and Joe were able to pace me with the RHIB. We had few long swells but the surface of the ocean was pretty smooth. With those conditions, it was easier to spot any floating trash. Maks and Joe picked some on the way and in few instances asked … Continued

[DAY 25] Swimming with Seeker

Today we had the same conditions as yesterday, too much wind and breaking swells to swim beside the RHIB or the kayak. So we decided to implement yesterday’s plan and have me swim beside Seeker. This time we used a much lighter pole to tow my streamline. This is a windsurf mast that we use … Continued

[DAY 24] The broken pole

The force of the wind had diminished, but it was still over 20 knots with cresting waves. We couldn’t use a kayak or the RHIB to pace me, so we decided to wait few more hours before making a decision. In the afternoon we decided to use the sailboat to pace me and we started … Continued

[DAY 23] Crashing waves

The situation started to deteriorate during the night, when I woke up we had over 30 knots winds. The waves were cresting and growing. I knew that if these conditions didn’t change I would not be able to swim. We waited a few hours but the forecast and the conditions didn’t improve, I was also … Continued

[DAY 22] Lonely fish

I was back being paced by the RHIB with Jo and Maks, the problem had been solved, our two batteries were fully charged. It was an uneventful day, no dolphins, no ships just a lonely fish that decided to swim right below me for the last 3 hours. During my last feeding breaks, I kept … Continued

[THE WIRE] Plastic

Day 21 While Ben is swimming we keep a constant watch on him and the dinghy crew, at the same time we are looking at the vast amount of water around us. We see something disgusting; rubbish and debris floating around us, this is not a rare occasion, in fact, it is quite the contrary and … Continued

[DAY 21] Dinghy troubles

Maria and Ty were on the RHIB to pace me. Within the first hour, we experienced some technical issues, an error came from the electric Torqeedo engine and couldn’t be reset. After few trials, Ty called Seeker to let them know we needed a different setup to pace me until they could figure out what … Continued

[DAY 20] Another near collision

I had trouble falling asleep last night, it was only in the early morning that I got few hours of good sleep. I didn’t know how it was going to affect my day. Paul woke me up 7 am to let me know that we will be back at our swim location in 2 hours. … Continued

[DAY 19] Company swim

It was a clear day with the right swimming conditions, the waves were coming somewhat from behind me with little wind. Ty and Lauren were in the RHIB and Lauren took with her, her swimming gear. She asked me earlier if she could join me in the water. I am always looking for ways to … Continued

[DAY 18] Summer solstice

We had the same conditions this morning again but it did not last too long. By the end of the morning, it had clear it and I started to swim. The sky was clear and I could see the sun rays piercing through the thick water. The light bounced off the phytoplankton, it gave me … Continued

[DAY 17] Waves

The strong wind and waves were still in the opposite direction and too big to have a kayak or the RHIB in the water to pace me. In those type of conditions I could swim, I am like a cork in the water. My wetsuit keeps me buoyant, I go up and down in the … Continued

[DAY 16] Rain shower

It was again the same weather situation this morning, I had to swim upwind and against the waves. But it turned out that it would not be the biggest problem. The rain had started to pick up and Maks and Jo had to bail out the rainwater as well as the water from the waves … Continued

[DAY 15] Frustration

The wind was still blowing strong this morning again from the northeast accompanied by strong waves coming from the same direction but also swells from the south. This was an odd combination, none of which worked in my favor. I had put an extra layer of wetsuit and felt constricted. I had to work much … Continued

[DAY 14] Close encounters

The wind was still blowing from the northeast. I knew before going into the water it was going to be challenging, I would have to fight the wind and waves going in the opposite direction but I was determined to put my time in. I put two hoodies on to keep my head warm, one … Continued

[DAY 13] Light

The daylight starts early here before 5 am it lights up the galley through 5 hatches. My day will start in about an hour but I stay laying on the bench, enjoying this quiet moment with the light shining through the openings. The light will be here every morning no matter what. There are few … Continued

[DAY 12] Nausea

I spent the night in my bunk with pillows and my backpack on my side to limit my movements. I could hear the waves breaking on the hull and rolling on the deck. Yoav, our skipper, and the crew were handling over 30 knots of wind on deck with heavy rain. Those conditions did not … Continued

[DAY 11] Sea sickness

I had a good start Ty and Lauren were on the RHIB and I was trying to get back into my swimming routine. About two hours in the RHIB stopped, Ty told me they had lost power and called Seeker to check on the error they were getting with our Torqeedo engine. The RHIB is … Continued

[DAY 10] Roller coaster

I woke up feeling like I had been riding a big roller coaster. Seeker was pitching up and down, we were going upwind and the waves were coming from the same direction as the wind. As a result,planed my morning protein shake came back up and became feed for the fish. Around noon I forced … Continued

[Day 9] Whale watching

I started my day taking in everything I could about the smells, buildings, trees and the stable line of the horizon while we were still within sight of land. Later on, those last images would be important to me and help me revisit my last hours near solid ground. Over the next few months, my … Continued

[DAY 8] All clear

Day 7The weather report we all had been waiting for came in this morning. Maliksi, the low pressure system that had forced us to retreat to land was finally moving to the east and gave us a clear weather window to sail back to our location. Our router estimated we could leave our current location … Continued

[DAY 7] Waiting out the storm

Having to take a break from the swim due to the storm has given all of us the chance to check on what was happening in the rest of the world. At sea our communications are filtered, we have limited bandwidth and we cannot spend time on our social media page and news feeds. What a … Continued

[DAY 6] Story telling

The wind had faded early on in the day and the light rain didn’t stop until the evening, the storm had passed. As we prepare to begin the swim we also are having to say goodbye to one of our crew, my friend Gino, who is returning to his life on land in the United … Continued

[DAY 5] The Storm

The storm is nearly passed, so it looks like I’ll be continuing my swim across the Pacific soon. It is time to put all those feelings of setback behind me and focus on using our time waiting out the storm to increase our chance of success at sea. Paul called on a meeting, we were all … Continued

[Guest Post] A Very Personal Plunge

By Mindy Levine I came awake this morning and mentally organized my day while still laying upon my comfortable bed. The slats in the bedroom window shades had somehow shifted and I woke with a thin stream of sunlight on my face. I realized several things at the same time. First is that my waking feels … Continued

[DAY 4] World Oceans Day

We spent our Ocean Day adjusting our course to get out of the path of the storm and that meant moving backwards. I had mix feelings when I first saw land again.  I was slowly starting to seep into my rhythm of swimming, sleeping, and eating and yet this big developing weather system forced us … Continued

[DAY 3] A storm is coming

If there is something I learned that is most helpful in my situation, this is it: there is a long list of forces outside of my control that I can’t change, this only thing I can change is the way I think about them and react. Weather is on top of this list, I knew … Continued

[DAY 2]

I woke up around 6 am, I wasn’t too stiff, and overall had a good night. My night was interrupted by my midnight meal, a plate of pasta and my regular bathroom stops. I went on deck and found Yoav, our skipper making adjustments to the sails. We had drifted over night more than expected … Continued

[DAY 1] Leaving Land

DAY 1 June 5th 2018 It was a day loaded with emotions; I was finally going to start the swim after so many years dreaming about it and 7 years of tumultuous preparations, I couldn’t be more excited about it. But it was also difficult to know that I was leaving my friends and family … Continued

[THE WIRE] The Swim

For just over a week our support boat Discoverer and the crew have been busy on land preparing for their six to eight months expedition to accompany Ben across the Pacific Ocean. While they’ve been working hard stocking the boat with foods and supplies, Ben’s been busy back in American with his side of the … Continued

[THE WIRE] Japan Arrival

As Japan appeared on the horizon everyone on board of Disco felt a mix of exhilaration and pride, they had just finished the Pacific crossing and were one step closer for the departure for the project. After a quick stopover in Hawaii, they were back at sea with sights set on Japan. From Hawaii the … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Aloha

We made it to Hawaii!Our total trip LA to Hawaii took a solid 15 days, 07:58 hours. We sailed 2654.92nm at an  average of 7.27kts. It felt like a wonderful Sunday sail that just seemed to be extended a little longer. Dina and Rani hit the provisions out of the park preparing the right amount … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Smooth Sailing

We are about 4 days from Honolulu. If our wind can hold this speed and direction we may be able to get in some spinnaker sailing today and tomorrow. Though the forecast has predicted as much, the wind has been variable with a range of 10-15 knts. Currently Ras is in the galley making breakfast … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Freeze dried tasting

We are trotting along quite nicely at the moment. A few days ago we had a bit of a lull in the wind in which the brave were afforded a swim in the cold pacific ocean (19*c). We are now seeing speeds ranging from 15-25 kts with occasional gusts of 30kts. Today we had a … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Back in our element

We finally left the dock! After months of preparation (years for some of us), we were all feeling the angst of being on land too much. We were done working on the boat. It was time to sail! And what  a gorgous sail it has been. Disco has been showing us what she is made … Continued

Open House Invitation

Come join us at Altasea Open House on Saturday, January 27th at 10:00am. We will share the latest updates on The Longest Swim, and share the stage with Dr. Clarissa Anderson (Exective Director of Southern California Coastal Ocean Observing System at Scripps) and Marcus Eriksen’s Junk Raft. Attendance is free and open to the public, … Continued

Home, sweet home!

Last Monday Altasea La Kretz Blue Incubator was inaugurated by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, opening the way to a brand new Campus and Ocean Innovation Center. Garcetti hailed AltaSea as “a place where scientists, educators, policy makers and entrepreneurs can work together to accelerate marine research that will set an example for the world to follow.” … Continued

Altasea Open House

Saturday was Altasea Open House, such an honor to share the stage with Captain Charles Moore and XPRIZE. Thank you AltaSea!  

Our new home Altasea

Our support sailboat Discoverer is now docked at The Longest Swim new base camp: Altasea Port of Los Angeles. Altasea is dedicated to scientific and educational project development and to start-ups with the mission to raise awareness about the state of our oceans. In the following months, the warehouses of the Port of Los Angeles will … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Close to the California coastline

After we left you going into evening yesterday, a wonderfully clear night of fast and furious sailing ensued. With only a few clouds around and a full moon, we trucked along under yankee 1 and full main, making well over an 8kt average. Proper sailing again, with Disco doing what she does best in fairly … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] When we cross the road of the Transpac race

Shortly into the night two good things happened. First, there were dolphins, which is always a happy occurrence. Despite it being dark, the sound of these nimble creatures flitting in and out of the water around us is unmistakable, so you know they’re there even if you can’t see a thing. The second was Henry … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] The winches melody

I left you with an exceptional breakfast, and our first set of plastic trawling trials. The subsequent evening and night involved purely fickle sailing conditions, and all focus on trying to keep the boat moving. We spent 90% of the time with the sails capturing an almost imperceptible level of wind, their soft shapes above … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Our first set of plastic trawling trials

If I had put money on someone to get the boat moving first, it would have been on Henry. However, I’d struggle to find anyone to take that bet, as they’d all agree. True to form, shortly after dawn I heard the rustling of sails, felt Disco gybe out of her hove-to state, and begin … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] A windless Pacific Ocean

Welcome to a windless Pacific Ocean. The telltale signs of the light airs we saw in the early part of yesterday evening were indeed an indication of what was to come, and by midnight the wind had died off completely, leaving us with a mercifully slight sea state, but still enough to gently roll the … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] A break in cloud

Finally, we had an evening that wasn’t just grey cloud in every direction, a very refreshing break! We’re still a long way off the amazing nights of unbroken starscape in every direction that have previously graced our time at sea, but right now I’ll take the occasional break in cloud cover to prove the stars … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Busy day, fresh showers and “Disco Fragrance”

Despite the fact the squall activity at night has eased off, there are still patches of excitement, where the wind will increase by about 50% for 5 or 10 minutes, before reverting back to its previous state. On one such occasion last night a really breezy patch came through, and unable to see the gust … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Food innovation and Fast and furious progress

It’s a good day here on Disco. Fresh socks, AND a fresh t-shirt. You can’t get better than that on another day mid-pacific. Then there was breakfast. We had egg and bacon in freshly baked wholemeal bread rolls – very nice indeed. I recently discovered that, as with the biscuits and nachos, strategies had been … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Like sailing through traffic lights

This is being written at the end of the day, from an increasingly challenging environment. I’m wedged into the nav station, one leg dangling into free space by the companionway, the other hooked up to windward in an attempt to stop the rest of my body following the first leg across the boat, left shoulder … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Under the rainbow

The day began with the excitable tones of Renaud at the helm. They were the noises he normally makes when there are dolphins or other appealing marine wildlife about, although also displayed when referring to the Southern Ocean penguins he so fondly reminisces of. This time, however, was the first exception to this rule since … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] How stars disappear

A while back I detailed life on a starboard tack, and suggested that life would be better on a port tack. Here’s the comparative insight you’ve all been waiting for. The sail locker is still a horrendous, so no improvement there, but none expected, so fair enough. My favourite heads is much improved experience without … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Bueno or no bueno?

The last 24 hours haven’t been the most awe inspiring sailing ever, but they’ve seen us make fairly good miles. Our eastwards tack held for a long while, seeing us through the day and well into the night. It was only when we started to be headed again and pushed south did I decide to … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] The fake man overboard

The day started with a small excitement, when the MOB alarm suddenly went off. There are two reasons for this; either one of our crew has gone swimming, or we’ve picked up a signal from another boats unintended swimmer. I laid eyes on all my crew within about 10 seconds, and they all confirmed that … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] A not sailing day far from civilization

Back on starboard tack again. You’ll sense a recurring theme here. This is what I’m think of as our ‘zag’, port tack being the former part of the zigzag that will eventually take us to California (we hope). The key element of this frustratingly necessary tactic is to not look at our track or course … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] The 5% that makes it worthwhile

There’s a big angles game going on here in the Pacific, and it will be the theme of this trip I imagine. Having spent so long gaining the north we wanted, it is slowly bleeding away again on our new tack. This is the unfortunate reality of beating, with our boat speed no longer an … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Pros and cons of starboard tack… is port better?

I thought I could start with an insight into ‘Discoverer – Life on a Starboard Tack’. It has been the unchanging environment since leaving Hawaii, so we are all now well reacquainted with both the positives and downsides of below decks leaning 20° to port. Starting from the front, the sail locker is unchanged, as … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Each scratch has its own story

Well, the sevens of VMG were never going to last, but sixes are still an occasional feature of the helmsman/woman’s constant quest for the most efficient combination of angle and speed, so it’s not that bad. Sailing to wind isn’t something we’ve done a long stint of in quite a while. In fact, the last … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Main halyard failing and mast koala

I won’t gloss it over. The first night was a bit grim. Our early evening departure all went smoothly enough, with the newly returned and ever increasingly ocean-hardened Henry Mccann nicely taking Discoverer off the dock and out of the harbour, affording me a throwback to the world of coiling mooring lines and slinging fenders … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] The Great Nacho Disappearance

The day started with a scandal. The Great Nacho Disappearance of Discoverer. I would claim it to be a mystery, and that much time was spent establishing where the several packets of nacho crisps went, however there was no doubt. It was me. I knew it, and everyone else rightly assumed it instantly. There may … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Guy Ritchie saved the day

We seem to be sailing again. If you’d asked me last Tuesday, I would not have said that we would be sailing. If you’d asked me on Wednesday, we might have been going sailing, but I would have laughed at the idea of sailing to Hawaii. By Thursday, we were seriously discussing Hawaii, but it … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] The best bit of the day

I truly love this bit of the day; the deck and helm safe in competent hands, the rest of the crew fast asleep, and a wonderful sense of peace below decks. The kite is still up, and neither living up to its name as ‘Jetsam’, or as ‘Hand Grenade’, for now… It is currently 4am … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] The Man over/on Board and The Mysterious Light

We’ve been experiencing a gentle slowdown for the last few days, the good breeze and powerful sailing angles both easing, to give us the current set of conditions; a gentle breeze well aft of the beam. Disco isn’t the best boat about downwind, especially when under white sails, not quite generating enough power to hold … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Stars from the sky to the screen

I was going to open with what good progress we had made, and therefore the unexpectedly small number of miles left to run. However, it was discussed the other day that it seems like a negative attitude to be continually counting down the miles until we get somewhere, as it implies that we’re looking forward … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Ode to the Weatherfax

Our excellent progress continues unabridged so far, and we’re definitely feeling like the North Pacific is being kind to us. As the helming is rotated through the team, unbroken attention given to the wheel day and night, we are fairly flying across the slightly curved course, consistent winds speeding us towards the distant Hawaii shores. … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Conservative sailing

It’s been a mellow day here, despite a relatively fast pace. With good conditions and few people, life is pretty chilled aboard, with everything just slotting into it’s own rhythm, and all of us going along with it. The sailing seems to be pretty much looking after itself, with the only noteworthy events being the … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] The jumping squid

No drama for our first days sailing to Hawaii, except an offending cephalopod… As hoped (I could almost go as far as to say ‘as planned’), the first night was a quick and fun affair of beam reaching down to Isla De Guadalupe, and then a gentle ‘turn right’, until we were laying Hawaii on a … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] On the road again

We seem to be sailing again. If you’d asked me last Tuesday, I would not have said that we would be sailing. If you’d asked me on Wednesday, we might have been going sailing, but I would have laughed at the idea of sailing to Hawaii. By Thursday, we were seriously discussing Hawaii, but it … Continued

Alhoa training!

After a month spent in San Diego to prepare and plan The Longest Swim, the Disco crew set sail to Hawaï for a training session, and to test our scientific equipment in real conditions. They will then sail back to California to finish the refit of our support boat. In the meantime, our swimmer Ben … Continued

Swim to the Limit!

As you are aware, we recently launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise the necessary funds for food and airtime during their expedition. That campaign is finishing next weekend, in an attempt to raise the remaining funds, we are prepared to push ourselves to our limit! Beginning on Friday 28th April at 8am Ben will start his Swim to the Limit challenge, swimming non-stop in San Diego Bay … Continued

An Update from The Longest Swim

Firstly, we would like to thank all of our followers for supporting our journey so far, and to welcome our new friends and followers to the family. It has been a busy and productive year so far for The Longest Swim, with many achievements to celebrate; we are extremely pleased to finally have our vessel Discoverer … Continued

Atlas of Seabirds at Sea: An Interview with Dr. Taryn Morris

Dr. Taryn Morris (second picture, left) is the Coastal Seabird Conservation Manager for BirdLife South Africa. Her work “focuses on ensuring healthy marine habitats for the endangered African Penguin and other coastal seabirds. This is achieved through policy engagement related to marine protected areas and responsible fishing practices”. She moonlights as the coordinator of the … Continued

The Microbiome: An interview with Dr. Jack Gilbert

Dr. Gilbert is a Principal Investigator (Environmental Microbiologist) at Argonne National Laboratory and a Fellow at the Marine Biological Laboratory, both affiliated with the University of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois, where he also holds the position of Assistant Professor. His research interests include include the temporal and biogeographic structure of microbial communities, the taxonomic diversity of … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] San Diego, just a legend?

The crew doubt whether an end really exists, while we reflect on the journey thus far. Well, it’s close enough to believe it might actually happen now. The crew are throwing around various comments as to the mythical nature of this moment, so long in the offing and so far in distance it has been. … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Good progress, despite severe biscuit crisis

New sails, big yellow flotsam, a biscuit famine, and some albatross for luck. Roughly 150nm left to run, until the elusive fairway buoy at the entrance to the San Diego bay channel that has enticed our minds for so long appears on the horizon. It’s been nearly 7 months since I’ve seen the red and … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Sailing again!

A big tidy up and food is back on the menu. Fully sailing again here! Not only is sailing more fun, less stressful, quieter, rewarding, fulfilling, and better for the boat in so many different ways, it’s also normally much faster, therefore generally better in every way than motoring or motor-sailing. This is why we … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Atlantis abandoned

Crew finally give up sleeping in wet bunks, and the ride continues. It’s been a wet and wild ride here for the last little while. At least, that’s what it says in one of the recent entries in our temporary logbook. There have been many less publishable entries alongside this throughout our little spell of … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Torn sails and storm sails

“What are you doing?” “Just waiting for something to break”. It’s been quite the 24 hours here on Disco. I’m even inclined to go as far as describing it as ‘dramatic’. The weather conditions have been continually deteriorating, and we’re well and truly back in a world where I sleep curled up next to the … Continued

Extreme Exercise and the Heart: An interview with Dr. Benjamin Levine

Dr. Levine is the founder and director of the Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine (IEEM) at Texas Health Presbyterian Dallas. IEEM is the largest center for the study of human physiology in the United States. During the swim he will function as Ben’s cardiologist, as well as a researcher on two of The Longest … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] A forgotten foredeck

Ben Lecricket runs the boat while the team take a break. Until a few hours ago there wasn’t much to report. We’ve been pushing on through a slowly building sea-state for all of last night, which has been creating a really quite bumpy ride. With the wind still on the nose, it was another big … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Offshore cricket continues to amaze the world

The latest instalment of Ben Lecricket, and a quiet life aboard Disco. We are, for the first time in what feels like a while, out of sight of land. The Mexican coastline has drifted off over the horizon on the starboard quarter, and once again we are left with the now familiar view of 67ft … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Old crew, new tricks

New system, old stories, normal climate on the horizon, and some modest wind for a change. The cold has finally returned. I refer not to the Belgian Flue that gripped Discoverer in the early stages of our delivery, courtesy of the now infamous Moris, one of two Belgians to have graced Discoverer with their presence. … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Pesto pasta saves the world

Good tunes and coffee drive us north, while we play with the elements. Disco is a boat that runs on a variety of fuels. Wind is our main one, although we’re running a bit light on that right now. Coffee is second. I would like to put it at a first, but for realities sake … Continued

The Gravity Effect: an interview with Dr. Benjamin Levine

Dr. Levine is the founder and director of the Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine (IEEM) at Texas Health Presbyterian Dallas. IEEM is the largest center for the study of human physiology in the United States. During the swim he will function as Ben’s cardiologist, as well as a researcher on two of The Longest … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] The wheels are off

The Disco boys, and good breeze at last! What a night! As you probably gathered from the last report, our first evening out was a little bit eventful. Certainly not the start we were hoping for. Once confidence had been gained in our second engine fuel line fix we turned our attention to the generator … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] A few days best described as indescribable

A far from ideal stop in Mexico, and a far from ideal start to the final push. So much excitement I can barely put it into words. Acapulco didn’t go to plan. There were aspirations of arriving on Sunday night, walking into customs and immigration first thing on Monday morning, receiving all the necessary stamps, … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] “The most dolphins eveeeeeer”

Birdles. Now you’ll have to read on to find out what that means… As was the case yesterday, sailing is at the bottom of the realistic agenda, so we continue to entertain ourselves with whatever else is afforded to us. Luckily for us, this continues to be an abundance of wildlife. Yesterday evening saw “the … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Current curtails California calling

Not much sailing on the cards as Mother Nature attempts to throw us back down to Panama. I’m sure there is a metaphor for life to make here. Pushing against the current. Motoring hard, not enough wind to fill our sails, but still making slow progress, the current just increasing the harder we try. However, … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Mischief afoot

Student living aboard sees mixed progress, the food revolution, a new type of foredeck work, and the story of the world’s first offshore cricket continues. While we have all agreed that the last few days have seen a slight reduction in the night temperatures, to the extent that we’ve even seen the re-emergence of long … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] PowerPoint presentations and bird attacks

Good sailing, with a dab of oceanic science, serious debating, and a second stowaway takes over the foredeck. It’s been a good 24 hours of progress out here in the Guatemala Basin. There have been a couple of ‘crank up the engine’ moments, but generally speaking the trusty cable ties and associated sails have been … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Crossing the Gulf of Tehuantepec

Weather & tactics, plus the cable ties hang on in there. The long slog north continues. We are beginning our crossing of the Gulf of Tehauntepec, and aiming for Acapulco on the other side. Our stop at Acapulco is purely a logistical one, as with such a long leg and a relatively full boat, we … Continued

High-Definition Water Data: an interview with Dr. Michael DeGrandpre (Part 2)

You can read the first part of Dr. DeGrandpre’s interview right here! Dr. DeGrandpre is a Professor at the University of Montana in Missoula, Montana. His research focuses on the development of autonomous chemical sensors with applications in both marine and freshwater chemistry. He is leading the High Definition Water Data segment of research for … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] “Drive it like you stole it”

Wind at last, the world’s first offshore cricket, and pizza craze sweeps Disco. Life has stepped up a gear here on Disco. The wind is in, the sheets are eased, and spirits flying high. It is unbelievably good to be making progress, and the boat temporarily ceasing hostilities in the sense of seeing if it … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Testing times and sharks

Diesel troubles continue while the wind continues to holiday in Hawaii. Well, this little leg up to San Diego is certainly proving one of the most testing so far. I think we are all in agreement onboard that we’d rather be enduring a gale and making actual progress than dealing with the conditions that are … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Diesel drama and drifting

Scotty “It’s not ideal at the moment…” Ty “Yeh, I figured that when I heard someone talk about fire extinguishers” A slightly high octane 24 hours here on Disco. I left you with the worst loaf of bread ever created on a boat, and a cricket called Ben. There is still no improvement on the … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] All or nothing

More sail changes in 24 hours than in an entire Atlantic crossing… Very busy here in the last 24 hours. Any beer and calories consumed on shore in the last month are being well and truly burnt off. All or nothing sailing conditions.Our sedate pace of the initial time spent in the Gulf of Panama … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Underway in the Pacific

Productive pursuits in Panama; pacified Pacific produces pedestrian pace. Hello from the Pacific Ocean! Panama was an eventful and action packed stop, with much getting achieved to get us well on our way to San Diego and set us up for an efficient turnaround there, which is crucial to keeping within our tight timeframe. The … Continued

High-Definition Water Data: an interview with Dr. Michael DeGrandpre (Part 1)

Dr. DeGrandpre is a Professor at the University of Montana in Missoula, Montana. His research focuses on the development of autonomous chemical sensors with applications in both marine and freshwater chemistry. He is leading the High Definition Water Data segment of research for The Longest Swim. The temperature and electrical conductivity (a measurement which is … Continued

Giant Phytoplankton: an interview with Dr. Tracy Villareal

Dr. Villareal is a Professor in the Department of Marine Science at the University of Texas at Austin and a Research Scientist at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas, Texas. His research interests include understanding the processes and interactions that structure phytoplankton communities, with a focus on the autecology of the largest known … Continued

[ SCIENCE ] Radiation from Fukushima: an interview with Dr. Ken Buesseler (Part 2)

  You can read the first part of Dr. Buesseler’s interview right here! Dr. Buesseler is a Senior Scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. His research interests include studies on the fallout from atmospheric nuclear weapons testing, assessments of Chernobyl impacts on the Black Sea, and the examination of radionuclide contaminants … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] One team, one spork

Debates, stars and sporks – life on Disco. I’ve started a section in my notebook entitled ‘overheard in the nav station’. It’s pretty much what it says – a list of excerpts of conversation I hear from my usual perch at the nav deck, perfectly positioned forward of the galley, aft of the accommodation, and … Continued


An immovable continent, midnight gybes, and the occasional drifting tanker. Where did all the wind go? A question many sailors, many a time, everywhere around the world asks themselves on a regular basis. Today is our day. Last night, we where happily smashing along the Columbian coastline, almost at the top of our comfort zone … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Colombian cruising

Simultaneous dramas, solutions, and more good sailing. Another 24 hours in the life of ‘Disco’. Busy busy here on Discoverer for the last 24 hours. As I write this, the wind has lightened slightly, and we’re back to subtly sliding our way down the Colombian coastline. Our course has shaped up to take us relatively … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Singing propellers and flying spinnakers

Wind wind wind!!! Disco is singing, in a literal sense for the first time ever, Gatorade gate is revealed, and The Engineer loses at chess. The wind is up, spirits are high, and the progress is good. As promised by our weather routing partners at WRI, the breeze has started to fill in nicely, and … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Downwind sailing, upbeat living.

The curious life of being at sea – logbooks, bread, spinnakers and origami. NAV STATION Date: 14th February 2017 Time: 1808z Position: 12°40.8N 68°01.4W COG: 285¬°T SOG: 6.5kts Wind:  ENE 3-4 Swell: NE 2-3ft Sky: 2/8 cirrostratus. Weather: Fair. The enthusiasm for life aboard Disco continues unabated. I must be doing something wrong if everyone … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] New crew enjoying sailing the boat

Antigua challenges behind us. We continue with new people, new friends, new waters, new energy, just the same old heat. NAV STATION Date: 12th February 2017 Time: 1801z Position: 15°45.7N 063° 35.7W COG: 220°T SOG: 6kts Wind: ENE 3-4 Swell: E 2-3ft Sky: 0/8 Weather: Fair weather sailing We’re at it and underway again. Disco … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Anchored in Five Islands Harbour, Antigua

Another exciting 24 hours have certainly proved that it’s not over until it’s over! Funny how 17 days of smooth sailing can culminate in 2 days of drama. NAV STATION Date: 30th January 2017 Time: 0043z Position: Anchored in Five Islands Harbour, Antigua. COG: N/A SOG: N/A Wind: E2-3 Swell: N/A Sky: 0/8 Weather: Good … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Skipper’s Report

27th January 2017 Time: 1743z Position: 16°50.3N 55°40.3W COG: 275°T SOG: 9kts Wind: ENE 5 Swell: NE 3-4ft Sky: 4/8 cumulus Weather: Good Boat, ocean, wind, land. A straight line and an ever-diminishing distance between the former and latter. Rock on. The wind is back! We are currently making over 9kts bang on target, and … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Skipper’s Report

26th January 2017 Time: 1805z Position: 16°54.7N 52°28.1W COG: 280°T SOG: 4-5kts Wind: E 3 Swell: NE 2-3ft Sky: Cirrus in the north, cumulus and altostratus in the south. Weather: Good No more pencil sharpening activities today, so things are looking up! Another time change happened yesterday evening, so things are confused again. However, where … Continued


Date: 25th January 2017 Time: 1746z Position: 16°40.3N 50°11.2W COG: 295°T SOG: 5-6kts Wind: E 3-4 Swell: ENE 3-4ft Sky: 4/8 stratus/cumulus Weather: Big squall last night with winds of ≥30kts.   It can be hard to put things at sea into a context that relates to ‘normal life’ on land. I’ve been thinking hard … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Skipper’s Report

24th January 2017 Time: 1806z Position: 17°18.3N 47°29.1W COG: 250°T SOG: 6kts Wind: ENE 3-4 Swell: N 3-4ft Sky: 6/8 cumulus Weather: Some squalls around. Heavy showers seen close by, but not experienced (disappointingly). Ty is asking Lea for hair-bands. I had to open with that one. Until yesterday I was unaware of the booming … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Skipper’s Report

23rd January 2017 Time: 1932z Position: 18°21.5N 045°18.4W COG: 250°T SOG: 5kts Wind: ENE 3 Swell: E 3-4ft Sky: 3/8 cumulus Weather: Very nice, but light on wind and shade. Another scorcher down here at 18° north. It’s the sort of hot that’s gone past fun. We’ve had a real slowdown in terms of pace, … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Skipper’s Report

22nd January 2017 Time: 1808z Position: 19°04.2N 42°54.7W COG: 255°T SOG: 2-3kts Wind: SE 2 Swell: NE 2-3ft Sky: 4/8 cumulus Weather: Good Well, this morning I wrote to the shore-team that I hoped the good wind would hold out, as I was feeling that anything below a Force 4 would put the brakes on … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Skipper’s Report

20th January 2017 Time: 1807z Position: 18°13.9N 036°50.4W COG: 285°T SOG: 9kts Wind: ESE 5 Swell: NNW 4-5ft Sky: 7/8 cumulus and altocumulus Weather: Good with occasional squalls. This is proper tropical sailing now. I don’t mean the weather; I refer to the lifestyle that sailing in these regions entails. Lea and I had a … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Skipper’s Report

19th January 2017 Time: 1848z Position: 17°12.1N 033°26.8W COG: 285°T SOG: 8kts Wind: E 5 Swell: NNE 3-4ft Sky: 4/8 cumulus and some very pretty cirrocumulus Weather: Good. “Jetsam: unwanted material or goods that have been thrown overboard from a ship and washed ashore, especially material that has been discarded to lighten the vessel” Alex’s … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Skipper’s Report

18th January 2017 Time: 1820z Position: 16°35.4N 030°25.3W COG: 260°T SOG: 7.5kts Wind: ENE5 Swell: ENE 3-4ft Sky: 6/8 cumulus Weather: Good, occasional gusty patches as darker clouds go over. What a 24 hours. The relatively slow start to our crossing in terms of daily excitement has been fast caught up. Joe was actually starting … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Skipper’s Report

17th January 2017 Time: 1840z Position: 17°01.0N 026°40.6W COG: 255°T SOG: 10kts Wind: ENE 5 Swell: NE 4-6ft Sky: 4/8 cumulus Weather: Good. Cape Verde Islands – Tick. After a very successful night of spinnaker flying (although by no means easy for the helms and there’s a certain amount of ‘night spinnaker fatigue’ around today), … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Skipper’s Report

16th January 2017 Time: 1810z Position: 18°59.1N 024°27.7W COG: 200°T SOG: 6-8kts Wind: NE 4 Swell: NE 4-6ft Sky: 6/8 cumulus Weather: Good After days of toying with the idea, considering, reconsidering, and a mindset fast bordering indecision, we finally threw the spinnaker up at the lunchtime watch change. When I say threw it up, … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Skipper’s Report

15th January 2017 Time: 1802z Position: 21°37.2N 023°06.8W COG: 215°T SOG: 8.5kts Wind: ENE 4/5 Swell: ENE 3-5ft Sky: 4/8 cumulus Weather: Good. The Curious Case of The Red Dust is gripping Discoverer. It is not yet known when Disco was overrun by The Red Dust, but it seems to have reached deep into the … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Skipper’s Report

14th January 2017 Time: 1825z Position: 24°17.6N 021°07.3W COG: 220°T SOG: 8.5kts Wind: ENE5 Swell: E 4-6ft Sky: 0/8 Weather: Just lovely. Hello from the Cape Verde Abyssal Plain. Sounds suitably dramatic doesn’t it? While the cartographical name of the particular bit of ocean we are currently sailing might sound it, our day has been … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Skipper’s Report

13th January 2017 Time: 1812z Position: 26°51.0N 018°29.4W COG: 260°T SOG: 8kts Wind: ESE 5 Swell: SE 3-4ft, with some mixed NE to make it uncomfortable. Sky: 3/8 stratus. Weather: Very hazy, with mod-poor vis all day. And once again, we are underway. That unfamiliar sight of a landmass silhouetted against the horizon has slipped … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Skipper’s Report

9th January 2017 Time: 1831z Position: 27°44N 15°47W COG: Bar SOG: 2 beers and increasing. Wind: E 5/6 Swell: E 2-3ft Sky: 0/8 Weather: Sunshine! I left you with a Force 6 blowing through our rather packed anchorage, a man stuck ashore (sorry Henry), and me feeling like the day hadn’t gone very well. If … Continued


Date: 7th January 2017 Time: 0225z Position: 28°07.8N 015°25.5W COG: N/A SOG: N/A Wind: SSE 5 Swell: SSE 2-3ft Sky: 8/8 Weather: Good.   Where to begin.   It started with Gran Canaria coming into view, in that magical way land does after an offshore passage out of sight of terra firma. There were grand … Continued

Radiation from Fukushima: an interview with Dr. Ken Buesseler (Part 1)

Dr. Buesseler is a Senior Scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. His research interests include studies on the fallout from atmospheric nuclear weapons testing, assessments of Chernobyl impacts on the Black Sea, and the examination of radionuclide contaminants in the Pacific resulting from the Fukushima nuclear power plants. He is leading … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Skipper’s Report

6th January 2017 Time: 1500z Position: 28°42.4N 015°04.4W COG: 214°T SOG: 8kts Wind: SSE5 Swell: SE 3-5ft Sky: 1/8 cirrus/cumulus Weather: Good I set the challenge that the first person to sight land was entitled to a frothy (this is Ty-speak for beer. Frothies feature hugely in Ty’s life it seems. “Frothy this”, “frothy that”, … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Skipper’s Report

5th January 2017 Time: 1755z Position: 31°16.7N 013°22.5W COG: 210°T SOG: 8kts Wind: SSE3 Swell: SSW 1-2ft Sky: 3/4 cirrus Weather: Good A slow and frustrating 24 hours here, somewhere off the Moroccan coastline in what is our watery playground. The Canaries look tantalisingly close on the chart; at least they do when you zoom … Continued

The Plastisphere: an interview with Dr. Erik Zettler

Dr. Zettler is a Visiting Scientist in the department of Marine Microbiology and Biogeochemistry at the Royal Netherlands Institute of Sea Research. His research interests include the ecology of plastic marine debris, microbial ecology, and plankton community structure. He is one of several scientists involved in the Plastisphere segment of research for The Swim. Scientists estimate … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Skipper’s Report

4th January 2017 Time: 1817z Position: 33°27.2N 011°28.5W COG: 213°T SOG: 8.4kts Wind: ESE 2 Swell: W 2-4ft Sky: 1/8 cirrus Weather: Good Bacon. “It was a good day.” How the day started, and the words of one Sebastian Kosmala. I had actually been going to leave the report at the first sentence, but feel … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Skipper’s Report

3rd January 2017 Time: 1800 Position: 35°04.8N 011°17.0W COG: 140°T SOG: 6-7kts Wind: SSW 5-6 Swell: S 8ft Sky: 1/8 Weather: Good. Squalls now behind us, much more steady wind and angles. The sun is out, the spray is down, and the boat keeps on trucking. We’re still running with a fairly reduced sail plan. … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Skipper’s Report

3rd January 2017 Time: 0021 Position: 36°11.9N 012°07.5W COG: 160°T SOG: 6kts Wind: SW 6 Swell: W/SW 10-12ft Sky: 0/8 Weather: Clear, and squalls now seemingly behind us. A truly wet and wild rollercoaster the last 24 hours have been. We’ve done it all. Used every sail. Done every evolution. I’ve slept in every position … Continued

Meet Discoverer: the support boat of The Longest Swim

More than just a swim, The Longest Swim is a maritime expedition with an especially large scope that asks our skipper, Scotty, and his crew to constantly adapt to the demanding conditions of the Pacific Ocean. As Scotty once said: “No one has ever tried to go so far, so slowly.” That made locating an … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Skipper’s Report

1st January 2017 Time: 1855 Position: 38°13.2N 012°33.6W COG: 245°T SOG: 7-8ktw Wind: S5 Swell: SW 4-6 Sky: 8/8 Weather: Various small squalls around, and conditions getting increasingly gusty. Sea state steadily building from ahead, and wind steady at a 15-20kts true for now. Planning on holding this more westerly course close to wind until … Continued

Swim For Science

“The Longest Swim is a unique opportunity to better share our scientific results and our message to the public, but also to collect very valuable samples for our research.” Dr. ERIK ZETTLER, Sea Education Association BEYOND THE WATER The Longest Swim is an opportunity to rally people and challenge them to contemplate the impact we … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Skipper’s Report

31st December 2016 Time: 1919 Position: 39°55.5N 009°59.2W COG: 180°T SOG: 6kts Wind: SSE 1 Swell: SE 1-2ft Sky: 2/8 Weather: Good I’ve just been handed a fresh espresso. How did it take me until day 6 to discover we had the ability to create fresh espresso shots? I just don’t understand. You were last … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Skipper’s Report

30th December 2016 Time: 1857z Position: 42°10.7N 009° 37.7W COG: 185¬°T SOG: 6.5kt Wind: S 2 Swell: W 2-3ft Sky: 0/8 Weather: Good The good pace continued all night under white sails, to a point where we nearly considered a headsail change as it was getting so lively. Disco was flying along, fully powered up … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Skipper’s Report

29th December 2016 Time: 2200 Position: 44°05.4N 008°47.4W COG: 210°T SOG: 8kts Wind: ENE 4/5 Swell: NE 3-6ft (increasing rapidly as the depth is shelving off Finisterre). Sky: 8/8 Weather: Good, nothing of note. This time yesterday evening I thought I was going to have to come up with some ‘filler’ content, to make up … Continued

The TransAtlantic

If you are closely following The Longest Swim, you already know that there is a large geographic difference between the crew who are in Lymington, and Ben who is training every day in Austin, Texas. The first challenge for what we’ve dubbed the Discocrew or the Discoteam – the residents of Disco – us – … Continued


Date: 28th December 2016 Time: 1948z Position: 46°32.7N 007º38.2W COG: 200ºT SOG: 5-6kts Wind: NE 1-2 Swell: NE 3ft Sky: 8/8 Weather: Good.   Last nights good wind kept it up until this morning, and it was the best sailing of the trip so far. 15-20kts on the beam, and nice rolling swell on the … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Skipper’s Report

27th December 2016 Time: 2015z Position: 48º31.7N 005º11.9W COG: 215ºT SOG: 9kts Wind: E F4 Swell: NE 3-4ft Sky: 1/8 – stratus. Weather: Beautiful but cold clear starry night. A rich and varied day of sailing and life here aboard Discoverer. Last night’s good fun sailing couldn’t last forever, and we ended up with a … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Skipper’s Report

26/12/16 1905z Position 50º12.87N 002º24.28W COG 225ºT SOG 7.5kts Weather NW 3-4, moderate sea state, 1048mb The sound of water running past the hull, lines creaking on their winches, the murmuring of voices from the deck, smell of good food in the galley, and the weather coming through the VHF. This is backdrop to my … Continued

The report of Skipper Scotty First sea trials on Discoverer

SOLENT, UNITED KINGDOM, December 14th 2016, The Longest Swim ? Grand plans and a grand day out So back in September I stepped aboard Discoverer (now affectionately referred to as our ?Disco?). Many grand plans were made that day. Get the boat in the water. Sail to San Diego. Sail to Tokyo. Do The Longest … Continued

Why swim across the Pacific Ocean?

A defense of Ben’s sanity Whenever we present The Longest Swim to someone new, the same question often comes up once their surprise and astonishment wears off. Swim across the entire Pacific Ocean?? they might say. Wow! It sounds incredible, but Ben must be crazy! Why would anyone want to do that?? At first their … Continued

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