belles, pewter, hail, waiting and cake

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08/07/2012 by Carl Reynolds

rock and roll curry night

Friday – curry night down the lido. And races. Junior races for the U12 and U16, then an open half mile and an open mile. Feeling like I’d get too competitive in the mile, I went for the half mile; certain that I wouldn’t win with a certain other ginger competing. Sure enough he was in about 80 yards ahead of me; as was a cheeky 13 year old. I came in third, with the other blokes most of a length behind. Phew! Didn’t win. Then out to see the synchronised SLSC Diving Belles team

A lovely curry from the Lahore Karahi and some dancing. Tom Robinson made a guest appearance on vocals and Nando made a fantastic chocolate cake for Ann Brimelow’s birthday.

Saturday – Showers forecast for the whole day. Heavy ones. We arrive early, as I’m off to Dover and Deal later, and we both get in for a half hour swim. Mrs Ape clocks up a km and I’m happy with 2000 yards. Shoulder starting finally to leave only vestigeal pains apres swim. Then, later, down to Dover to catch up with Stephanie Voss, and the rest of her Channel Crossing support crew for next week.

I arrive in sunny Dover to see the harbour waters flat as a pancake. Steph’s gone, but the General (Frida Streeter) tells me she’s looking ready for it and that I should avoid getting in the water with her, as it’ll put her off! I also manage to catch up with Emma France who’s managing my boat booking for 2014.

Then up the side of the cliffs and off to the wonderful Georgian seaside town of Deal to have a crew meeting. Steph’s hired a lovely little house just by the beach and I meet Claire Scanlon (old time SLSC member), Steph and Neil Morton. I met Neil back in 2009 on a swim camp in Gozo. He was number two for a tide at the end of June, but the weather didn’t even afford him a chance to cross to France. But I’m glad he’s on the support team, as he’s very level headed and has lots of useful kit!

Steph is very organised and we settle into a clear briefing with handouts for everything. I feel I’ll have little to do, as her support swimmer, than check her stroke rate, sort her feed every now and again and marvel at her smooth and consistent stroke rate.

Don’t know when she’s going yet, but her Twitter feed is fishglider, and you can track Sea Satin or Gallivant at http://ais-doverstraits.co.uk/. I’ll post to FB when I know she’s off.

Deal’s brutalist concrete pier

Sunday – just miss the Sunday races (300 yards this time); as we got up too late and had to mix it with the South Circular Sunday morning drivers. Who judging by the erratic behaviour of a few are still pissed/stoned/coked up…?

Ninety year old Cyril had a watery guard of honour on his way in.

Mrs Ape baked a Victoria Sponge for the lifeguards (Fin nearly cried!), and I made a simpler fruit loaf for the swimmers. Clocked up a leisurely mile, enlivened by the odd chase of a seal; and was joined towards the end for a more rapid couple of lengths with Tricky.

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