I got up at 5 to catch the train down from London to Dover. I thought that given that I had only flown in on Friday, that I would be somehow fooling my timeclock into thinking that it wasn't too early, but it was.
I managed to stay awake for my connection, and then dozed into Dover. I was wondering how I would recognize the Channel swimmer training, but given that there were a bunch of folks wandering around near the beach in their speedos, I made the assumption that they were a particular brand of eccentrics, and tried to blend in.
Frida gave me my marching orders, and a numbered hat. Barry slapped some vaseline under my arms, and I chatted to the swimmers, some of whom were relay swimmers, some of whom were solo aspirants, and some of whom had already swum the Channel, including Roberta from Switzerland, who was choosing to train in Dover for swimming the length of Lake Zurich. Maybe Dover was more attractive a destination than I had at first thought. I tried to picture the posters as I breathed, looking up at the White Cliffs, but the mood was occasionally shattered by a passing car ferry.
The water was a little warmer than San Francisco, which was nice, and fairly pleasant until the wind whipped it up a bit. I ploughed along with Roberta, Alex and Doug, who were all very fast, and went from wall to wall of the ferry terminals on either side. Each length took 20-25 minutes. I stayed in for about 1.45, and then reminisced about the South End sauna and showers as I climbed saltily back up the beach, into my clothes and back on the train.
I slept all the way back.
Can't wait to be swimming with the White Cliffs behind me.