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.

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Have a nice evening.


3 Responses

  1. Thanks for your up to the moment reporting!! We’re keeping our fingers crossed for great weather!! Our best to all!! Kay and Bill Duff

  2. Thanks for the post. Thinking of you daily. Crossing the pond myself tomorrow so well be in England when George gets to other side. My best to you. Mary Scobey

  3. Thanks for your anxiety free writing. We will all be praying for good weather. Good Luck and eagerly anticipating your next post.
    Dana Keith and family

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