On June 5, 2018, World Environment Day, Ben Lecomte began his journey across the Pacific Ocean. His two children, Ana and Max, ages 12 and 16, accompanied him for the first 50 meters before hugging him and heading back to shore as part of an emotional sendoff for the swimmer. The water was cold, and while Lecomte had a wetsuit on, his children did not. He waited to see them reach the shore before continuing on his journey.
Ben had a good, yet emotional, first day, keeping his session short in order to ease into the new routine of swimming. He did see two sharks that slowed he and the crew down for a bit, so he called it a day after six hours of swimming.
In his blog post about the first day, he described the drive to the beach as an “intense quiet moment” where “no word could have made the situation less painful.” The quiet intensity was broken up by the press once they arrived at the beach.
By hour two of his swim, the water temperature had dropped, and Ben started to become uncomfortable as the day continued. In hour five, Ben’s crew received the call that a 5-foot shark had been spotted and then a second 3-foot shark was spotted swimming in the opposite direction.
Ben continued to swim for another hour before his medic, Maks, checked on his state, and determined that Ben was getting cold and it was a good start, but time to call it a day at six hours. He made it approximately 9.6 nautical miles.
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