Don’t think so, no

Record attempt Briton starts swim across Atlantic Ocean
Gloucestershire man, 38, sets off on five-month journey from Senegal to Brazil that will see him strive to swim a total of 1,900 miles for up to 10 hours a day

48 thoughts on “Don’t think so, no”

  1. So Much For Subtlety

    So what is he doing for the other 14 hours? Sleeping on board his support ship? Are they going to put him back in the same spot in the ocean in the morning?

    This is asinine.

  2. So the achievement here is the ability to swim in the ocean for ten hours and then have a 14 hour rest in a boat before doing it again, and again. Not something that I could/would do but it’s not comparable to hiking to the South Pole in my opinion.

  3. Not the first time it’s been tried. I recall an American woman trying it back in about 1965.
    Last seen heading east from Newfoundland. Not the most sensible part of the Atlantic for the attempt, I thought.

  4. @Hallowed be

    I’d be interested to see how they plan to do that. Best attempts I’ve seen are to do with making downed pilots ‘less interesting’ to sharks.

    That device looked like an eight foot long, matt black femidom with inflatable rings for buoyancy.

    (So: just a different colour, then)

    The tests were largely successful, but the tests involved bobbing around, not swimming thousands of miles.

    It’s unlikely that the swimmer would bump into a shark, but oceanic sharks would probably give him a nibble or two just to see what he was.

    I fail to see how a wetsuit (even if it’s got some kind of current running through it) would appear invisible to a shark (with their ability to allegedly detect a drop of blood or body waste in an Olympic size pool)

  5. Someone will try and swim around the world. And then the next will do it backwards, and so on.

    Someone attempted this year/last year to break the record for the number of miles cycled in a year (about 97000 or something). I think his attempt involved cycling around Milton Keynes for 18 hours a day. I think he fell asleep on the bike and crashed, some minor breakage.

    To me that’s an utterly pointless undertaking but it takes all sorts.

  6. John sq- I’ve seen dazzle designs for wet suits for surfers and the most you could say is that they’re supposed to confuse the shark or avoid them confusing you with seals, but not like 100%.
    So it was the statement – ‘make him invisible to sharks’ that made me think there may be a new tech angle here. And a bit disappointing that the article didn’t explain it a little bit. Cynicism leads me to suspect reporter didn’t have any interest and was just copying what they were told from a press release.

  7. Better hurry with that ASI article Tim.

    Murphy’s trying to get you fired (or defrocked or whatever the technical term is for you to be excluded) from the ASI.

  8. I’ve heard that most shark attacks are down to ‘mistaken identity’ so this swimmer should make sure he introduces himself properly to each shark he meets.

  9. There’s some guy who swims the length of rivers: he’s done the Danube and the Mississippi. Obviously, he takes a break every night and carries on from the same spot the next day. I don’t think that means he hasn’t really swum the length of the river.

    In other news, people who walk from Lands End to John O’Groats don’t do it in one day. Slackers.

  10. So he’s from Gloucestershire is he. He’ll be the in-breed who actually caught the chesee and now thinks he’s invincible.

  11. Squander Two, I’d say it’s cheating on LE-JOG if you’re doing it in stages or getting picked up and dropped off all the time, but you’ve already made it more difficult than it need be by going in the uphill direction.

    On this basis I might start telling people I’ve swum the Atlantic; I’ve done enough miles in swimming pools and crossed by ship – stopping for a dip mid-ocean – though admittedly I never had to worry about sharks bumping into me because I was invisible to them.

  12. @Hallowed be

    There are also those devices that emit a charge of some sort: cannot recall if they acted to throw some kind of electrical shark net around a diver (ie they make swimming through the charge unpleasant enough for the shark to deter closer contact) or whether they act as a kind of faraday cage for the divers own electrical emissions.

    I suspect the former, but it’s not exactly invisibility is it?

    I would guess that it’s just a wetsuit that someone has written “Invisosuit 2.0” on in marker pen to make the chap feel better about the risk of attack.

  13. ‘But he did not make the Guinness book of records because fatigue forced him to rest up in the Azores for nearly a week.’

    So there’s rules to this sort of schtick.

  14. It does seem a very silly attempt.

    No human can swim 1900 miles non-stop. What is the point of swimming so many miles each day and then spending the night on a boat. He might as well dig himself a long lap pool and swim that day’s distance in his back garden–albeit a big garden–until he has done 1900 miles.

    Also if a big Atlantic storm brews up he and his boat crew will be lucky to escape with their lives.

    What next–run to the Moon and back?

  15. Also- the wetsuit is called the ‘Triwetsuit SAMS carbon’.

    It’s made by Arena, and it looks like bullshit.

    My comment about the marker pen would have given a better outcome. He looks like a gay seal.

  16. John Sq.
    — something a bit odd..
    http://www.swimthebigblue.com/the-swim-team

    Ben will not be wearing a wetsuit unless extreme conditions or safety require this and it will be detailed and recorded if need be as assisted swim if so; otherwise, he will wear swim shorts, hat and goggles with Vaseline as per channel swim rules”

    “Ben will be wearing or surrounded by at least one Shark Shield device, as will the boat be equipped with a counter-shark device and “Shark Defense” chemical repellents.”

    so either journalist or charity PR muffed it up, or maybe something better came along and they did not update the site.

  17. > What is the point of swimming so many miles each day and then spending the night on a boat. He might as well dig himself a long lap pool and swim that day’s distance in his back garden–albeit a big garden–until he has done 1900 miles.

    And then:

    > Also if a big Atlantic storm brews up he and his boat crew will be lucky to escape with their lives.

    Oh, look! You’ve found a way in which swimming across the Atlantic is much more difficult than swimming in a pool.

    Anyone read All At Sea by Tim Fitzhigham? He rowed a bathtub across the Channel and then from Dover right round and up the Thames to Tower Bridge. He did the Channel in one day. The rest was done in stages. Reading his account of the adventure, it’s ridiculous even to suggest that he could have just rowed up and down a lake and it’d be the same thing. There’s a lot more to it than distance. The seas have (for want of a better word) terrain.

  18. S2, I think people are being cynical because it’s so contrived. He swims for a bit, has a rest and huge dinner on a boat containing all his provisions, the boat drifts so they do a longer route to account for that, then they subtract any help he might have got from the current (why??). It’s just not the same as hiking to the South Pole or climbing Everest in the old days.

  19. > people are being cynical because it’s so contrived.

    Yes, obviously. But of course it’s contrived: there simply isn’t a convenient string of islands at exactly the right intervals across the ocean. So how else could you do it? Short of either swimming while towing a boat or growing gills, what he’s doing is the best attempt at swimming the Atlantic that it is possible for a human to make. Doesn’t make it easy.

    If I ever meet him, I’ll say “Wow.” If I meet someone else who says “I have a swimming pool in my back garden and if you tot up all the lengths I’ve done over the years I’ve totally swum the Atlantic,” I will not. If you would be equally impressed by both achievements, you’re a twonk.

    People are allowing their cynicism over the necessary contrivance to overflow into utter fuckwittery.

  20. I can’t stand this stuff. And don’t give me that “he’s doing it for charity”. If you give money to charity because a bloke spends 200 days swimming, you’re an idiot.

  21. ‘So how else could you do it?’

    Not the right question to ask. There is no “why” to do it. ESPECIALLY as configured.

  22. The problem is all the decent firsts have been done so all that’s left are these silly contrived ones. Of course it’s impossible to just swim it on your own or with a team of swimmers and it is still impressive but people just aren’t going to get excited about it. It’s like hiking to the South Pole and having a mobile home following you where you eat a nice lunch and dinner and sleep in a warm bed. Yeah you walked to the South Pole, awesome, it’s more than I could do, but no one is going to really give a shit.

    I think Bear Grylls and his mates rowing the Atlantic, even though they had island stops on the way, was much more impressive.

  23. > The problem is all the decent firsts have been done so all that’s left are these silly contrived ones.

    That’s what Tim Fitzhigham thought. He later discovered that rowing the channel in a bathtub is far far harder than doing it in a boat. What he started as a silly contrived jokey record attempt ended up as being an endurance test that damn near killed him and earned him serious respect from the British Olympic rowing squad.

  24. > There is no “why” to do it.

    Oh, great let’s live in that world, where no-one does anything without a logical reason for their actions presented in writing to the committee. We could all listen to muzak in square grey rooms. I bet the food’s delicious too.

  25. But the real firsts that really get people excited are getting somewhere first, not just doing it a new way. While I understand that it must have been ever so difficult to row the channel in a bath tub and also love the English eccentricity there, it doesn’t get me excited. What’s left on earth for that? I suppose space travel will give us our future firsts, moon was almost 60 years ago now.

  26. “There’s some guy who swims the length of rivers: he’s done the Danube and the Mississippi. Obviously, he takes a break every night and carries on from the same spot the next day. I don’t think that means he hasn’t really swum the length of the river.”

    Someone did the Thames a few years ago. It was “to highlight climate change”, so naturally the BBC were all over it.

  27. “I can’t stand this stuff. And don’t give me that “he’s doing it for charity”. If you give money to charity because a bloke spends 200 days swimming, you’re an idiot.”

    Yes. Lots of races (running) need charity sponsorship to get a place these days. Quite why people will only give money to a local hospice if someone runs 26 miles dressed as a badger is a fucking mystery to me.

  28. ‘Of course it’s impossible to just swim it on your own or with a team of swimmers and it is still impressive but people just aren’t going to get excited about it.’

    Guy gets off a boat in the ocean and swims a few miles, then gets back on the boat. You find that impressive?

  29. Dongguan John,

    The “firsts” are mostly in science now, but someone creating an algorithm to analyse a CT scan to replace biopsies isn’t sexy or dramatic like Ben Fogle having a hard time going to the South Pole. You also have to buy into the dramatic, mission-threatening obstacle being real, rather than thrown in there to create some tension.

  30. > Guy gets off a boat in the ocean and swims a few miles, then gets back on the boat. You find that impressive?

    Guy swims for ten straight hours in the middle of the Atlantic. Then does it again, day after day. Yes, that’s impressive.

    Presumably you regard it as pathetically easy because of that time you swam the Pacific.

  31. S2–Any Atlantic storm will drown the fucking idiot. Since you have obviously travelled the length and breadth of the world’s oceans this should not be news to you. If –at the first sign of bad weather–he doesn’t get the fuck out he will rapidly be in Davy Jones locker. How in Hell is a storm increasing his difficulties then? Aside from the fact that he will have to sit any such out or die.

    Also–have you tried swimming in rough water?. In a 6 foot swell he will have problems.

    See the 3 in this vid–ok it is on shore but look at the sea’s power– rising 15 feet+ with some waves. And that is the ocean in a good mood.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fe6o2iKnfNw

    More nincompoops.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1J1C7HfbV1o

    and again

    :https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3hZwZ9ksu0

  32. So Much For Subtlety

    He will almost certainly swim in a shark cage. Which in turn will almost certainly provide him with a little help moving forward.

    I still don’t find this impressive. We have done all the great things. We just have the contrived left. I would be rather talking about the first British man to walk on Mars. Instead we get to watch someone fake a mission to Mars for television.

    In the end we chose welfare rather than achievement. We can’t afford both.

  33. So that’s the beauty i read about with the indianapolis in Readers Digest as a kid,, night of the shark i think was the abridged book.

  34. I find swimming 10 hours a day, in the ocean, for 5 months impressive yeah. I just think it’s a bit of a crappy contrived ‘first’.

  35. So he’s from Gloucestershire is he. He’ll be the in-breed who actually caught the chesee and now thinks he’s invincible.

    That’s a pretty racist thing to say. Does the fact that we’re mostly white make it OK?

    Would you say the same sort of thing if someone from Soweto was involved?

  36. ↑↑↑↑↑
    bit surreal of BiW – i thought no-one caught the cheese, even West Africans would struggle.

    On Ben’s progress- according to the tracking site looks to be only 9 miles on the 1st day and 2 on the 2nd and there’s a big gap between the swimmers position and the support boat . Which um doesn’t look promising. Need to do more than that.

  37. He hasn’t swum for 3 1/2 days out of 7. Day 4 was 6 miles swum,. D3:11 D2:12 D1:5. Not looking promising at all. Needs to average at least 12 a day if he’s going to do it in 4 months.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *