From all of the advice I have received and research I have done, I have come to the understanding it is critical for me to reserve the Pilot for my English Channel swim as early in the process as possible. By doing so, I will be, hopefully, “1st position” during the “neap tide” of my choice. Sounds kind of technical, doesn’t it??
According to WikiAnswers, “neap tide” is defined as follows: “During the moon’s quarter phases the sun and moon work at right angles, causing the bulges to cancel each other. The result is a smaller difference between high and low tides and is known as a neap tide. Neap tides are especially weak tides. They occur when the gravitational forces of the Moon and the Sun are perpendicular to one another (with respect to the Earth). Neap tides occur during quarter moons.” Swimming on a “neap tide” is preferable because there is less tidal water moving through the Channel. The less tidal water, the less water I have to swim against.
A swim across the English Channel is a function of both the neap tide and weather. If the weather is bad in the Channel, it really doesn’t matter how low the neap tide is…the swim will be a “no-go.” That is why being in the 1st position for my neap tide of choice is also important. This will mean I am first to go during the tide when my Pilot says the weather is right.
After doing some research, I have selected the 1st neap tide during August 2013 as the target for my Channel swim. I have been in touch with many Pilots in the Dover, England area (isn’t e-mail a wonderful thing). I’ll be sending my deposit off this week so I can have my 1st position written in ink and not just “penciled in.”
Stay tuned. When I receive conformation from my Pilot, I will let you know who I am swimming with. He’s an amazing chap!