Swimming the Thames – Daily Diary Entry – Day 15


BLOG POST – DAY 15 – 27.13.2016

Started: 10:40
Ended: 13:27
Swim Time: 2hrs 15mins(ish)
Distance: 8.9km – 356 Lengths
Total: 206.25km – 8250 Lengths

Day 15 –  Kew Bridge to Putney Bridge

And that’s that!! We made it! Was carried by the tide and flew down the river today. Touched the bridge. 137 miles in 15 days. Feels good to be here and on dry land.

There’s so many people to thank, but first I need to do a massive shout out to Josh my kayaker and my Dad. Who I wouldn’t have been able to do this without. Thanks so much. Thanks to all the people who cheered us on and donated online and from the riverside.

Thanks to the sponsors of the trip who kindly sponsored food and kit. Shout outs to:

Meridian Foods for all the peanut butter a man could dream of.
Speedo UK for the wetsuit, cap and goggles
dryrobe For the amazing dryrobe
YB Tracking for free use of their tracking device
HIGH5 Sports Nutrition for the energy gels and bars and large discount
preventsportpain.com in Brackley for all the tubes of wetsuit lube by 2Toms UK
OverBoard – Waterproof Bags for the discount on their waterproof bags
b2B Graphics for the car signage



Swimming the Thames – Daily Diary Entry – Day 14

BLOG POST – DAY 14 – 26.13.2016

Started: 09:55
Ended: 16:00
Swim Time: 4hrs (ish)
Distance: 11.5km – 460 Lengths
Total: 197.35km – 7894 Lengths

Day 14 –  Kingston Bridge to Kew Bridge

8:08 AM – PENULTIMATE DAY! Kingston Bridge to Kew bridge today. Around 8.5 miles. Another beautiful morning.. this is a shot our the beautiful caravan we’ve been lent for the trip 🙂

4:45 PM – Day 14 done!! THAT FOREHEAD TAN!! I would say that’s worth a donation in itself.

Almost at £1200 online with around another £1000 from riverside donations! Which is amazing thank you so much. If you haven’t already please consider donating some pennies, pounds or notes towards Cystic Fibrosis Trust and Helen & Douglas House

Today i swam 11.5 km from Kingston Bridge to Kew Bridge. I’ve swam almost 200km now. Shorter day than usual and early finish. From Richmond the river was tidal and it carried me at the speed of my usual swimming and we flew by. Having a celebratory beer. Not far now. Was also joined by Fay who did a sterling job at collecting donations.

1 more day.


Swimming the Thames – Daily Diary Entry – Day 13

BLOG POST – DAY 13 – 25.13.2016

Started: 10:15
Ended: 19:45
Swim Time: 6hrs 30mins
Distance: 16.5km – 660 Lengths
Total: 185.85km – 7434 Lengths

Day 13 –  Chertsey to Kingston Bridge

The river is getting properly built up now, with suburbs and city lining much of banks. We ended it Kingston and it feels like London now. We are so close I can almost taste the finish, that sweet sewagey Thames water finish. To be fair, I’ve been well impressed with the water quality so far, it is really clear. Also great to see so many people paddling and swimming.

Another long swimming day interjected with nice chats with people from pubs, boats and locks. Loads more donations and cheers of encouragement which is awesome. There’s been a few boats which we’ve seen numerous times… They overtake us and moor up or queue for a lock and we then over take them a few hours later. The support from the river has been phenomenal, thanks boaty people! Also, Josh thinks we got a donation from Jeremy Paxman… Could just be a look alike.

2 more days to go. Both slightly shorter at 7 miles a piece. Entering the tidal section of the Thames tomorrow which should be fun.

Swimming the Thames – Daily Diary Entry – Day 12

BLOG POST – DAY 12 – 24.13.2016

Started: 9.45
Ended: 19.00
Swim Time: 6hrs 05mins
Distance: 15.3km – 612 Lengths
Total: 167.35km – 6694 Lengths

Day 12 –  Datchet to Chertsey

7:59 AM – Morning everyone! Datchet to Chertsey Lock / Bridge or Docket eddy.. let’s see how we get on. Another scorcher Also going through beautiful Staines.

If anyone is free over the next few days and they fancy helping it would be great to get some people fund raising on the river side. Let us know 🙂

7:55 PM – Day 12 . Can’t quite believe I’m here and still swimming. Actually feel good and each morning during the first 3-4 hrs its (relatively) blissful swimming, and I often find myself thinking I could do this forever. Haha, this soon changes.. Usually within the last hour it feels like I have flailing hotdog sausages for arms and I’m swimming through treacle, that’s flowing the opposite way. But, and other than general fatigue, my body feels good. One thing someone said to me was “enjoy it”, and I often think of this, especially during the final 30 minutes.

Lechlade feels like a lifetime ago. I’m edging my way closer to Putney.. We went over the 100 mile mark today! Will be finishing near to Teddington Lock tomorrow, and then tackling the tidal section of the Thames.

If all goes to plan I’ll arrive at Putney Bridge sometime on Saturday. We will plan the route later and give better timings if you fancy coming down and seeing me and Josh finish.

Massage, food, beer, sleep. That’s the agenda tonight.

Swimming the Thames – Daily Diary Entry – Day 11

BLOG POST – DAY 11 – 23.13.2016

Started: 09:45
Finished: 19:15
Swimming Time: 6hrs 30mins
Daily Distance: 16km – 640 Lengths
Total Distance: 154.05km – 6162 Lengths

Day 11 –  Cookham to Datchet

9:02 AM – Morrrrnnnning! Day 11 today. Aiming to swim 16km / 10miles from The Ferry at Cookham to Datchet. The sun is out!! Looks like it’s gunna be a scorcher 🌞

21:19 PM – Day 11 done! Loong day! Lots of locks, and busy on the water today. Lots of little stops and nice chats with passers by and donations coming in. 2 guys who passed us by boat yesterday swam up to me us earlier on in the day which was a nice surprise.

It was a scorcher, but the water temp felt cooler like the last few days, but warmed up by early afternoon. Body seems to be getting used to swimming and I’ve found a good rhythm.

Just got back to the campsite, going to have a stir fry and then an early night I think.. and maybe a beer.

Swimming the Thames – Daily Diary Entry – Day 10

BLOG POST – DAY 10 – 22.13.2016

Started: 09:45
Finished: 19:15
Swimming Time: 6hrs 15mins
Daily Distance: 16.8km – 672 Lengths
Total Distance: 138.05km – 5522 Lengths

Day 10 – Remenham to Cookham

(Written by my kayaker, Josh) Today’s finish line, the blue bridge at Cookham, which we crossed at 7:15 this evening, after 16.8km. We set out at 9:45 a.m. with the swimming time racking up to 6 hours and 15 minutes. Loads of traffic on the river today in the wake of the Rewind festival, which made for some very slow progress through the locks, but Chris plugged away at it and got the day done, which we celebrated with a hard-earned meal at The Ferry pub in Cookham.

Swimming the Thames – Daily Diary Entry – Day 09

BLOG POST – DAY 09 – 21.13.2016

Started: 10:00
Finished: 18:55
Swimming Time: 6hrs 10(ish)mins
Daily Distance: 16km – 640 Lengths
Total Distance: 121.25km – 4850 Lengths

Day 09 – Just Past Caversham Bridge Remenham

 7:52 AM – Morning y’all. Aiming to swim 17.5km from just past Caversham bridge to Renemham today. Let’s do this!!
9:05 AM – Enroute to the river 🙂 if you’re in reading or Henley keep an eye out for a swimmer and kayaker 🏊 🚣 forehead tan is coming along nicely.
10:20 PM – Another longer day under the belt. Plodded it out, and swam through a beautiful section of the river. Loads of incredible houses and boats on this section of the river. Feeling good again today, and my pace seems to be back on track. I was joined by my mum, Catharine and my girlfriend who were awesome as cheering me on and getting some donations in.

Few firsts today.

– First cup of tea given to me and crew from a boat – awesome!
– First cake(lemon drizzle) given to me and crew from a boat – amazing!

Also loads of donations from the bank and from boats passing by. It means a huge amount and helps to keep me going, knowing that money is being raised for good causes.

Please consider donating using the links above, we have now raised £1200 which is awesome, but aiming to raise £5000.

Thanks everyone 🙂 


Swimming the Thames – Daily Diary Entry – Day 08

BLOG POST – DAY 08 – 20.13.2016

Started: 09:30
Finished: 18:00
Swimming Time: 6hrs 15mins
Daily Distance: 16km
Total Distance: 105.25km

Day 08 – Goring Lock to Just Past Caversham Bridge

7.38 AM – Morning all! Goring lock to Caversham today, just outside Reading. Starting at 9.30 and finishing when we finish. Being joined by Luke on kayak today. Massive thanks to Dave for his help in the kayak the last few days. 🏊

22:03 AM – Managed to bash out 16km today. Felt good and strong and the body feels like it’s functioning again. It was a wet and windy day, and it was blowing the kayakers all over the place. Luke joined us today as kayaker no. 02. He had a bit of a wobble on when he got in and his first words went something along the lines of:

“It’s only a matter of time before I fall in”.

45 minutes later the inevitable happened – he fell in. Haha. He is the first kayaker to take a swim. Thanks for coming along though dude.

It’s quite a weird thing swimming for so long. Other than the breaks for food every 30 mins and a quick update with Josh, I’m submersed in my own little world. There’s not much to see really when your swimming, 3/4 of my time is spent face down in the water. The last few days I’ve been thinking about how I would describe the water colour. At the moment it’s much clearer and I haven’t come up for a name for its current state. I haven’t even come up with a name and I’ve been in it for 6 hours today, I don’t have a career in naming colours it seems. But before that it was proper brown and murky, I couldn’t see my hands. Dem ol river folk tol me they was puttin in an Archimedes screw up river, which were making it brown. Underwater it resembled a lovely golden shade of cow pat olive. These are the ramblings of a very tired person.

We picked up my girlfriend from Henley station this evenin, so nice to see her and have her around tomorrow. and she even cooked us all dinner 🙂 feeling ready for bed now.

And, we’ve made it over 100km!! Woohoo.

Swimming the Thames – Daily Diary Entry – Day 07

BLOG POST – DAY 07 – 19.13.2016

Started: 11:05
Finished: 16:15
Swimming Time: 4hrs
Daily Distance: 10km
Total Distance: 89.25km

Day 07 – Wallingford to Goring Lock

10:22 AM – Enroute to Wallingford. Feeling ok after last night’s sick episode. Got to bed early, woke up late and thought we would give today a go. Going to have another (relatively) easy day.
8:45 PM – After the sick episode yesterday I was actually relatively good all evening, didn’t feel quite right and wasn’t eating as much as usual, but wasn’t ill again.

With this in mind I went to bed early and didn’t set an alarm for the morning. I woke up refreshed and not ill, so decided to get in the water for a later start.

Physically I felt so much better today. Like I was in a new body. I think the rest and the massage last night worked wonders. It was the first rainy day, and the water was a little cooler.

My stroke rate was up and my pace was back to normal. Because of the late start we decided to have a shorter day and stop at Goring Lock.. the next suitable spot was 6km downstream and would take another 2.5 – 3 hours.

I was still struggling to eat the usual amount and I’m wondering whether I need to have larger variety of foods to eat, whilst in the water.

Overall a successful and positive day, which is always nice after such a tough one. We are a little behind schedule now, but will hopefully be able to get a 17km swim in tomorrow.

Swimming the Thames – Daily Diary Entry – Day 06

BLOG POST – DAY 06 – 18.13.2016

Started: 10:05
Finished: 17:00 ish
Swimming Time: Not sure… 
Daily Distance: 13km – 520 Lengths
Total Distance: 79.25km – 3150 Lengths

Day 06 – Clifton Bridge to Wallingford

Oh my flipping hell!! Today was the hardest yet. Stopped earlier than planned as there’s a physio here in Wallingford, and it felt like the right decision. Huge huge huge thanks for Dave who came down and swam with me, I’m not sure I could have done it without you buddy, you really pulled me along. It was his longest ever swim also – he is swimming Lake Windemere in 3 weeks time – A Swim to Remember. And for Dave who stood on the bank and cheered me on with Orryn.. And to Dave who kayaked with me… Lots of Daves today. Not forgetting Josh and my dad, thanks for all the support today and throughout, I wouldn’t be able to do it without you.

I changed my routine up a bit today to work different muscle groups. This is because my muscles are tired in specific front crawl places, because of this my breaststroke is now the same speed. This was my routine today.

30mins front crawl
– 5mins food break
15mins breast stroke
15 front crawl
– 5min break
5min backstroke
10mins breaststroke
15 mins crawl…

Then repeat.

I wasn’t feeling right for the second portion of the day, feeling bit sickly.. I thought the illness feeling was just a sign of physical exhaustion. After finishing the day I couldn’t get anything down, which is unlike me. And, also I wasn’t able to really eat much on the last hour of the swim.

I was just waiting in the pub with Kayaker Dave and as we left I had to sprint back to the toilets and just made it to the loo where I preceded to chuck up my guts. Oh man, I feel so much better for it now… Is it full blown Thames Tummy or will it go? Will just play it by ear and see. Fingers crossed this is the worst of it. Still feeling good an hour or so after, will see how the food sits once I’m back.

Other than that feeling (relatively) good – I’m a 6 out of 10 I’d say (we’ve been using this number system to quickly relay how things are going to Josh – 10 being on top of the world and 1 being almost dead. Relieved I’ve got day 6 under the belt. Woo! Now time for food and sleep.