The longest swim I have ever done in terms of time and distance.
|25+km on the Garmin but it went across land at one corner|
It was essentially just beautiful the whole way, in a super calm sea. What a great way to see an island. I've got a new hobby!
I remember going to Spain (even with a very hospitable Race Director), I had to pay for flights, hotels, food etc, miss many days of training and ended up not even finishing the Race.
So why go overseas? Just do it in Malaysia.
- Delivered two large foam box containers to the boat first thing in the morning.
- Placed lots of ice in them, so I had cold drinks throughout the swim, what a treat.
- Were punctual.
- Were there at the start and finish.
- Maintained telephone contact with my wife throughout the day.
- Fed me without fail every 30 minutes.
- Were very vigilant throughout the swim. One person stood on the edge of the boat looking out for strong currents and advised me where to swim.
- Protected me from other boats.
- Picked us up and sent us back to our Delima jetty.
I would say the Resorts have got some sort of a pack going. Beaches are shared and cleaned very regularly. New holiday makers probably turn up by the thousands daily, but everything moves along in an orderly manner. The beaches and everything else always looks new and clean.
|The boat picked us up from Delima|
|The first few steps just before commencing the swim|
|The posh Taaras Resort and Turtle Sanctuary|
My Garmin 735 was giving a "low battery" message for ages. The 735 didn't last the distance at Ko Tao but this time it had 1 % battery power left at the finish (phew). I think I will turn off the Heart Rate from my 735 from now on so that the battery lasts longer.
I have a back up watch, 920XT which is more battery friendly, which I used from 18 km onwards.
The rain, storms and the wind also plays a part, but its quite difficult to predict these very accurately. What we can only do is to avoid the monsoon season.
So if you reading this, its all about TIDAL COEFFICIENT, priceless information folks.
First 18 km - smooth going
I also tried to do a Live Facebook update which didn't come off.
Anyway I resumed my swim.
From the Marine Park to the Finish
The Marine Park is located on a tiny island called Pulau Pinang. Swimming between Pulau Pinang and Pulau Redang was quite interesting.
Underneath the waves were rocks and there was only a very narrow part where the swimmer could swim through. Like an underwater gully. I suppose the boat also took this path.
It was a different type of swim from hereon. It was choppy all the way to the finish, but not crazy choppy. But what about the currents? I still wasn't sure.
Lo and behold, I could see the bottom all the way to the finish. It was the soft powdery sand. Just beautiful and the best bit, I could see that I was still moving forward in the choppy sea.
This part was also the busy part. For the first 18 km, it was loneliness. But now it was civilization. Other boats were taking snorkelers to the Marine Park and nearby islands.
But as long as I knew I was moving steadily forward, I knew the finish was a matter of time.
I swam by the Delima Jetty and the Laguna's Diving Jetty. The Laguna Beach was just around the corner (everything seems to be just around the corner when you are swimming around an island).
Tip was waiting, Pak Hitam from the Recreation Centre was there too and he brought about five very fit looking Laguna Lifeguards to welcome me.
The Finish is always a special moment. Pak Hitam and everyone were sincerely happy I had finished as no one had done it before, to their knowledge.
Tip and I actually went back into my escort boat to save us the trouble of walking back to our Delima Resort.
5.15 p.m. slightly under 10 ten hours. Two hours faster than the budgeted 12 hours. I felt quite fine. There wasn't a single cut on my body from the attire or anything else. So definitely, this was good going.
Woozy at Dinner, 7 p.m.
It was only when waiting for the food to arrive did I feel faint.
But after a heavy dinner, everything felt fine.
- Use a good quality safety float. The float shouldn't leak, break etc. The Sports Commissioner has directed that the safety float will now be compulsory for all swim events. The safety float helped me stay afloat when I became semi conscious from my heart attack not that long ago.
- Don't swim alone unless you are a super competent open water swimmer.
- Preferably have a boat support vs a kayak support.
- Keep vinegar, medicines (heart attack, sea sickness, pain killers etc) on the boat.
- The boat crew should keep in phone contact with your loved one and their own supervisor on land.
- Have ample nutrition for you and your crew on the boat.
- Wear something that covers your arms as protection from jelly fish and sunburn.
- Don't miss your feeding, even if you feel good. Ten hours swimming is a long time.