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Sunday, July 15, 2018

Day 38: The Swim With Ben Lecomte

Courtesy of WOWSA, Pacific Ocean.

Day 38 on The Swim, Ben Lecomte's 8,721 km transoceanic stage swim across the Pacific Ocean was a short swim session because escort kayaker and environmental engineer María Cristi had trouble to keep up with Lecomte while battling against the waves.

Lecomte wrote, "This morning the wind and waves were coming from the north and were stronger than yesterday. We still had to progress toward the north and this was going to be a challenging day.

Maria was back in the kayak. She communicated a few times with the crew on the VHF to verify that we were going in the right direction. Each time we took a break to feed me we felt we were pushed back from where we came from. Maria was drifting in the opposite direction, the wind and waves dragged her much faster than me.

She was trying her hardest to keep the pace but she was paddling slower than I was swimming. After a few hours, I knew I wouldn’t be able to swim for a full 8 hours at that pace because it was too slow and I couldn’t generate enough heat to stay warm.

At midday, we had planned to have Paul [Lecomte] trade place with Maria. At that time Seeker wasn’t close to us, I could only see the top of the sails at the horizon.

Maria gave them our position and corrected it a few times as we were drifting fast. After 45 minutes Seeker finally reached us but by that time I had waited too long in the water and was cold, I decided to get back on the sailboat and stop swimming for the day
."

On Day 39, Lecomte's team explained their situation almost 500 miles from the mainland of Japan, "We had a full session as the wave angle was better. Last night we got into a squall, and were moved 20 nautical miles from the starting point. As a result, there was no swim today. We spent all day sailing and motoring back to the point, we should get there early morning for a new swim session."

Once in the water, Lecomte and his nephew Paul found the ocean conditions to be similar to the previous day: strong opposite wind and waves. He wrote, "Both of us were alone on that vast ocean, or at least it felt that way at times since [escort boat] Seeker was very far behind us. We could see the tip of the mast and the sails, but they couldn’t see us. Paul had to update [the escort crew] with our location throughout the day, staying in communication with them with the VHF radio was a must.

From the beginning of the day, Paul was very focused on keeping me at the right distance from the kayak, maintaining the right speed and making my feeding breaks as efficient as possible. I get cold very fast every time I stop swimming.

We did not talk a lot, we just kept it to the essentials. When he was paddling, I was swimming and reliving the moments we had together back in France. He probably does not remember them because he was an infant then, I babysat him on Monday afternoons. That happened right before I came to the US. After that, there were other moments we spent time together when I came back to France to visit, but nothing like what happened in the past 2 years since Paul has been working with me on The Swim. What a pleasure to have had the opportunity to spend time with my nephew and witness his dedication and how hard he had applied himself to see this dream of mine come to a realization
."

For more details, visit benlecomte.com.

Meanwhile, Lecomte's escort team received a series of 180 waypoints (see below) to San Francisco from Nikolai Maximenko, a Senior Researcher of Oceanography at the International Pacific Research Center, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology at the University of Hawaii.

Waypoints 180 Days
1 36 13.006 149 20.452 75
2 36 22.783 149 55.456 90
3 36 26.266 150 32.009 105
4 36 19.017 151 8.837 120
5 36 4.226 151 43.669 120
6 35 44.910 152 16.679 120
7 35 25.428 152 54.648 120
8 35 3.875 153 36.823 120
9 34 50.252 154 16.752 105
10 34 37.828 154 53.012 105
11 34 29.207 155 28.482 90
12 34 27.840 156 0.801 90
13 34 46.183 156 30.735 75
14 34 54.530 157 4.279 90
15 34 47.528 157 35.093 90
16 34 50.417 158 7.898 75
17 35 6.611 158 43.412 75
18 35 24.663 159 13.339 75
19 35 37.487 159 40.655 75
20 35 38.664 160 11.081 75
21 35 31.925 160 42.048 90
22 35 23.762 161 13.046 75
23 35 23.969 161 43.545 75
24 35 30.351 162 12.968 90
25 35 32.982 162 42.072 90
26 35 32.306 163 9.724 90
27 35 31.722 163 39.326 90
28 35 39.137 164 13.571 75
29 35 57.574 164 51.771 60
30 36 14.030 165 28.420 60
31 36 25.781 165 59.980 60
32 36 36.929 166 25.928 60
33 36 50.793 166 51.417 60
34 37 9.100 167 19.439 75
35 37 19.752 167 53.506 75
36 37 28.336 168 29.999 75
37 37 29.727 169 3.135 75
38 37 32.154 169 32.931 75
39 37 35.914 169 59.682 75
40 37 37.101 170 25.659 75
41 37 37.243 170 52.978 90
42 37 38.952 171 21.719 90
43 37 45.417 171 52.292 90
44 37 48.951 172 26.666 90
45 37 49.648 173 2.887 75
46 37 53.413 173 35.285 75
47 37 59.685 174 3.551 60
48 38 12.453 174 26.852 60
49 38 22.775 174 52.547 60
50 38 30.751 175 19.388 60
51 38 37.807 175 45.650 60
52 38 46.260 176 11.284 60
53 38 55.574 176 36.376 60
54 39 5.939 177 0.511 75
55 39 13.209 177 26.991 75
56 39 18.960 177 53.566 75
57 39 25.386 178 20.814 60
58 39 37.248 178 46.769 60
59 39 48.439 179 12.881 60
60 39 59.596 179 37.689 60
61 40 11.157 180 3.815 75
62 40 16.619 180 33.853 75
63 40 21.411 181 4.436 75
64 40 27.026 181 34.147 75
65 40 33.047 182 3.879 75
66 40 37.908 182 34.156 75
67 40 42.224 183 3.608 75
68 40 46.544 183 33.781 75
69 40 51.562 184 3.424 75
70 40 57.909 184 32.013 75
71 41 3.795 185 0.262 75
72 41 9.263 185 28.847 75
73 41 14.285 185 57.035 75
74 41 19.611 186 25.988 75
75 41 24.679 186 54.851 75
76 41 30.129 187 24.131 75
77 41 36.231 187 54.062 75
78 41 42.265 188 23.729 75
79 41 47.868 188 52.958 75
80 41 53.201 189 22.000 75
81 41 58.543 189 50.966 75
82 42 3.929 190 19.846 75
83 42 9.188 190 48.276 75
84 42 14.624 191 16.523 90
85 42 14.892 191 45.809 90
86 42 14.908 192 15.405 90
87 42 14.823 192 44.568 90
88 42 15.074 193 13.541 75
89 42 21.051 193 41.877 75
90 42 27.362 194 10.100 75
91 42 33.426 194 38.865 75
92 42 38.569 195 7.227 75
93 42 43.591 195 35.833 75
94 42 48.943 196 4.783 75
95 42 54.699 196 34.173 75
96 43 0.406 197 3.888 75
97 43 6.036 197 33.598 75
98 43 11.363 198 3.030 75
99 43 16.704 198 32.108 90
100 43 16.841 199 1.670 90
101 43 16.805 199 31.118 90
102 43 16.688 200 0.820 90
103 43 16.596 200 30.872 90
104 43 16.329 201 1.141 90
105 43 16.313 201 31.069 75
106 43 21.686 202 0.146 90
107 43 21.954 202 30.115 90
108 43 21.977 203 0.222 90
109 43 22.305 203 30.345 90
110 43 22.772 204 0.469 90
111 43 22.748 204 30.560 90
112 43 22.697 205 0.594 90
113 43 22.698 205 30.759 90
114 43 22.845 206 0.433 90
115 43 22.755 206 30.255 90
116 43 22.654 207 0.191 90
117 43 22.860 207 29.973 90
118 43 22.783 208 0.341 90
119 43 22.318 208 30.771 90
120 43 22.277 209 0.753 90
121 43 22.124 209 30.950 90
122 43 22.153 210 1.062 90
123 43 22.654 210 31.191 90
124 43 22.818 211 1.388 90
125 43 22.329 211 31.081 90
126 43 21.898 212 0.653 90
127 43 21.906 212 30.244 105
128 43 17.061 212 58.693 105
129 43 11.829 213 27.321 105
130 43 6.074 213 56.011 105
131 43 0.572 214 24.474 105
132 42 55.214 214 52.726 90
133 42 55.168 215 21.748 105
134 42 50.073 215 49.698 105
135 42 45.507 216 17.566 105
136 42 40.335 216 45.297 105
137 42 34.442 217 12.839 90
138 42 34.177 217 41.160 90
139 42 34.119 218 9.243 105
140 42 29.056 218 36.638 105
141 42 24.115 219 4.139 105
142 42 18.766 219 31.804 105
143 42 13.340 219 59.624 105
144 42 7.689 220 27.549 105
145 42 1.693 220 54.794 105
146 41 55.670 221 21.918 105
147 41 49.327 221 48.839 105
148 41 43.165 222 15.615 105
149 41 37.020 222 43.098 105
150 41 31.101 223 11.290 105
151 41 24.890 223 40.216 105
152 41 18.423 224 8.090 105
153 41 11.753 224 35.470 105
154 41 5.066 225 2.321 105
155 40 58.889 225 29.227 105
156 40 52.947 225 56.536 105
157 40 46.705 226 24.151 105
158 40 40.782 226 52.126 105
159 40 34.365 227 20.557 105
160 40 28.694 227 48.026 105
161 40 22.884 228 14.029 105
162 40 17.598 228 40.148 105
163 40 12.176 229 5.355 105
164 40 5.997 229 30.957 105
165 39 59.471 229 56.570 105
166 39 52.183 230 21.300 120
167 39 40.783 230 44.243 120
168 39 30.093 231 7.181 120
169 39 17.224 231 28.516 105
170 39 8.579 231 52.406 105
171 39 2.590 232 19.255 105
172 38 58.238 232 46.900 90
173 38 58.634 233 14.833 90
174 38 59.895 233 42.765 105
175 38 54.101 234 9.873 105
176 38 44.507 234 34.190 105
177 38 33.468 234 56.196 105
178 38 25.613 235 21.362 105
179 38 19.473 235 47.545 105
180 38 13.143 236 11.664 105
181 38 7.961 236 36.280 105

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