George Thornton English Channel Swim : Round 2; Day 9

Here we are. George has been a competitive swimmer his entire life. Now, after 3 years of dedicated training, 2 trips to Dover (3, if you count the trip he crewed for Joe’s Channel swim), cancer diagnosis and surgery, and 9 days of waiting, he is on the cusp of going for the crown jewel. His turn has arrived. Tomorrow, he takes his shot at the English Channel.

All of us with him, and all of you around the world, are confident that he will succeed. I write this without reservation: my father is mentally strongest person I know. His will and determination will be tested tomorrow, and he will succeed.

We spent most of the day in anticipation of receiving the green light. We knew that Anastasia was out with the final swimmer in line before Dad. At 4:23pm Eddie, the boat pilot, texted us, "Put yourself on standby; will confirm 1830 hours." We started making final logistical preparations, gathering supplies and equipment, reviewing the swim and communications plan … and keeping Dad involved in a constructive thought process, rather than letting his nerves take over.

Then, at 5:37pm, as we were Skyping with Ann Donoghue (who is organizing the swim-along), the green light came through from Eddie, "It’s a go for us; meet 0615." Yes! Woohoo!

And then … yikes! This is really going to happen. This just became real.

Meeting at 6:15am at the marina to load the boat likely means a swim start time of around 7:30am UK time. Most of today’s swims started around 7:30am as well, and followed the courses depicted on the attached map. I anticipate that Dad will follow a similar course, as we are now into the Spring Tide (recall that last week was a Neap Tide and the courses were much more direct across).

Pasta dinner. Grocery shopping for the crew’s food — the "crew" is Mom/Louise, Joe, and me. Pack everything up. Sleep.

Tomorrow will be a long day. I will do my best to post updates, photos, and videos by email and blog site; Facebook; and Twitter. Remember that you can follow the Anastasia’s progress on these two sites:

Thank you all, once again, for all of your support. Dad will need every ounce of positive energy tomorrow.



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