Sunday, September 27, 2009

What a Whirlwind!

It's been such an amazing week. Only this time last week I was on my way back to England having swam to France. I seems like a lifetime ago! I will post about my swim, I just want to put a bit of time into it and that's something that I don't have a lot of right now.

For now I want to say thank-you to everyone who has made this week so much fun for me. To everyone who rang, texted and emailed during and after the swim and to everyone who came to the airport to absolutely astound and amaze me! I'm still totally in shock at all the attention I've had this week-I really wasn't expecting it at all. I was expecting to come home to my family at the airport to welcome me and then to do a couple of newspaper interviews this week. Not to have 150 people at the airport and to be on the launch of TV3's new chat show! It's just been absolutely fantastic and I've been having so much fun with it.

One yummy part of my week was arriving home to a big cake on sister Amy and my friend Ruth Corcoran had been ringing around that morning to get signs and balloons and a cake and Lee Rourke Cakes offered to make it for free! Amazing. And it's so cool, she asked for my swimsuit and hat colour and all to make it more realistic. I love it!! (oh, and it's really yummy too-we've been cutting around the swimmer though, can't bear to cut that part!)

My REALLY cool cake!

On those lines, Ace Signs also sponsored a huge congratulations banner to welcome me home from the airport. People are so generous-both of these were done at only a few hours notice. Thank you so much!!

It's been such an amazing week for me. The media have been all over the story and I've had calls left right and centre. I'm heading up to Dublin in a couple of hours for the third time this week, I was up on Wednesday for TV3's new Midweek show (you can watch it here) which I really enjoyed doing. And I travelled up on Friday for the Late Late Show (watch it here). I was a little disappointed by how short an interview the Late Late gave to me and Owen, but it was a really fun night and we came away with a free hamper each so all was good! The car was very full on the way down with 3 big hampers in there!! Now I'm heading back up to be on The Hub on Setanta tonight and Ireland AM on TV3 on Tuesday morning. And then I think my life at least partly gets back to normality after that.

Time to go get packed and ready now. Keep updated on what I'm up to via my twitter on the side of this page. And DON'T FORGET TO KEEP here for all the details!

Monday, September 21, 2009

She is arriving in Cork at 4pm

Hey Everyone!

Just spoke to Lisa and read some of her sisters messages. Lisa is arriving at Cork airport around 4pm and RTE and TV3 TV stations will be there to document her arrival. From what I have heard she will be on the News at 5:30 this evening!

She is very alive and awake despite 2 hours of sleep last night! She is high on adrenaline!

If I hear anything else I will let you know.

Congrats to our favorite girl!

Sunday, September 20, 2009



SHE DID IT in 35hrs 36mins!!!!!


Last few metres. Shes nearly there guys!!!!

She is only about 200metres from shore now according to Imelda on her crew!

Direct Comment From LISA

Dont stop me now coz Im having such a good time......

Lisa is so close. Keep thinking about her. History could be closer than you think!!!!

Spoke to her sister Amy

She is still swimming! Wind has picked up, it's getting harder for Lisa to accomplish her achievement but not much will stop her! Send your positive thoughts, and will power because we all know what a champion she is!

GO LISA!!!!!

Updates From Amy over the past few hours!

Follow her to the END! @


Her boat is the Sea Satin

4:45pm Lisa is in great form!! The coast is getting clearer and she has started to pick up the pace. Come on our hero!!!

2:45 pm Great news... Lisa is in the last lane of the shipping lanes. Very positive feedback from the pilot. She has a little push from the tide so lets pray it will continue!!! X

Fantastic news..... Land is finally visible. She will be landing in Folkstone. X

Just to let everyone know the GPS is finally working properly again!

Great news. Very positive feedback from Lisas Pilot. The course is really nice with a small tide push. Lisas in the last of the shipping lanes. Shes nearly therer!

1:45 pm Lisa is very close to England. They cant see it because there is an awful haze. A few aches and pains but she is soldiering on!!! Aches and pains are nothing to her!!!

11:45am Lisa is over halfway back the channel. She is some woman. Its some day for the rebels today!!! Come one LISA. We know you can do it.

Friday, September 18, 2009


The big day is TOMORROW!!!! I'm just writing this update and then getting to bed, and when I get up it will be time to SWIM THE CHANNEL!!!! Very very exciting. And scary. But more exciting. I can't wait for all of the waiting and preparing and packing and general hassle to be over. I'm meeting my pilot tomorrow morning at 9:45am. So from 10:30/11am tomorrow morning all I have to think about is putting one arm in front of the other until I get back to where I started. I don't think that I've really come to the realisation of what I'm doing yet. But I'm sure it will hit me when I'm still swimming after 20 hours!! Or maybe it won't and I'll still be in denial when I'm done, who knows.

Updates during my swim:
GPS Tracker: my boat has a gps tracker on board that broadcasts our location every 10 minutes. The link is here and then click on 'Sea Satin' (the name of my boat). It shows a map of the Channel and the path that I've covered. It's really cool! Don't worry if there's no update for longer than 10 minutes though, sometimes I've been watching people and there's no update for up to an hour-I think it's just if they're in an area with bad connection or whatever.

Twitter: my twitter page is here. Sarah will be updating it every so often. Dan may also have updates on his twitter here. That's not 100% certain as of now. My twitter updates will feed through to my facebook page where you can comment on them, but I won't get the comments til after the swim. The updates will also be shown on the right-hand side of my blog. I may also have some blog updates going, we'll see how that goes.

Text: you can text my phone at +353 87 6681369 or Sarah at +353 85 7142964. Messages will get through to me but you may not get a reply until after the swim. The only guaranteed texts to go out are for the people who sponsored a mile. If you are going to text in please try to make the texts funny!!! I'm gonna need as many laughs as I can get out there, I really want to enjoy this swim as much as anyone can possibly enjoy 30+ hours of non-stop exercise!!

So I'm gonna sign off now and get some much-needed sleep. And the next time I update I'll hopefully be a two-way English Channel swimmer :)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

GO GO GO!!!!!

Excellent news from my pilot tonight....looks like the weekend is going to be good and right into Tues/Wed at least. So it looks like all the waiting will finally be worth it!! He's not sure yet when exactly the winds are going to die down but it looks like a possible start Saturday at midday or Sunday at midday. SO EXCITING!!!!!

Time to get some rest now, that's gonna have to be a priority over the next few days. That and eating of course!!!

I'll try to get a post up here tomorrow about how to follow my swim...

Monday, September 14, 2009

Playing the waiting game...

There's not much going on here at the moment...the good weather seems to be avoiding us. Looks like the next few days are going to be horrible but then it looks like the wind will die down at the end of the week so the weekend looks good for a swim. Hopefully the forecast is correct!

My tides officially finish this Wednesday, and then we start into spring tides. This means that there will be more water movement with each tide and so it can cause swims to cover a much wider path. I talked to Mike about the possibility of doing a two-way on a spring tide-I thought that it might cause problems if I were to get pushed far along the French coast. He said that they do make navigation a bit more difficult but it can be done, and my pilot, Lance, successfully piloted for a two-way on a high spring tide in 2004. So basically what happens now is that we keep our swim preferences (I've got the first-place slot so I get first choice on whether or not to swim if good weather comes along) until the 23rd, when the next tide starts. If I still haven't gone at that stage I get put to the back of the queue for that tide. Unfortunately Lance has 4 people lined up for that tide so it would be at least the 27th or 28th then before I could think about another opportunity to swim even if the weather was perfect. Mike has said that they are prepared to keep swims going into October if the weather allows it and until the water gets too cold. So it's just a waiting game from now on...

We've been filling our time wandering around the towns close to here. We went to Folkestone and Canterbury to do a bit of shopping (well-Sarah shopped, me and mum just wandered around!) and then yesterday we headed along the cliffs in Dover for some nice views of the Channel. We took some photos, but they make it look rather evil with the black clouds in the background. Maybe that's apt though considering all of the stress that it's causing us this week!

If you look hard you can see France on the horizon!

We the headed a bit further along to St Margaret's Bay, where we got more of a first-hand experience of why exactly no-one was out swimming. I'm not sure how much of it is conveyed on the video but it was CHOPPY out there!! I think that the sound says more than the video really, that's WIND in the background!

All pray to the weather gods that this wind goes soon!!

And while you're waiting for news...don't forget, there's still miles left to sponsor here! Over half of them have been sponsored so go there now, pick your mile and donate your €50 (or more!) on my charity page. Go go go!!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

A Bigger Update...

The last couple of weeks have flown by. I haven't been doing a huge amount of training but I've had a million other things to do! I've been spending a lot of time trying to get my fundraising up and going, and that's been going well. I'm up over €2,400 online for Jack and Jill, and over €2000 offline for Marymount and ARC. Incidentally, if you want to donate or sponsor one of my miles you can do so by clicking here.

Other than that I've been getting stuff together and getting myself organised for the trip. And now I'm here. In Dover. We left Cork yesterday around 1pm and arrived in Dover at dinnertime. We went straight to Varne Ridge, the caravan park where we're staying, and were met by the owners, David and Evelyn. They showed us to our caravan and gave us lots of info. Then I rang Mike Oram (my pilot's father, my contact for the swim) to get updates on the weather and when it was looking possible to swim. It had looked good a couple of days before but unfortunately the forecast had changed-winds were due to rise. He said that it looked like it would be at least the weekend before anything was moving. So time to settle in and get used to waiting!

We headed out for dinner to a pub down the road from the caravan park (the Royal Oak if anyone's interested!) that David and Evelyn had suggested-a good recommendation! The food was lovely, and we got TONS of it! Then some grocery shopping in Dover and back to the caravan to chill for a few hours before bed. I did try to get internet going but we had the wrong wireless password so nothing was happening (obviously that has since been rectified!).

So then today we woke up to a big change in weather. It was cloudy, and the wind had come up. It still didn't seem that strong-if I'd heard wind like that in Cork it wouldn't make me think twice about swimming in Sandycove. So I was wondering if it was really THAT bad. Until I saw the Channel itself. And the white horses. No hope of getting across in that. And it was only due to get worse :(

So we decided to do some more shopping for groceries and some stuff for the swim. First a trip to Lidl and then to Folkestone to have a look around there. I was hoping to get a swim in the harbour today but my throat and ears were scratchy and sore and I didn't feel 100% so I figured that it was time for lots of honey and lemon and ginger and that a swim wouldn't be the best thing to do. I do feel a lot better this evening except for being quite tired so I think it's going to be an early night...

A couple more things happened today...
The other lads arrived. I haven't seen Sylvain yet, I was talking to Owen earlier and he was in for a swim in the harbour, he said the temperature was lovely. I'm looking forward to getting in tomorrow hopefully...
Also, I talked to Mike and he said that it's looking bad right up until Monday. NOT the news I wanted, but I was expecting it. I need all the prayers I can get for good weather now!!

Now that I've written this I think it's gonna have to wait til the morning to get sent, I'm absolutely wrecked and don't feel like going down to connect to the I'll send it first thing. I'll also try to get a post out tomorrow about following my swim...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


I'm landed in Dover. I flew into London yesterday with my mother and sister, we rented a car and drove down. It was gorgeous when we arrived, beautiful sun, lovely calm water. And a BAD forecast! We woke up this morning to winds and white horses on the water. So it looks like nothing is going to be moving for the next couple of days at least...
I'm keeping this short and sweet because I'm just grabbing a few minutes of internet before the library wireless at the caravan park isn't working yet. But I'll try to get a bigger post up in the next few days. Either way I'll try to update my twitter ( from my phone with what's going on. So keep checking!