Sunday, 8 February 2009


Well a lot of other things have been happening too ( see yesterday) but the one that really caught my eye today, or rather ear, was the radio report that a 56 year old woman has just completed the first female swim across the Atlantic Ocean.

Laying aside the obvious question - why would anyone want to - i decided to look into it.

It seems that she is only the second person to do so, probably thus proving that men and women are equally crazy though about a decade apart as a Mr Lecomte swam his atlantic ten years ago and took 73 days.

Ms Figge's swim took 24 days and was apparently conducted from within a cage to protect her from sharks. i guess we conclude either that she is a faster swimmer, that Mr Lecomte got badly lost or spent a lot of splashing shooing away sharks..

I wondered what the whole thing really meant, when i heard the story - woman swims Atlantic - i naively thought -Where did she sleep?"

It turns out a boat went with her and she slept on board each night and swam each day. I don't want to suggest that her feat was anything but impressive (or her feet) but did she really show anything more than mad determination and an ability to swim for 8 hours?

The most extreme swimming that i ever did was diving into an open air swimming pool on the south coast of England aged 11. It was probably summer as surely my parents would otherwise have stopped me but the temperature was glacial and thus i am convinced that it was November.

I had to swim a length to get out, if teleportation had been an option i would have left immediately. My body still remembers the shock and numbing chill.

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