Pacific Crossing Swim

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PeteC
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Pacific Crossing Swim

Post by PeteC » Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:09 pm

This is a mixture of Sports, Science & Nature, and our various Beach & Ocean Plastic clean-up threads. I'll put it here in sports for now. Please feel free to check in on the tracker page and comment as you see fit concerning his progress. This could be a very long effort and journey for him and his team, or it could end very quickly. Time will tell. He starts tomorrow, Tuesday, June 5. I'll update from time to time if no one else does. Pete :cheers:

Main web site home page: http://thelongestswim.com

Live Tracker Page: http://thelongestswim.com/live-tracker/


Swimmer ready to start record Pacific crossing
Published: 4/06/2018 at 10:45 AM
Online news: AFP article. https://www.bangkokpost.com/news/sports ... c-crossing

CHOSHI, Japan: Having once vowed never to attempt such madness again, Ben Lecomte is set to take on giant waves, sharks and a pile of floating garbage the size of Texas in a perilous quest to swim across the Pacific Ocean.

Faced with an epic 9,000 kilometre adventure, his bid to become the first swimmer to accomplish the daunting feat begins in Japan and is expected to take more than six months, finishing in San Francisco.

Part adventure, part scientific research, Lecomte and his eight-person support team will conduct a host of marine experiments as they seek to raise awareness of ocean pollution and plastic contamination.

Two days after turning 51, Lecomte will enter the waters off Japan's east coast Tuesday, after which the swimmer will be at the mercy of the elements.

The danger of sharks and paralysing jellyfish also lurks -- but the Texas-based architect tweaks the nose of fear.

"I like to push my personal limit and try to find what that is," Lecomte told AFP in an interview aboard his yacht.

"I'm like a tiger in a cage going around and around," he added, after seven years of planning.

"The mental part is much more important than the physical. You have to make sure you always think about something positive or you always have something to think about.

"When you don't have anything to occupy your mind it goes into kind of a spiral, and that's when trouble starts."

Lecomte plans to swim for eight hours a day, burning more than 8,000 calories.

The rest of the time he will rest, sleep and eat on the 20 metre (67 ft) support boat Discoverer that will drop him back in the water at the same spot he exits every day.

Lecomte, who will wear a wetsuit, snorkel and fins, is no stranger to adventure.

- 'Never again' -

After swimming across the Atlantic Ocean in 1998 he promised himself "never again", but Lecomte felt compelled to take on the monstrous Pacific after starting a family.

"Pollution of the ocean has a big impact," said the father-of-two, who will be gathering oceanographic and medical data for 27 scientific organisations, including Nasa.

"When I was little and I was with my father walking on the beach, I didn't see any plastic, or hardly any.

"Now every time I go with my kids, we see plastic everywhere," added Lecomte, who will also wear a device to test levels of radioactive material from the tsunami-hit Fukushima nuclear plant.

"It made me think what (the) future for my kids is going to be like. It's a problem we created and there is a very easy solution to start reversing it -- single-use plastics for example, if we stop using them that will make a big change."


Lecomte leaves from Choshi fishing port in Chiba prefecture -- the same starting point as Frenchman Gerard d'Aboville when he rowed solo across the Pacific in 1991.

But Lecomte will actually be in the water, potential shark bait.

"In the Atlantic, I swam for five days with a shark following me, its fin circling," shrugged Lecomte, who previously suffered nasty stings when jellyfish got caught in his snorkel.

"Everybody thinks of 'Jaws' but I'm more afraid of cold water and being in pain, and needing to fight that, than sharks."

- Garbage patch -

Part of his daunting swim takes him through the Texas-sized Great Pacific garbage patch that floats between Hawaii and California, where tangled plastic poses extra dangers.

His team will collect water samples to learn more about the build-up of micro-plastics littering the area.


But Lecomte knows the application of science -- and a boat stocked with 2.8 tonnes of food -- will only get him so far.

"What is going to be difficult is every morning going back in the water (because) you hit a wall, normally after 4-6 hours," he said of the mental challenge.

"I try to disassociate my mind from my body and everything that happens to my body -- pain or cold, I try to put aside."

"I have a schedule of what I'm going to think about for those eight hours... it's always about keeping my mind occupied.

"I will remember a family birthday for example and the trick is to engage all your senses -- try to remember the wind on your skin, how the sun felt, the smells.

"Then 'boom', you are back in that moment reliving it and your body is just on autopilot."
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Re: Pacific Crossing Swim

Post by PeteC » Tue Jun 05, 2018 3:29 pm

Swimmer Ben Lecomte begins record Pacific crossing attempt

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-44358680
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Re: Pacific Crossing Swim

Post by PeteC » Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:18 am

Day 1: 10 nautical miles, six hours of swimming.

Edit: Correction to above figures as published: Should read 15NM and 8 hours.
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Re: Pacific Crossing Swim

Post by migrant » Wed Jun 06, 2018 6:36 am

Amazing!!
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Re: Pacific Crossing Swim

Post by PeteC » Wed Jun 06, 2018 12:05 pm

He must have reached the favourable current as so far today after just 1 hour 31 minutes he has gone 5NM. Pete :cheers:
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Re: Pacific Crossing Swim

Post by PeteC » Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:04 am

An update. He's more or less been sitting for 5 days due to storms:

SINCE DAY 1
MILES SWAM: 27 NM
HOURS SWAM: 11 HRS
MILES TO GO: 4973

[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 it was going to be a big factor in this expedition. The low pressure system developing in the south west of us near China and moving to the north east is growing, swiping a broad area from south to north and west to east. Our Weather service advised us the threat had grown so much we needed to get of out the direct path.

For the sake of the overall effort, the only option for us was to go back towards land and anchor in a protected location, let the system pass and then sail back to where I stopped to resume swimming. Once we will be out in the open ocean and face those systems we would only be able to try to get away from them or if not we would have to ride them.

As I am writing on deck overlooking this majestic ocean, I can’t stop thinking how lucky and privileged I am. Thanks to all of you who are following and supporting us, this is important day: Happy World Oceans Day!

The ocean can live without us but we can’t live without it.

Ben

(NOTE: Once he gets into the middle of the Pacific there will be no "going back to shelter". I hope their support craft can handle 15 meter + swells.)
________________________

[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 attentive around his favorite whiteboard as he went through our to-do list and assigned the tasks. The compilation of the list was a group effort, everybody had their input about how we could improve what we had and any fixing that needed happen.

We were very fortunate that Ras our engineer who was part of the delivery of the boat to Japan was still around and always enthusiastic to work on the preparation of Seeker. Dina, our food queen who like Ras was part of the delivery, was also on deck ready to assist with the same enthusiasm and her contagious smile.

To see how unified was our team and dedicated to getting us back to sea to resume the swim, boosted my spirit. We were all focused on our individual tasks and went on spending our day checking them off the board.

Ben
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Re: Pacific Crossing Swim

Post by handdrummer » Tue Jun 12, 2018 3:02 pm

"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."

I need to have that tattooed on my brain.

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Re: Pacific Crossing Swim

Post by PeteC » Fri Jul 06, 2018 7:05 am

I've forgotten to look at this for a while. 309 nautical miles so far. Entries in his log book about sharks and turtles are interesting. Pete :cheers:

http://thelongestswim.com/logbook/
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Re: Pacific Crossing Swim

Post by PeteC » Tue Jul 17, 2018 2:22 pm

521 nautical miles so far. More interesting entries in his log book. Pete :cheers:

http://benlecomte.com/logbook/#
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