When we last left Ben, he’d had an eventful beginning to his big Pacific Ocean swim. He’s now been in the water for 14 days. Here are some highlights from each day of his journey thus far.
For the second day of swimming, Ben Lecomte wrote, “On the deep blue static backdrop in front of my eyes, images of my family started to form. Every 30 minutes, Ty and Maks stopped me to feed me, Maks had some warm soup ready, my stomach enjoyed that.”
On day three, the crew received word that a storm was coming in their direction, so they sailed back towards land to anchor in a safe location away from the storm’s path to wait it out so that they could sail back to his location before the storm so that Ben could begin swimming again.
On the way back to land, Ben called for others to take actions to make a difference when it comes to oceanic health and our environment. He wrote, “More than ever I am determined to use this amazing expedition as a platform to get attention to this issue and invite the audience to think about how we can all make some changes in our daily routine to become a better steward of the ocean and protect it as we cannot live without it.”
Even though the team was waiting out the storm, they were working hard at going through the tasks needing completion for a successful swim across the Pacific.
Ben Lecomte and his team continued to wait out the storm and bid his friend, Gino, farewell as he returned to his life back on land.
While continuing to wait out the storm, Ben called his family, and caught up on social media with what’s been going on in the world. He was touched to see so much coverage of his journey across the Pacific Ocean.
The team finally received the weather report they’d been waiting for, and were given the go-ahead to return to their swimming location. Ben was feeling excited to get back to swimming, and spent the day Skyping with family and friends and backing up important files on his computer.
After waiting out the storm the team pushed off from land again. They had whales and dolphins swimming along with and around the boat. Ben wrote, “During this moment we tried to drift with them hoping they would let us come close enough so that I could jump in the water and swim with them but all we could do was put our hydrophone in the water to record their sounds for our scientists on land.”
Day 10 had Ben back in the water. He started to feel queasy on the boat and struggled to eat. At 4pm, he put on his gear and got into the water for a short time. He wrote, “It was a short day in the water, but still nice to be back. Paul stopped me at the end of the day, it was starting to get dark, birds were flying around me and had been following me for awhile. Were they welcoming me back?”
On day 11, Ben got off to a good start, but then he learned that the RHIB stopped. The RHIB is a rigid-hulled inflatable boat that has two crew members helping to keep Ben on the right track, feed Ben, and bring him support depending on the conditions. It has an electric engine that runs on two large batteries, and it seemed as though there was no more charge on it. While they were working on it, the wind picked up, and the waves were getting bigger.
Ben got onto Seeker, and asked to have this boat lead him. Setting up took a while, he was getting cold, and then started to get seasick. He had a rough night.
The conditions on day 12 made it impossible for Ben to swim. Every time he tried to stand up, the rocking from the wind and waves made the nausea come back. He spent most of the day in his bunk.
Day 13 had Ben back in the water. It was a light-filled day. He was paced by the kayak since the RHIB’s batteries still weren’t functioning. He wrote, “The light never disappointed me, it put up an incredible show, bouncing off it rays from millions of planktons right below me. The water was so rich that at times I could not see the color blue of the ocean anymore the white light took over.”
Day 14 saw Ben changing up his nutrition. He swam two hours in the morning with no break and then took breaks every hour rather than every thirty minutes. He swam 8 hours in the wind and waves – and was disappointed that he only went 5 miles – but that’s 5 miles further than he was, so I call that a big win!
Just keep swimming
We’re so proud of Ben’s journey. He’s working hard against some challenges that have cropped up early on in his journey to swim across the Pacific Ocean, but he keeps getting into the water. Whether you’re swimming a mile, running a 5k, taking on an Ironman Triathlon, swimming the Pacific, or just battling some inner demons each day…that’s what you’ve got to do. Just keep swimming.
Keep on keeping on, Ben. We’re all cheering you on!