George Thornton English Channel Swim : Round 2; Days 1 & 3

I just learned of this news article, posted an hour ago:



George Thornton English Channel Swim : Round 2; Days 1 & 3


I’m feeling a lot of pressure these days. Apparently, my reporting last year was quite a hit. So, now i feel like I have to produce intelligent, amusing, witty, and informative posts just to meet expectations. I spend all day taking notes and compiling anecdotes on our activities, conversations, and experiences. Plus, the team is now referring to me as the “communications director.” It’s quite stressful. I’ll do my best, but if I break down under the strain of my anxieties and write a sub-standard post, please be kind.

Just kidding!

Yesterday’s report was “Day 2” — that is, Day 2 for George. Dad and Mom arrived in England on Monday — Day 1. They rented a car from Heathrow and drove to Dover. They checked in to the Hubert House, the same bed & breakfast in Dover where we stayed last year. Hubert House ( has a long history associated with Channel swimming, and is a short walk to the harbor. Dad and Mom ran a few errands, but otherwise relaxed and slept.

We didn’t do a whole lot today, Day 3, either. This morning we ran a few more errands, then had lunch at Dickens Corner Cafe — one of our standard restaurants.

This afternoon we visited Eddie Spelling, our pilot/captain, and the Anastasia Channel Boat. We got reacquainted with Eddie and his son/assistant, and re-familiarized with the boat. Eddie is, as I wrote last year, quite the character. He’s colorful, outspoken, and entertaining. But, I must tell you, he’s also quite the sports psychologist. He asked Dad about his pace, and expected crossing time, to be sure that Dad had realistic expectations and has a healthy appreciation what he’s getting himself into. He was also enthusiastic and positive about arranging for a good weather date and calm seas for Dad’s swim. Eddie clearly wants to be a part of Dad’s record-breaking swim, and we are all confident that he will do everything in his power to get Dad across safely and successfully. Eddie is actively investing in Channel swimming, and you may find more about him here:

Well that was a lot of build-up, but what about the swim? The good news is that swimmers will be going out tomorrow. We’ve heard from several swimmers that they’re confirmed to start early Thursday morning for their crossings. The #1 priority swimmer on the Anastasia will set off around 3am. After that, it looks like we’ll have a day or two of stormy weather.

But then, starting Saturday/Sunday, Mother Nature appears to have lined up several days of great weather for us. At this point, we’re thinking that Monday/Tuesday, August 5th/6th are Dad’s earliest potential swim dates. Now would be a good time for you to have your discussions with Mother Nature, God, Allah, Buddha, Poseidon, or any other cosmic forces you think may have some influence over the weather and the seas.

In case I forget, please remind me tomorrow to write about the current tide conditions, weather forecasting, and other Channel swimming technical matters. One or two of you may find it fascinating.

This evening we had dinner at the White Horse. It is Dover’s oldest pub, and where Channel swimmers go to write their names on the wall after successful crossings. It is next door to our B&B, and a place where Dad likes to go to absorb the positive energy. I’ve attached a photo of Dad, Mom, and Coach Joe.

Reminder: These messages are being posted to the blog site at:
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Have a nice evening.

George Thornton English Channel Swim : Round 2 ; Day 2

Dear Family, Friends, & Fans of George,

Welcome to Round 2! As my sister Lara put it, here we go again.

As most of you well know, Dad/George is back in England to take another shot at swimming the English Channel. He and Mom/Louise arrived yesterday, and I arrived today. We are all settled in to our B&B in Dover. Coach Joe Bakel arrives tomorrow, and then the whole team will be here.

I will keep this first note brief, and will follow up with a more extensive message tomorrow. As I did last year, I will write daily reports up until the swim, and then post frequent updates throughout the swim (assuming constant connectivity). For now, I have copied a message from friend Ann below that contains a lot of good information, including material that is new this year.

My reporting format is also new this year. Lara has put together a cool blog site, where we will post my reports, media articles, channel swimming info, etc. You may register to receive email notifications when a new story is posted (don’t worry, I’ll also send out emails). In addition, Lara has posted all of my reports from last year. Please see:

In addition, you may follow me on Twitter and/or friend me on Facebook. I’ll be posting updates there as well: (@clthornton)

What else can I share with you tonight? As far as I can tell, the city of Dover hasn’t changed a bit over the past year. Tomorrow, Dad will swim in the morning, and then we will go see Eddie the boat pilot and the Annastasia Channel Boat tomorrow afternoon.

That’s it for now. More tomorrow.

Keep your fingers crossed for good weather, calm seas, and slow currents!


In Dover

Mom and Dad made it to Dover and are settling in at the Hubert House (the same B&B they have stayed in before). Charles is on his way and will arrive Tuesday afternoon.

Dad’s 10-day window started today.

World Record George is Attempting to Break

For those of you who are interested, here is a short news clip that ran on August 31, 2011 about the man who currently holds the record for the oldest man to swim the Channel. We are hoping that Dad breaks his record in the next week or so.

New Posts Will Appear Here

George’s son, Charles, will post updates here as often as possible to keep everyone informed. If you are interested in following his adventure, please follow this blog by clicking on “Follow Blog via Email” to the left.  You will then get emails when he posts updates here.

Here we go again!!

Dad and Mom are heading to England tomorrow, July 28th. We are hoping that this year brings better weather than 2012.

Please read the 2012 story by clicking on the “2012 Blogs” tab at the top of the page.