That's more like it. After the previous weekend's rubbish couple of days of swimming and generally feeling unwell, I returned to Dover last weekend to have another go at getting some decent distance done. Throughout the week, I'd been consuming super-nutritious foods, guzzling supplements and generally trying to bolster my struggling immune system, and happily, by Friday, I felt full of beans and ready to go. The weather forecast was pretty decent too....the only blot on the weekend's horizon was the large box of bright orange exam script booklets I'd had to bring with me - marking that had to be finished by Monday, and which I picked up from the office en route.
I woke up in the middle of Friday night to the sound of rain hammering on the roof of the van and I have to confess that my heart sank a little, but by the morning, it was a bit grey, dull and blowy, but not too bad. Down on the beach, I signed up for 6 hours, and headed down to the water's edge...not exactly keen, but at least determined. I felt like a different person compared to the previous week, and did the 6 without any real problems at all. Several of the others were doing 8 hours, and I was tempted to stay in, but I decided to err on the side of caution - both because I wasn't sure whether I was fully recovered from whatever bug I had, and also because I knew that I had several hours of marking to do that evening. So, back to the campsite I went, ate, marked until I could barely stay awake, and then slept like a log.
Sunday had been forecast to be an absolute scorcher, but I awoke to thick, thick fog. Like everyone, I expected it to burn off by mid-morning, and as I hobbled my way over the stones into the water, I was excited by the thought of a good, sunny swim, even though you could barely see the harbour walls, and the cliffs were completely shrouded. But it continued to roll, cold and heavy, over the water, making it a rather chilly and monotone swim. But then finally, at about 1pm, the sun finally won through and almost without me noticing, we were left with bright blue sky and lovely warming sunshine. The harbour was almost unrecognisable, compared to the Champion of Champions weekend.
The sea was so flat in the harbour that the swimming was almost boring, and I allowed myself to zone happily out and just enjoy being in the water. Lovely. And once I was out, I was able to enjoy a delicious post-swim ice-cream.
So, that was my weekend - two six hour swims without any real problems, and a good recovery each time. Plus, I got all my marking done, and squeezed in a research interview too. A good weekend.
Many congratulations to Dan Earthquake, Julie Ryan and co for their successful relay crossing on Sunday night, and to Marcy Macdonald, who swam the first successful solo crossing of the season on Sunday...most of in the thick fog. Well done to everyone - fantastic swimming.