Ben Lecomte’s historic Cross-Atlantic Swimming Challenge began Thursday, July 16 at 3:30 p.m. After he proposed to his girlfriend, Trinh Dang, he gracefully walked into the Atlantic Ocean from the public beach at Kalmus in Hyannis, Mass. More than 200 friends and supporters saw him off.
Ben’s first day in the water was filled with drama. Despite initially following the wrong pace boat (choppy seas and dense fog made visibility virtually impossible, but the Harbor Police and Coast Guard made sure Ben hooked up with the Falbala, the 12-meter sailboat accompanying him) and a pretty good case of seasickness, Ben still put more than 14 miles of swimming in the first day.
Days two and three were productive, but a back current during both nights pushed the crew back almost half the distance covered each of these days.
Sunday, July 19, saw a break in the weather and currents, placing Ben 45 miles out at midday (four hours of swimming still left in the day) and in a phone conversation he explained, “I feel great now that my body has adjusted to the rigors of the ocean. I am also happy to report the Shark POD works great. I’ve been followed by a 3-footer since leaving Cape Cod, but he hasn’t come near me while I’m swimming…he does, however, come close to the boat when we turn the POD off while I’m on board!”