[DAY 191] The Last day of The Swim

This morning on deck I put on my swim gear for the last time. I can see the shore, the buildings and Queens Beach where I will make landfall. The last piece of equipment are my fins, I wrote on them a message in memory of my close friend Gino. I slowly slide in the … Continued

[DAY 185 – 190] Hawaii arrival

As we got closer to Hawaii, a plane form the US Coast Guard flew toward us, circled the boat twice, then went back to where it came from and disappeared at the horizon. They probably had been following us for a while and conducted a customary fly by surveillance. We waited for a call on … Continued

[DAY 179-184] Progressing towards Hawaii

For the past few days, our focus has been on collecting samples and data, doing observation and progressing toward Hawaii. We still encountered squalls and had to change sails back and forth. Those squalls brought with them winds and rain with such intensity that it felt like the rain was horizontal and painful when it … Continued

[DAY 178] One of my saddest days

Today is one of my saddest days ever. Gino, one of my closest friends died. I met him through this project 7 years ago when he asked me if he could meet me on a beach in Alabama to take some footage of my training. Like many others, Gino volunteered his time and expertise, he … Continued

[DAY 174 -177] Big swells

Day 174-175 In the first two days, we experienced big swells coming from a huge low pressure system north of us that had travelled hundreds of miles to get to our location. But that didn’t affect us much. However, we frequently had to make sail changes because of squalls. They were coming and passing bringing … Continued

[DAY 173] 100 days at sea

It has been 100 days since we left Yokohama the last time, this means that we have been at sea and not been on land for that long. It is a little odd to me because it doesn’t seem that long. I have lost all references of time, every day looks the same. There is … Continued

[DAY 169-172] The dateline

On day 169, we passed the dateline it was on November 19, and the following day it was still November 19th, we lived the same day twice. I spend my days at the helm, from sunrise to sunset. All day long I can only skim the surface of the ocean since I don’t swim and … Continued

[DAY 164 -168] Sailing mode

For the past five days, we have been in sailing mode to get to a lower latitude as soon as possible because strong low pressure systems kept on coming. On our way to Hawaii, we are still collecting our samples and data (plastic, micro plastic, fibers…). Nikolai, the expert who maps the plastic accumulation zones … Continued

[DAY 164] Back in the water

Today we had good weather condition, after towing our Newston net in the morning to collect micro plastic in our location, Ty and I got on the water. He was on Ban Ana, our yellow kayak and I was back in the water. This day was unique for Ty and I; it was the first … Continued

[DAY 161-162-163] The moustaches!

Last night the winds picket up in no time from around 30 to about 50 knots. Mark was at the helm, the boat drastically heeled and this combined with big waves made it very difficult to handle. After a quick change of sail in challenging conditions, sailing become more stable in those extreme conditions. Yesterday … Continued

[DAY 160] Pushed to the limit

We have been slowly sailing south all day with the tri sail under heavy wind and high seas. After this low pressure system passes, more are forecasted. Today we had an open discussion about the limitation of the swim, the challenges we are facing, the many constraints we have to deal with and what it … Continued

[DAY 159] The broken sail

Today we put on the tri-sail to save the main sail and started sailing south east to get out of the worst part of the low pressure system moving in our area. These low pressure systems have kept on coming one after another. For the past few weeks, our weather team has been sending us … Continued

[DAY 157-158] Repairing the sail

Those past two days, we had the same weather conditions as the day before with strengthening eastern winds… and no swim. The main sail was lowered and Maria and Gonzo worked on repairing the reefs on deck. Every so often a big wave crushed against the hull, water got propelled straight in the air and … Continued

[DAY 156] Everything went wrong

Today was a day where everything we tried went wrong. The wind speed was in the mid 20 knots and the waves were breaking which made it not possible to swim with the kayak. So using the boom to tow our net and collect micro plastic in the early morning, we hooked a long stream … Continued

[DAY 155] Time

I had a great start of the day, I talked with my children. It had been 155 days since I last saw them. Sometimes it feels longer than that and other times shorter. Being at sea with no weekly schedule makes me lose all notion of time. Today was too rough to swim with the … Continued

[DAY 154] The Ban Ana

Most of the high winds had passed us but we still had some gust of 20 knots this morning. We motored to the swim point with our mainsail on deck for some repairs. Last night, the strong wind ripped off the last stitches that held up our reef two. Maria and Gonzo were working on … Continued

[DAY 153] Fresh food

I started my day by eating some fresh yogurt. Maria made it with our powder milk and some yeast. This was quite tasty but I have to admit that eating anything different from our regular plan meals taste good anyway. For dinner we had also a treat, Maks caught a mahi-mahi and Gonzo prepared it … Continued

[DAY 151-152] Strong winds

For the past two days, the wind has been too strong to swim. It started with 20 knots of wind, jumped to 25 and then 30 in a matter of seconds accompanied by heavy rain. The rain fell so hard that the visibility dropped to less than 50 meters. Had I been in the water … Continued

[DAY 150] A capsized kayak

Unfortunately, the dinghy was still out of operation and I had to use the kayak to pace me. Swells pushed us in the right direction, south east. Some of them were cresting, giving me a good push. Maria, in the kayak was surfing as well and managed to keep the kayak up almost through the … Continued

[DAY 149] The capsized boat

I started the day with Maks doing an echo of my heart. GE put at our disposal a very compact and mobile unit, the same kind the astronauts use in the International Space Station. We go through the same procedure and get data and images to monitor any changes in the structure of my heart. … Continued

[DAY 148] Painful routine

I was finally back to my painful routine. Today we started the swim with some wind and big swells, they were coming from opposite directions and created choppy conditions. I used Seeker’s tracker, mine refused to charge in the morning. I hoped this was just moisture and after cleaning the connections it would be back … Continued

[DAY 146] Another day off

Well, today wasn’t the return to swimming I had hoped for. Overnight the wind dropped and even using the engine this morning was not enough to cover the 50 miles that separated us from our destination. I used this extra day to make some modifications on my fins. The foot packets on some of them … Continued

[DAY 145] Maintenance and repairs

Today with strong winds we were able to maintain a speed of 9 knots for most of the day. We had put some fishing gears in the water and even at that speed, we caught two big mahi-mahis. We had a fresh and delicious lunch and dinner. Yoav estimated that we should be back to … Continued

[DAY 143]

Today, Yoav got a new weather maps for the next 5 days. As I clicked on them watching one day after another, I looked at the progression of the super Typhoon and noticed a change in its course. It seemed to be moving north west. If the forecast held, this would mean that the system … Continued

[DAY 141-142] Sailing mode

The next two days were about the same, with waves and high winds. The crew was in a pure sailing mode, which meant different watches and a different life on the boat altogether, no swimming nor data collecting. The only data collected were my microbiome. WRI, our weather forecasting partner kept on updating us about … Continued

[DAY 140] Bad weather coming our way

Yesterday, right after we stopped the swim, we received some information from our routing team about a strong system moving our way in addition to the smallest one we knew was coming. We decided to follow their advice and sail south-east. The winds picked up during the night and became stronger early in the morning. … Continued

[DAY 139] More and more plastic

The conditions became a little more challenging today but it was still swimmable. Ty was in the dinghy with Brian and I knew I could rely on them to make everything possible for me to swim even in those very difficult situations. Some of the waves were crashing on me and in the dinghy, they … Continued

[DAY 138] A storm is coming

Day 138 Paul and James were on the dinghy, the waves were  coming from about two o’clock. It was a choppy sea and difficult to swim in. The waves threw me off my course. Every so often a wave stopped my right arm in its forward motion and made me loose my balance and streamlined … Continued

[DAY 137] A shark sighting

Today the water was a little warmer, but just by one degree centigrade. This was enough to feel comfortable for the full day. I didn’t shiver at the end of the day when I removed my wetsuit in the water, I took some time to relax a little and rinse my body and wetsuit. Ty … Continued

[DAY 136] Dinghy issues

I started my day with three phone interviews with Forbes, Business Insider and Vice followed by my weekly call with Dr. Montel, my psychologist. I jumped in the water a little later than usual and I got stopped before even starting. Brian and Maks, on the dinghy, noticed that the propeller was acting odd, it … Continued

[DAY 135] A normal day

I only made one feeding stop today. I swam for four hours before my stop, then I swam another three and half hours. The water is not warm enough for me to sweat, so I wasn’t thirsty and I didn’t get hungry either. Gonzo and Mark paced me on the RHIB, it was a normal … Continued

[DAY 134] Swimming with my nephew

Today my nephew Paul and Ty were on the dinghy. We had good conditions and I didn’t feel my little cuts under my right armpit most of the day. I kept the same feeding strategy as the previous days to give me longer swimming blocks; I made fewer stops, I stayed as long as possible … Continued

[DAY 133] My family

I started my day with a call to my family, it felt so good to hear their voices. This is what I miss the most. I spent most of my day thinking about them while swimming. I relived simple moments we had together, like a Saturday morning and thought about what we would do when … Continued

[DAY 132] A unique day

I started my day with a heavy breakfast. Maks was on the first watch and he always tries to fat me up (or juice me up) and put extra carbohydrates in my food. He even gave me a big protein shake that I couldn’t finish. I felt it in the first hours of my swim. … Continued

[DAY 131] Stars

I always wake up in the middle of the night and usually more than one time. Last night when I woke up around 2 a.m. I decided to go on deck and what a display I saw. The entire sky was lit up with stars, they looked so close and bright. I remembered that our … Continued

[DAY 130] Excellent swimming conditions

Last evening, during our daily meeting safety was the main subject. Due to our ongoing electrical issues, some of the crew members needed to be reinsured that we have redundant systems and if one fails we have a backup or backups. This is the case for our freshwater system, generating electricity, communication and emergency systems. … Continued

[DAY 129] Boat issues

It has been five days now that our main satellite communication system is not working. We use it to upload video and big files. We have a secondary system but it only allow us to send and receive regular emails and it is still working. Last week we started having electrical issues. For whatever reason, … Continued

[DAY 128] The Sunfish

I knew this day was going to be challenging. We had 17 knots of wind and the waves were moving in the opposite direction. The sea was very choppy and the waves were steep and tight together. Throughout the day I constantly had to blow water out off my snorkel. Some waves broke right on … Continued

[DAY 127] Engine success

This morning as we were sailing toward our swim point some pilot whales came very close the bow of the boat and stayed with us for few minutes. Their dorsal fins are amazingly big compared to the size of their body. On one of them, the fin had been damaged, a big portion was missing. … Continued

[DAY 126] 30 knot winds

Yoav told me yesterday that today would probably not be a swim day, winds of 30 knots were forecasted. He had the crew prepare the boat, securing everything on deck, bringing and securing items below deck as well. The wind picked up overnight and this morning I woke up by the sound of the waves … Continued

[DAY 125] A new approach

The winds had picked up and the air temperature was cooler this morning. Ty and James paced me on the dinghy. I wanted to try a change in food breaks. Every time I take one, my muscles are cooling down and with a cooler water temperature,over night it is harder to get back into my … Continued

[DAY 124] Cold temperatures

Since Seeker main engine doesn’t have any electric power, we still cannot turn it on. We can only maneuver our mothership under sail. This morning there was little wind and it took us a while to sail to the swim point. I had a late start and it gave me the time to repair one … Continued

[DAY 123] A sleep in

This morning when I woke up, light was shining through the hatch. Usually the crew on watch comes to wake me up and it is still dark outside. Did someone forget to wake me up? On my way to the galley, I stopped at the nav-station and looked at the monitors. The wind was blowing … Continued

[DAY 122] Just another day at the office

Today was just another day at the wet office. We had good weather conditions, the wind and waves were pushing me to the east. The first hour, a blue object caught my attention, it was bobbing 2 feet under the surface. I reached for it, it was the usual light plastic bag. I picked it … Continued

[DAY 121] Changes to my body

For the past few days, I have noticed some changes. When I step down the stairs, my legs shake. I have lost a lot of muscle mass from those muscle groups I hardly use. My legs are much thinner. This is expected, I calculated that everyday I spend less than half an hour standing and … Continued

[DAY 120] Engine issues

We started the day with some mechanical issues on our mothership. The generator and the engine wouldn’t start. After spending some time troubleshooting the problem, Yoav and Brain could not find a fix. Yoav called Ras, our chief engineer who worked on the preparation and delivery of the boat to Japan. Ras was able to … Continued

[DAY 119] Battling the northern current

I was back in the water today and still battling the northern current. I had decided to put on a sleeveless wetsuit to provide me a better range of motion but I was feeling the cold on my arms. During my first food break, I got a little cold. I resumed swimming and decided to … Continued

[DAY 118] Making 1000NM

When I woke up this morning the waves were still crushing dangerously and we waited a couple of hours before we could make a decision. During that time the wind speed decreased and the waves became less dangerous to launch the dinghy. So, we let our team on land at Seeker know that we would … Continued

[DAY 117] A rest day

As forecasted the wind had picked up, overnight they increased to over 40 knots. This morning we still had a rough sea with high wind, these were no conditions to launch the dinghy. It would be a no swim day for me. I would have to wait another day before reaching the 1,000 miles marker. … Continued

[DAY 115] The squid

We are getting close to being 1,000 miles away from the closest mainland and strangely enough, we have been seeing dragonflies, we can’t figure out how they came here. This morning we got new and up to date currents maps. As we expected, the curve of the Kuroshio that we have been fighting against, moved … Continued

[DAY 116] The milestone

I was back again fighting the northern push of the current. The conditions had changed, the wind had picked up and the waves were rolling. Maks and Maria had to bail the water out of the dinghy. The direction of the waves was somewhat on my favor and I was able to slide a few … Continued

[DAY 114] A difficult and frustrating swim

Last night we moved our clocks one hour forward to allow me to swim more at the end of the day. At sunset, jellyfish come up and yesterday I stopped half an hour earlier, so many of them were near the surface and kept on stinging my nose 🙁 Today was really a very difficult … Continued

[DAY 113] Thank you

Hello everyone, and thank you for following us. Sometimes I forget that there is a world out there on land with humans! Here in our microcosm, every day I interact with the same 9 amazing people and this is the extent of my social life. For most of the time though, I am even alone lost … Continued

[DAY 112] Cheese!

Today, we were fortunate to have the same weather conditions as yesterday, calm sea with little wind coming from the west. James and Mark, our cameramen had been needed aerial and underwater footage for a while, so we decided to schedule some time in the afternoon to do that. In the morning, I swam four … Continued

[DAY 111] Another swordfish

Ty and Maks were on the tender and the conditions were more in my favor today; the waves were much smaller and the wind had almost died. On my second food break, Ty told me they spotted some whales but they weren’t able to get close to them on time. I asked people on the … Continued

[DAY 110] The Eddy

Last night, was the first time the temperature dropped since we left Yokohama and I didn’t have to keep a damp T-shirt on my chest to keep me cool. Today was a little different than usual; our route and progression were going to be very important because of the location of an eddy. Eddies are … Continued

[DAY 109] A jet of water

I started my day with a call from my psychologist Dr. Montel. He had sent me a protocol that would help me relax if I ever was stressed or experienced some type of anxiety. I haven’t been able to test it since I haven’t had any problem falling asleep nor experienced any anxiety. If I … Continued

[DAY 108] The rocking boat

The strong rocking of the boat woke me up this morning. The wind had picked up overnight and big waves were crashing into us. We had 24 knots of wind and it was not a condition the dinghy could handle. We waited to see how the wind would evolve. After a couple of hours, the … Continued

[DAY 107] Mind games

Today was a day for a mind game. When I swim I occupy my mind in different ways. One of them is by playing games, particularly memorization games. Paul and James were on the dinghy. I asked Paul to pick random numbers between 0 and 99 and write 4 series of 10 numbers on a … Continued

[DAY 105] My crew

The forecast was correct, today again the conditions did not allow me to swim. It has been a while since I had not been able to swim for two days in a row; it was more than a month ago when we were in Yokohama. This is the closest I would ever experience to having … Continued

[DAY 104] A rough night

The forecast was correct, we had 35 knots of wind today with breaking waves. It was a no-swim day and I slept in. For the past month, I have been sleeping in a bunk instead of the “coffin”. We call the coffin a bunk that has a flat surface and half of its length is … Continued

[DAY 103] Feeling off

I wasn’t feeling my best this morning when I woke up, I was a little off. I didn’t have a great night of sleep but it wasn’t too bad. The conditions had improved from yesterday but we still had big waves and strong wind. Ty and Gonzo were in the dinghy and dressed with rain … Continued

[DAY 102] The guiding fish

A couple of days ago I reached a milestone of 1,000 nm swum. Now I am working toward a second milestone, 1,000 nm from the coast of Japan. Today I jumped in the water thinking about this new milestone. I haven’t been swimming in a straight line and I have been following the Kuroshio, a … Continued

[DAY 101] A day off

Day off today, the wind picked up even more than yesterday and the waves were too big to safely launch the dinghy. I tried to spend this time to rest but it was difficult, I was tossed around in my bunk. Every time we have big seas and I am on the sailboat, I get … Continued

[DAY 100] Swimming 1,000 NM

Last night I heard a lot of excitement on deck, I was already in my bunk and couldn’t wait to start my night. But I was too curious and got up to check out what it was all about. Gonzo was shining a spot light on top of the water and with a net, catching … Continued

[DAY 99] Swimming with whales

My day started with a talk with my son and daughter. I think they really brought me good luck for the rest of the day. Ty and Maks were on the dinghy and a full day was in front of us. It started during my first food break. Out the corner of my eye I … Continued

[DAY 98] I was alone

602 pieces of microplastic was the final count for yesterday’s collection! This is a very sad and disturbing number. With great weather conditions, I started my day of swimming with Gonzo and Mark on the dinghy. At my first food break, Gonzo welcomed me by saying: “Today, we have on the menu soup, bread and … Continued

[DAY 97] Micoplastics

One of our scientific protocols is for microplastic. A microplastic is a piece of plastic 5 millimeters or less in size. It usually comes from bigger pieces that have been degraded mainly by the effect of the sunlight. All the plastic we see on the surface of the ocean or those I see while swimming … Continued

[DAY 96] A normal day of swimming

“Tonton Benoit, your breakfast is ready!” Said Paul to wake me up. Every morning I wake up at least two hours before swimming to give me enough time to eat, check my emails and write. Maks and Maria were on the dinghy. Last night when we decided on the watches and duties for today, Maks … Continued

[DAY 94] Albatrosses and plastic

I started the day with a scheduled call with Dr. Montel, my psychologist for The Swim. I shared with him the propeller incident and let him know I was ready to go back in the water after a day off. He asked me if I had any anxiety about the incident and the shark, which … Continued

[DAY 93] Engine exhaust pipe crack

Today was a day off for me, I slept an extra two hours this morning, this felt wonderful. When I woke up my forehead was soar but other than that everything else seemed ok. I didn’t feel I missed a good day of swimming. Had I decided to swim, I wouldn’t have made great progress. … Continued

[DAY 92] The injury

What a spooky day it has been. It started when I woke up to the sound of an alarm. We had lost GPS and the system kept on dropping the signal each time Yoav rebooted it. I stepped on deck to have my breakfast and saw a curtain of fog on our starboard side, the … Continued

[DAY 91] The turtle

I have been able to swim every day for the past 13 days. Today, our luck is still with us. First thing I do, when I woke up, is to check the weather and sea conditions, and what a sight it was. A beautiful sunrise over calm waters greeted me when I stepped on deck. … Continued

[DAY 90] Another fantastic swim day

Another fantastic swim day. Since we have move our clock by one hour, not only do I get an extra hour of sun light at the end of the day but I also wake up with amazing sun rises. I swam for 9 hours and 20 minutes, the most I ever swam since our departure … Continued

[DAY 89] Extra hours

Last night we moved our watch forward by one hour, to start our day earlier and get more sun light at the end of the day. This would allow me to swim longer and not be stopped by the sunset. In the past I had to make my swim day shorter because I cannot swim … Continued

[DAY 88] The wooden cable stool

Day 88 No shark, no pilot whale, no albatross only two lonely fish were following me at the start of my day. Paul and Gonzo were on the RHIB, the wind and waves were in our favor and the sun was bright and shiny. Every time we were stopped for my food breaks, Paul and … Continued

[DAY 87] Whales

I started my day with a call with Dr. Sebastien Montel, a psychologist who is monitoring my state of mind and counseling me whenever I need it. Then, our onboard physician, Maks did an echo of my heard. It is one of our protocols, the procedure is conducted once every month to monitor the structure … Continued

[DAY 86] The return of the shark

As I entered the water this morning I thought about the shark visit yesterday. Was he going to be back today? During my swim in the Atlantic, one shark came back every day for 5 straight days. Paul and Brian were on the dinghy. The conditions had changed from yesterday, I had to battle the waves … Continued

[DAY 85] The shark

Maria was on the Kogo watch, a special watch we called after one of our Japanese friends. The watch starts at 4 a.m. and the person is responsible to prepare the food and equipment for the dinghy and my breakfast. Yoav always wakes up at 4 a.m. to make the necessary adjustment to our route … Continued

[DAY 84] Ty’s Birthday

The wind and waves were still helping my progression and the waves had subsided since yesterday. I felt their occasional push once in a while. Ty and James were on the dinghy today. During my first food break, I asked Ty to call Paul on Seeker because I had a question for him. Seeker was … Continued

[DAY 83] Sore body

The day started with rough seas that prevented us from launching the dinghy, but it wasn’t forecasted to last the entire day. Fortunately, it didn’t, and by midday the waves were getting smaller and I was able to start swimming. Paul and Maria were in the dinghy. We still had a few good waves but nothing … Continued

[DAY 82] Crashing waves

Waves, waves and more waves were on the program for today. Brian and Maks were on the RHIB and had a rough time riding some big rollers. On the positive side, the waves and wind pushed us in the right direction, east. The waves were about 2.5 meters, evenly spaced out and all moving in … Continued

[DAY 81] Fish bites

Today was another day at the office, a fish bite my nose, I had a fist-beck bump with an albatross all that with a lot of plastic. The weather conditions were pretty similar to those of yesterday except that the wind and waves were a little stronger but pushing me in the right direction Southeast. … Continued

[DAY 80] Swimming with albatross

I will have to thank Neptune again for this wonderful day at sea with great swimming conditions. Ty, the dinghy master and Gonzo were pacing me with the dinghy. After the first two hours I took off my hoody, I was getting too hot. I kept my wetsuit on, even though it was warm enough … Continued

[DAY 79] The return of The Swim

What a perfect day to resume the swim. We got back to the swim point at around 10 a.m. Everybody was excited. Everything around us was very calm, the ocean was flat with no wind. We had those conditions only once or twice before. Maks was in the kayak ready for me to jump off … Continued

[DAY 78] Finding plastic

We have been very lucky with the weather, we have been able to avoid the typhoons and still make great progress toward the east. We have kept a study pace taking advantage of the wind whenever we could and used the engine when we lost speed. As a result, it looks like tomorrow we will … Continued

[DAY 77] Back to routine

We have been at sea for few days, the team is getting back to a routine and the new crew members are acclimating to their new “home”.  We have three new members to replace Lauren and Joe who decided to not go on. I will miss them, both of them brought valuable skill sets to … Continued

[DAY 76] Fishing

If we look at the number of fish we caught and compare our last three days with the rest of the time we have spent at sea, they could not be more different. During our first 50 plus days, micro plastic we only caught one barracuda. Since we left Yokohama we caught 16 fish. The first … Continued

[DAY 75] Back at sea

Finally we are back at sea. Three days ago, our on land weather routing team gave us a glimpse of hope when they emailed us their latest weather report. It was not quite the report we were looking for but it gave a small weather window that we had to take the chance. When we … Continued

[DAY 71] Ghost Nets

One big problem that we have witnessed are ghost nets. They are nets lost at sea or have been discarded by fishermen. I never encountered one when I have been in the water but we spotted three from our sailboat. One of them was too big to get on board, so Maria got on the … Continued

[DAY 70] Keeping focused

For me, the most challenging part of swimming 8 hours a day is keeping my mind busy… and not go crazy. Even though it is very difficult on the physical side, the mental is more important, it is all about mind over matter. The best way to keep my mind focused is by having a … Continued

[DAY 69] My nutrition

One of the most challenging aspects of open water swimming is nutrition. I have been battling with it since I started swimming long distance. In any endurance activities, nutrition is essential because it directly affects performance but it is very difficult to find food that is easily digested. Swimming adds another level of difficulty because … Continued

[DAY 68] Who inspires me

No matter what we do, we always look up to certain people and get inspired by them. For me, one of them has always been my older brother Christophe. He is 3 years older than me. From an early age, he inspired me. I remember when we were teenagers, he spent so much time at … Continued

[DAY 67] Jellyfish

I don’t want to swim past a certain hour in the day for two reasons: in the late afternoon, the sunlight does not penetrate the water as much and I start losing visibility. The water beneath me turns into a darker blue and my field of vision is limited. This becomes a problem for me … Continued

[DAY 66] Toothbrushes

All I do when I swim is dream and think. I think about general subjects or problems we encounter during our expedition. The other night when I went to our head (bathroom) to brush my teeth, I counted the number of toothbrushes we were using and it didn’t make any sense. On the boat we … Continued

[DAY 65] What do I stand for?

What do I stand for? I am not against plastic, I am for a responsible way to use plastic, one that doesn’t pass on any liability down to the next generation. Like many people, I am struggling with how I can reduce my use and limit my impact. My bad habits are still entrenched in … Continued

[DAY 64] Connection

When I swim in the middle of the ocean, I don’t have a WiFi connection but I am experiencing the most intimate connection. In our hyper-connected world, we often forget how important it is to have some for yourself, by yourself without any interruption. Well on that end, I am one of the most fortunate … Continued

[DAY 63] Every day I swim is a day to celebrate because: 

Every day I swim is a day to celebrate because: Every day I swim is another chance to get people’s attention. Every day I swim I hope to inspire them to take action. Every day I swim we contribute to learning more about our ocean. Every day I swim is a new adventure. Every day … Continued

[DAY 62] My perspective of the ocean

I wanted to share with you how I experience life on the boat and live in the water and why they are different for me. I reflected on those differences on day 49, here was my blog entry. My perspective of the ocean is totally different from the deck of the boat or in the … Continued

[DAY 61] Whales

I can’t wait to go back in the water because of those particular intense moments I experienced like the one on day 48: “Whales!” Screamed Maks pointing to our port side. Paul was at the helm this morning, I was on deck with them. Paul changed Seeker’s heading and sailed toward the sprays while other … Continued

[DAY 47] Avoiding the Typhoon

Dear followers, I am sincerely sorry for the delay this past week in sharing information on the status of our journey. I am responsible for not finding a solution faster on how to efficiently share our latest updates with you while respecting the communication needs of our media partners. I am honored to have Seeker … Continued

[DAY 46] The swordfish

Today we had favorable weather conditions, yes it felt good to wake up and see the winds and waves had subsided. During part of the morning we sailed back to our waypoint, once we got there Maria was ready to handle the paddles and lead me eastward. Within the first few minutes of swimming, in … Continued

[DAY 45] Feeling better

Even though the conditions had not changed, I felt a little better my body was adapting to the rocking but it will change again next time I am back in the water… Maria spotted a Japanese boat on the horizon and decided to contact it on the VHF radio to ask them about potential rendezvous … Continued

[DAY 44] Nausea

This morning the conditions hadn’t improved and it was forecasted to have the same weather for the next day as well. Squalls were passing through and dumping rain on and off the entire day. Maks told me to take advantage of that down time to rest and eat as much as possible. So I did. … Continued

[DAY 43] No two days are the same

I woke up and the winds and waves had changed. These conditions wouldn’t allow me to swim with a kayak. We still sailed to our waypoint hoping the conditions would improve but by the time we got there, they didn’t. In this situation, we could have used the RHIB, but it was pushing the limit … Continued

[DAY 42] The World Cup and The Swim

“Ben, do you want to eat?” Are usually the first words I hear in the morning. Most of the time it is Yoav who ask me, he is up early to sail the boat back to our waypoint . The first thing I do in the morning is eat, then very often I fall back … Continued

[DAY 41] The bird

The bird is still with us and Maks is keeping a close eye on her. The conditions today were perfect with very little wind and small waves. We started the day with Mark on the kayak, we both had great expectations on seeing sea life with those great conditions. But as the day progressed and … Continued

[DAY 40] Strong rain and wind

Last night was difficult for everybody, we got hit by a few squalls that brought a lot of rain and strong winds. It was loud and the boat was tossed in every direction. The crew on deck had to be very vigilant and tied themselves to the tether lines to prevent them from falling of … Continued

[DAY 39] Family bonding

The conditions were pretty similar to those of yesterday; strong opposite wind and waves. Paul, my nephew, was in the kayak. It had been awhile since he last spent time on the RHIB or kayak to pace me. The both of us were alone on that vast ocean, or at least it felt that way … Continued

[DAY 38] Another challenge

This morning the wind and waves were coming from the north and were stronger than yesterday. We still had to progress toward the north and this was going to be a challenging day. Maria was back in the kayak. She communicated a few times with the crew on the VHF to verify that we were … Continued

[DAY 37] Spotting plastic

We drifted quite a bit over the night and had we spent a good part of the morning sailing and motoring back to the way point. During that time I was standing on deck scouting the surface of the water for plastic. About every 15 minutes I spotted a new piece. It was a day … Continued

[DAY 95] Record temperatures

I wake up to the sound of the engine. Yoav has been battling with the exhaust pipe again. The last fix didn’t hold. He had been working on it since very early in the morning. We had drifted for a while and now we had to motor back to the swim point. It took us … Continued

[DAY 36] Whale spotting

Great swimming conditions again today, I couldn’t be happier; instead of easing myself down slowly into the water from the side of the boat like I always did, I jumped off from the deck, making a horrible landing but I enjoyed it. I started the day with Maks in the kayak pacing me. Our Torqeedo … Continued

[DAY 35] Swimming with the kayak

Today again I started my swim day with Seeker and like yesterday I had some issues moving at the same pace. Three times I found myself falling behind the streamline and having to increase my speed and push to catch up with our sailboat. The crew has a very difficult job to do, since we … Continued

[DAY 34] A tiring day

We started the day with another problem with our electric outboard engine. Our main engine and the back up both gave us some error codes that we could not clear and both were down. I had to swim beside Seeker. Once the crew got the streamline ready and the safety line with the kayak secured … Continued

[DAY 33] The crab

We had great weather conditions overnight and for the rest of the day. Paul and Maria paced me in the RHIB. Maria had her eyes focused on the surface of the ocean to pick up any debris she could find. I could feel the RHIB veering course each time they spotted a piece and went … Continued

[DAY 32] Jellyfish

We still had strong wind in the morning but the forecast predicted the conditions to improve within hours. After a few hours, live the waves got smaller and I could start swimming with the RHIB. The conditions started relatively good for the rest of the day. We still found plastic, I retrieved a big water bottle … Continued

[DAY 31] Ear infection

Yesterday after my short swim Lauren diagnosed that I had an ear infection. She started to treat me and I used that day of rough weather to recoup and keep my ear dry for a day. I didn’t see the time passed, I spent most of it sleeping in my bunk or in the galley … Continued

[DAY 30] Tangled streamline

Today, the winds had picked up and the waves were too big to swim with the RHIB, so we set up Seeker with a pole and the streamline. The sea drogue was also deployed behind to reduce the speed of the boat. After about an hour of swimming, the sea drogue got tangled up in … Continued

[DAY 29] Another shark encounter

Another great day for swimming, little wind, waves were rolling in the right direction, and the water was warm. Ty and Mark were in the RHIB pacing me, it was an uneventful morning until I heard Ty scream “Ben, Ben shark!” I swam toward the RHIB, Ty was pointing in the direction toward my right … Continued

[DAY 28] The shark

The high-pressure system was still with us, bringing with it great weather conditions for the day. Within the first hour I was in the water, Lauren and Maks screamed: “Ben, there is a shark!” I very quickly lifted up my head out of the water and looked into the direction they were pointed. I couldn’t … Continued

[DAY 27] Swimming with turtles

A high-pressure system was bringing us again nice weather conditions today. Ty and Mark were in the RHIB. Early on in the day, Mark spotted a turtle swimming at my right side. It came pretty close to me about 2 meters and started to circle me, looking straight at me. A school of about 20 … Continued

[DAY 26] Finding more plastic

Today we had great conditions, so Maks and Joe were able to pace me with the RHIB. We had few long swells but the surface of the ocean was pretty smooth. With those conditions, it was easier to spot any floating trash. Maks and Joe picked some on the way and in few instances asked … Continued

[DAY 25] Swimming with Seeker

Today we had the same conditions as yesterday, too much wind and breaking swells to swim beside the RHIB or the kayak. So we decided to implement yesterday’s plan and have me swim beside Seeker. This time we used a much lighter pole to tow my streamline. This is a windsurf mast that we use … Continued

[DAY 24] The broken pole

The force of the wind had diminished, but it was still over 20 knots with cresting waves. We couldn’t use a kayak or the RHIB to pace me, so we decided to wait few more hours before making a decision. In the afternoon we decided to use the sailboat to pace me and we started … Continued

[DAY 23] Crashing waves

The situation started to deteriorate during the night, when I woke up we had over 30 knots winds. The waves were cresting and growing. I knew that if these conditions didn’t change I would not be able to swim. We waited a few hours but the forecast and the conditions didn’t improve, I was also … Continued

[DAY 22] Lonely fish

I was back being paced by the RHIB with Jo and Maks, the problem had been solved, our two batteries were fully charged. It was an uneventful day, no dolphins, no ships just a lonely fish that decided to swim right below me for the last 3 hours. During my last feeding breaks, I kept … Continued

[DAY 21] Dinghy troubles

Maria and Ty were on the RHIB to pace me. Within the first hour, we experienced some technical issues, an error came from the electric Torqeedo engine and couldn’t be reset. After few trials, Ty called Seeker to let them know we needed a different setup to pace me until they could figure out what … Continued

[DAY 20] Another near collision

I had trouble falling asleep last night, it was only in the early morning that I got few hours of good sleep. I didn’t know how it was going to affect my day. Paul woke me up 7 am to let me know that we will be back at our swim location in 2 hours. … Continued

[DAY 19] Company swim

It was a clear day with the right swimming conditions, the waves were coming somewhat from behind me with little wind. Ty and Lauren were in the RHIB and Lauren took with her, her swimming gear. She asked me earlier if she could join me in the water. I am always looking for ways to … Continued

[DAY 18] Summer solstice

We had the same conditions this morning again but it did not last too long. By the end of the morning, it had clear it and I started to swim. The sky was clear and I could see the sun rays piercing through the thick water. The light bounced off the phytoplankton, it gave me … Continued

[DAY 17] Waves

The strong wind and waves were still in the opposite direction and too big to have a kayak or the RHIB in the water to pace me. In those type of conditions I could swim, I am like a cork in the water. My wetsuit keeps me buoyant, I go up and down in the … Continued

[DAY 16] Rain shower

It was again the same weather situation this morning, I had to swim upwind and against the waves. But it turned out that it would not be the biggest problem. The rain had started to pick up and Maks and Jo had to bail out the rainwater as well as the water from the waves … Continued

[DAY 15] Frustration

The wind was still blowing strong this morning again from the northeast accompanied by strong waves coming from the same direction but also swells from the south. This was an odd combination, none of which worked in my favor. I had put an extra layer of wetsuit and felt constricted. I had to work much … Continued

[DAY 14] Close encounters

The wind was still blowing from the northeast. I knew before going into the water it was going to be challenging, I would have to fight the wind and waves going in the opposite direction but I was determined to put my time in. I put two hoodies on to keep my head warm, one … Continued

[DAY 13] Light

The daylight starts early here before 5 am it lights up the galley through 5 hatches. My day will start in about an hour but I stay laying on the bench, enjoying this quiet moment with the light shining through the openings. The light will be here every morning no matter what. There are few … Continued

[DAY 12] Nausea

I spent the night in my bunk with pillows and my backpack on my side to limit my movements. I could hear the waves breaking on the hull and rolling on the deck. Yoav, our skipper, and the crew were handling over 30 knots of wind on deck with heavy rain. Those conditions did not … Continued

[DAY 11] Sea sickness

I had a good start Ty and Lauren were on the RHIB and I was trying to get back into my swimming routine. About two hours in the RHIB stopped, Ty told me they had lost power and called Seeker to check on the error they were getting with our Torqeedo engine. The RHIB is … Continued

[DAY 10] Roller coaster

I woke up feeling like I had been riding a big roller coaster. Seeker was pitching up and down, we were going upwind and the waves were coming from the same direction as the wind. As a result,planed my morning protein shake came back up and became feed for the fish. Around noon I forced … Continued

[Day 9] Whale watching

I started my day taking in everything I could about the smells, buildings, trees and the stable line of the horizon while we were still within sight of land. Later on, those last images would be important to me and help me revisit my last hours near solid ground. Over the next few months, my … Continued

[DAY 8] All clear

Day 7The weather report we all had been waiting for came in this morning. Maliksi, the low pressure system that had forced us to retreat to land was finally moving to the east and gave us a clear weather window to sail back to our location. Our router estimated we could leave our current location … Continued

[DAY 7] Waiting out the storm

Having to take a break from the swim due to the storm has given all of us the chance to check on what was happening in the rest of the world. At sea our communications are filtered, we have limited bandwidth and we cannot spend time on our social media page and news feeds. What a … Continued

[DAY 6] Story telling

The wind had faded early on in the day and the light rain didn’t stop until the evening, the storm had passed. As we prepare to begin the swim we also are having to say goodbye to one of our crew, my friend Gino, who is returning to his life on land in the United … Continued

[DAY 5] The Storm

The storm is nearly passed, so it looks like I’ll be continuing my swim across the Pacific soon. It is time to put all those feelings of setback behind me and focus on using our time waiting out the storm to increase our chance of success at sea. Paul called on a meeting, we were all … Continued

[DAY 4] World Oceans Day

We spent our Ocean Day adjusting our course to get out of the path of the storm and that meant moving backwards. I had mix feelings when I first saw land again.  I was slowly starting to seep into my rhythm of swimming, sleeping, and eating and yet this big developing weather system forced us … Continued

[DAY 3] A storm is coming

If there is something I learned that is most helpful in my situation, this is it: there is a long list of forces outside of my control that I can’t change, this only thing I can change is the way I think about them and react. Weather is on top of this list, I knew … Continued

[DAY 2]

I woke up around 6 am, I wasn’t too stiff, and overall had a good night. My night was interrupted by my midnight meal, a plate of pasta and my regular bathroom stops. I went on deck and found Yoav, our skipper making adjustments to the sails. We had drifted over night more than expected … Continued

[DAY 1] Leaving Land

DAY 1 June 5th 2018 It was a day loaded with emotions; I was finally going to start the swim after so many years dreaming about it and 7 years of tumultuous preparations, I couldn’t be more excited about it. But it was also difficult to know that I was leaving my friends and family … Continued

Why swim across the Pacific Ocean?

A defense of Ben’s sanity Whenever we present The Longest Swim to someone new, the same question often comes up once their surprise and astonishment wears off. Swim across the entire Pacific Ocean?? they might say. Wow! It sounds incredible, but Ben must be crazy! Why would anyone want to do that?? At first their … Continued

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