If you are reading this, you just connected to our online logbook and are reading the very first article. Welcome on board! Here you can follow the daily progress of The Longest Swim, where we will tell the story of what’s happening on the boat and post exclusive photos and videos. You can comment on all of our media and articles and we will be glad to answer any questions you may have (our response time depends on our internet connection on board, but we’ll get back to you as soon as we can!).
At this point, we’d like to explain our plan for The Longest Swim and give a quick overview of the project, from the launch of the boat until Ben’s swimming departure from Tokyo in Spring 2017.
The support boat for The Longest Swim is named Discoverer (there’s more information about her in the next article). At the moment, she is in Lymington, a small town in Southern England, where we bought and prepared her for the many challenges that great ocean crossings present. There’s a huge distance between Lymington and Tokyo; on our way there we will be crossing both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Both the vessel and crew will be tested, before Ben even starts the swim!
Here is the plan for The Longest Swim, from today until we get to Tokyo:
Lymington – San Diego
Around 55 days
After several days of training offshore, the crew of Discoverer is ready for their first challenge: the transatlantic crossing from Lymington, England to San Diego, California, USA. The goal of this delivery is to join Ben in the United States, where he lives and trains for the swim. Ben will meet us on the West Coast and see Discoverer and the crew for the first time.
The delivery also gives the crew the opportunity to work on the boat, get used to living together, and familiarize themselves with the equipment. For our skipper Scotty, it will be the first time sailing offshore with The Longest Swim’s crew and a time to observe how they work as a team and interact. This will mark the beginning of an extraordinary journey which will last until the end of Ben’s swim.
Once in San Diego, we start our technical preparations! First we will repair everything we need to after Atlantic’s crossing. Then we are installing the essential equipment for The Longest Swim on the boat: the two water-makers, the solar generators, and the electrical systems. We will also equip Discoverer with all of the devices which are required for the 8 scientific research projects that we will be working on during the expedition (they will be detailed in coming articles).
To stay connected with you throughout the journey we will also install our satellite connection and receive new audiovisual devices to film the expedition. Finally after a few weeks between technical work and moments of rest, we will store some fresh food and provisions, and embark on our first Pacific crossing from San Diego to Tokyo!
Between 4 and 5 weeks
Our first Pacific crossing at the end of Winter?
Nothing better for The Longest Swim’s crew, just another part of our training! Crossing the Pacific will provide the perfect environment for Scotty and the crew to explore navigation and sailing techniques that they are going to use to slow down the boat according to Ben’s swim speed.
This part of the journey will take around 4 to 5 weeks and may include a stopover in Hawaii dependent on the meteorological conditions in the middle of the ocean. This crossing will be the opportunity to do lots of trials: testing the scientific equipment and collecting test samples of water, plastic, and giant phytoplankton. Every crew member has to know how to use the scientific and medical apparatus to ensure the success of the citizen science expedition. We’ll also be testing our satellite internet connection and working out the best way to send information, images, and video footage to our followers.
At this point in the project, the crew will include the eight people who will cross the Pacific for The Longest Swim during our 6 month journey. It will be essential that everyone is able to live and work with each other on the boat, and the real challenge facing many of the crew members is to find a balance between their community life and their own personal moments.
By the time we arrive in Tokyo, the crew will know the ins and outs of Discoverer and will be fully prepared for The Longest Swim.
At this point, Ben will have flown over to Tokyo to join us on the Discoverer. And then? The big day, the start of The Longest Swim!
After a little time to rest, we leave Tokyo and start our 6 month journey. That’s 6 months of swimming, 6 months of sailing, and 6 months of scientific expedition before we arrive in San Francisco!