Swimming across the Atlantic Ocean

In July Adam and I swam the 20-mile English Channel. Next August we plan to lead the 10DL Team to swim 10-miles from San Quentin to Alcatraz. We feel these are pretty burly swims. But check out this burly lady. 

Jennifer Figge, a 56-year-old endurance athlete from Aspen, Colorado, plans to swim 2,100 miles across the Atlantic Ocean from the Cape Verde Islands off the coast of Africa to Barbados, between Puerto Rico and Venezuela. She will swim behind a sailboat in a giant shark cage for 6-8 hours per day, hoping to finish in 60 days. She swim will begin December 1st. 

More on 10kswimmer.com.

Day 22 – We swam the English Channel

14 hours 23 minutes

We made it! Everyone helped! It was awesome!

It was a gorgeous day for a swim from England to France. The middle map pretty well tells the story of our relay swim across the English Channel. We started the morning off strong on Shakespeare Beach and finished the day cold and weary just as the sun was dipping below the ocean horizon. Aches, pains, cold, and sea sickness took their toll, but they all disappeared as I walked up on the shores of France. Stay tuned for a longer trip log with more color. For now we are working through all these wonderfully supportive emails from loved ones and sponsors. Thanks for your warm vibes, we felt them in the cold channel!

Suunto CoreA shout-out to Suunto, especially our friend Martin Schamboeck, Sports Marketing Manager. Adam swam with a T6 and Neal swam with a Core. Whether we’re defending presidents (as Adam has) or climbing Everest (as Neal has), Suunto is on our wrists. They also have this really cool software that we used during our bike rides to chart heart rate, speed and distance.

Day 20 – Shoutout & 7th training swim in Dover

Adam and I are seriously ready to swim — and the weather has us land-locked. We talked to our awesome pilot boat captain today and Wednesday (7/16) seems like our day. One of the big challenges of swimming the English Channel is having the patience to wait for the perfect weather day.

In this blog post we wanted to give a SHOUT-OUT to all the folks out there who are reading us:

  • Katie/Holly/Greg/Matt/Marie & all our sponsors who make our adventures possible
  • AlexF/Mark/AmyF/Amber/DavidH/Karah & all our athlete friends
  • Jim/Betty/Karen/Jessie/Isaac/Tom/Chris and the rest of my wonderful family
  • Mark/Tina, Chad/Kylie, Tim/Megan & so many of Adam’s/Amy’s close friends and family
  • Lindy/Ben/Jac/Dan/Anthony/Carla/Jonathan & all our bullish Wharton Friends
  • Paul/Chad/Steve/Bruce/Barney/Richard and the highly valued Powerset gang (now MSFT)
  • Joe/Mike/Maggie/Wendy/Tracy & everyone else in Edina, Minnesota
  • Camile, Isaac/Nicole and so many other of my friends from Chaska, Minnesota
  • Brandon/LateralLine
  • And of course Zoe (with the two dots) who is busily greening our world so 10 Degrees Latitude can continue for centuries more.

Thanks for your support and warm vibes. Stay tuned.

Day 12 – Canterbury tales

Ride stats today

  • Cambridge to Canterbury
  • 80 miles
  • Not much elevation gain
  • Even fewer animals
  • 20 mile an hour headwind
  • 2 sore bums, 4 strong legs, 2 dirty bikes

Today was our last day on the saddle for a while. This last circuit brought us within distance of the gorgeous white cliffs of Dover. From here our swim across the English Channel will begin.

Another mechanical failure… My Speedplay pedal broke in the same exact spot that Adam’s broke. These Speedplay pedals are sure lightweight, but I think the company needs to work on reliability. It is unreasonable to assume riders will replace these $300 pedals every 800 miles. We are now both riding non-Speedplay pedals because there are ZERO local bike dealers that stock Speedplay. Boo.

Cadence Cycling & MultisportA shout-out to Cadence Cycling & Multisport, especially Matt (founder), Woody (tech), Brady (coach), Luke (sales) and Mike (coach). These guys run shops in Philadelphia and NYC — and there are rumors of California expansion soon. They replace guesswork with science, and are definitely the Lexus of bike shops. Thank you guys!

California Dreamin’

park-swim.jpgIt’s coming down to D-day. Less than two weeks! This past weekend, in final preps for our journey, I left the loving comfort of my family and my new Denver home and headed west to the land of fruit and nuts. The San Francisco Bay is a phenomenal training ground for the Channel. The water temps are just a bit colder than the Channel (55 degrees F), so they are a great acclimatization tool. The water conditions in the Aquatic Park did a good job of simulating the prevalent conditions in the Channel as far as chop and currents. Outside of the breakwaters proved quite rough, depending on the time of day. Another benefit of these training grounds is the Dolphin Club. Neal found this open-water-swimming jewel last year, but this was my first time experiencing it. They boast over 1000 members, and the camaraderie and enthusiasm amongst this eclectic group of swimmers is fantastic. They are also a wealth of information for those of us aspiring to swim the English Channel. They have several members who have made the crossing, and a few more that are currently training for it. Special thanks to Amber Rhett and Reuben Hechanova for all of their advice.

I was there for less than 48 hours, and Neal and I spent a good deal of that time training. We got in two decent swims on Saturday, and then we both participated in an open-water “race” put on by the Dolphin Club. We had to check in for the race by 6:00, which meant that the alarm clock went off at about 4:30! We took a boat from the club to the San Francisco Bay bridge, and once dropped off, it was an all-bridge-swim.jpgout sprint back to the club. The front group was ultra-competitive, with the winning swimmer completing the 2 ½ mile course in under 40 minutes (current assisted). Neal wasn’t too far behind at around 45 minutes, and I straggled in about 3-4 minutes after that. Many thanks to all of the volunteers who rowed beside us making this event as safe and as fun as possible.

We took a few minutes to bring our core temperatures back up to human levels, and then bee-lined for the airport. It was a fast and furious weekend, but all-in-all a great time!