Article

[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 for the RHIB to tow my line. We extended it out of Seeker’s starboard side as much as possible, so that the streamline was as far as possible from the hull.

This worked as a charm, I was able to swim beside a 50 tones sailboat in the middle of the ocean. This line is much longer than the one we used with the RHIB, it is about 50 meters long. Every 5 meters a series of ribbons are attached to it. The closest series to the boat is white, then yellow, orange, red, blue and red and finally blue at the end of the line. Those different colors allow me to know where I am in reference to the boat and if I am getting close to the end of the line.

There are several challenges when swimming beside a heavy sailboat. She cannot slow or accelerate like a motorboat and her weight makes it even more difficult to do so.

Few times a gust of wind carried Seeker much faster than me and I saw my streamline racing below me and before I know it the blue ribbons were passing…not good, I had to sprint to catch-up with her and I was getting out of breath very often. Again not good, the last thing I want to do is to be out of breath in the middle of the ocean when crashing waves are coming my way. So I swam for few hours but not a full day since it was dangerous to try to sustain that level of intensity. But it was still an important experience and a set up we might have to use in the future.

Ben

 

STARTING POINT: 036° 10.253N, 144° 45.266E

FINISHING POINT: 036° 05.903N, 145° 09.305E

MILES SWUM: 205 NM
HOURS SWUM: 79 HRS
MILES TO GO: 4795

Recommended articles

7 comments

  1. Always good to hear when things go well. My hat down to your crew for continuously finding creative solutions in challenging circumstances to keep you safe. Rest is good; hope you feel rejuvenated.

    Blessed be your journey!!

  2. Hi Ben,

    Please forgive me – I have only recently begun to follow the blog you are creating of your amazing adventure. I’m no great swimmer myself – I remember once, meeting a new girlfriend who was an excellent swimmer. She encouraged me to swim about 1 mile across a reservoir. Coming back seemed daunting enough. So, the idea of jumping into those wild, dark and perilous waters of the Pacific with not just a trifling one mile or so to swim, but the prospect of swimming 5500 miles seems quite mind boggling. And, today on reading your earlier blog posted June 30th I picked up your blog following your swim behind your boat, the Seeker, as you describe it, ‘a 50 tonnes sailboat in the middle of the ocean’. I love the way you play down any emotion in such an activity. I know a little of how scary it feels in a canoe at sea in much lighter winds than you describe around the coast of England. The thought of being in big swells generated from the continuous strong winds you describe is truly scary.

    What I’m particularly admire about your daily work and the project you have created is your tenacity, integrity and courage – the courage in particular to raise peoples’ awareness of the tragic reduction of the wild Pacific ocean to a sublimely large ‘water-bin’. Manifestly, as you and your colleagues continue to reveal to us, the Pacific-water-bin now constitutes our collective waste bin using immersion in water rather than displacement of air as its medium and covering an area of about one third of the whole earth’s surface.

    I wish you and everyone involved every success. Thanks so much for sharing your continued adventure with us.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get in touch with the team! We'd love to hear from you; Whether you have a question, want to schedule an interview, or become involved in the project.

We are proud to have the support of our strategic partner

Exploration Institute

Sign up to our newsletter