Tuesday, September 09, 2014

A swim to the Hanois

Off the south west corner of Guernsey is one of the classic lighthouses, the Hanois. We paddled out to the light in June this year, but sitting at Cobo last Saturday evening Brian Aplin explained that he had planned to swim from Lihou, out to the Hanois the following morning.  The aim was to use the southerly tidal stream to speed things along although care was needed not to be swept past the reef.
Launching from the causeway across to Lihou was probably the most challenging part of the day, the tide was dropping at quite a rate.  We joined up with Brian off the north west corner of Lihoumel and very quickly felt the impact of the tide.  Accelerating through the reefs but heading towards the Lighthouse.
Brian swam with just a couple of breaks to take on extra liquids.  On my GPS I measured the course as 2.18 nautical miles, taking him 1 hour 40 minutes to cover the distance.
I towed Brian's Nordkapp but when we arrived at the lighthouse there wasn't an easy option for him because we paddled a further 12 miles to St Peter Port.
 Joining up with Brian off the north west corner of Lihou.  He is just to the left of the closest rock.  The Hanois is barely visible in the distance.
Well under way.  Lihou is the large island on the horizon.  Brian swam in his crocs, they seemed ideal for this type of activity
 At this point I thought there was a possibility of missing the reef as the tide was pushing us south fairly quickly.  With the benefit of knowing how to ferry glide when swimming Brian did achieve the shelter of the reef.
 Almost there.  As far as we know nobody else has completed this remarkable swim.  What  a way to spend a Sunday morning.

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