It has been a long month … 462 Days to go!

Happy July to you all and I hope you're keeping safe, active, and starting to recover from these past awful 18-months. Stay strong and positive, and good things will happen. Again, apologies for the delay in updates; things are busy and training gearing up. I am also now planning overseas training camps, for blocks of ocean and heat preparation. However, COVID remains an issue with the constant shifting sands of government travel lists; we shall see what comes next on this journey.

What has happened this month? Training has now moved up to a volume of 30km per week pool and three-sessions gym and in three weeks' time, I will move to 3hr daily swim sets plus gym, increasing volume to 45-60km per week. Diet is still at about 3,000 calories per day but I am certain this will increase as does my concerns for ensuring we have all we need from support boat, supplies to funds for costs such as fuel, crew flights, and expenses for them. But as always, when things are running well, challenges are sent to test our commitment. The most recent of which is a virus (not COVID) that I caught from family members, (having thought I had escaped it), and then a strange series of bites appeared on my left calf and almost instantly, infected/inflamed, leading to antibiotics and a few more rest days. I guess I have time though to reach peak performance. Onwards and upwards though and thanks to Bex for her training plan and advice, as always, and to Amy Davies for Sports Massage that is just a pure killer, yet so effective - Thanks, Amy.

Freaky bites that only grew angrier and the large circular one at the bottom was painful and infected (and no, I did not scratch at them!)

We welcome Frontline Coffee, Elizabeth Eyre Accountants, and British Wholesales into our swim family. Training facilities, coffee, and supplies sponsorship, and discounted supplies I have been able to donate to Friends of Fiennes Institute, in support of our patron Sir Ranulph Fiennes, longstanding charity hospice in Antigua - Cliff Walker being wonderful and supportive also. This is in addition to the kind people of Herefordshire supporting us with clothes for Senegal, that have now been sent to Sene and his community. Thank you all, 22kg of clothing from babies to women's and even some reading glasses. Perfect!

Thanks to Lady Poppy Flowers for providing a huge box and postal services & Jo Ludlow for supporting

We have also finalized our medical supplies with Wells offshore Pharmaceuticals (thanks Neil and Team), and school talks coming up and Jo Ludlow will be holding her ticketed charity event (champagne, nibbles, talk, and Q&A), October 2nd 2021 (tickets still available) and a huge thank you to all who have bought our engraved Ocean Bottles.

I would like to thank Boatfolk, AST Group, and ASG & Mastervolt for their ongoing support and partnership and I have to mention Oli Rush "Project Planet," and his preparation for the upcoming IoW round-island swim record attempt - keep up the hard workmate, and Roy Beal of Clean Jurrasic Coast (Top Down Kayak Challenge) who is not only kayaking around the UK end to end but cleaning out plastics as he goes and both Oli and Roy are not only cleaning shores but raising awareness that we all need to do more to improver our oceans and habitats and clear the plastic pollution. You can all do your piece too with beach cleans (safely) and recycling properly at the source. Check out Boatfolk's campaign too and on Instagram: #coastlinedeadline - We all can do more - The time is now!

And finally, cross-training is good for us all, The Tour De France - Epic! 3,414km in 3-weeks, day after day of repeated effort, and little rest per stage. I am a fan and have been for many years but I cannot ignore the synergy of the greatest cycling marathon on Earth and the endurance required and my own world-first swim of almost equal distance (3,114km), varied conditions, and the current equivalent of swimming uphill on swells ranging up to 60ft or more. The tour and Alaphillipe, Geraint Thomas, and Mark Cavendish are simply inspirational. As is our own patron, Sir Ranulph Fiennes. Without these individuals from Oil to Roy to Ran to inspire us, life would simply be missing that certain, Je ne se pas!

Going forwards I will try to blog a little more often or as things update and happen. Meanwhile, stay safe in the water, please think before you swim and look out for each other - check out the RLSS for more. Thank you for your support and following me as always and catch up with us via Instagram: @swimthebigblue2

Together, we will achieve the extraordinary!