Eish!!: SA swimmers tackling Taiwan Strait - Update

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SA swimmers tackling Taiwan Strait - Update

I have been able to make contact with one of the swimmers taking part in the Taiwan Strait swim I blogged about yesterday. Ryan Stramrood will try and send updates whenever possible and I will post them here, so pop back from time to time. This is no ordinary adventure.

... Thanks for this...I am surprised as the only mail I sent was a quick update to family. But I am glad it found its way ... and is doing the rounds we appreciate the interest. Although we are with the group 24/7, information is very hard to get and we find out what we are doing when we get to wherever it is. Literally 10min before it was bedtime the night before our big departure, they decided to postpone the swim to allow a very large typhoon to pass. Good decision of course, but it is now a race against time for the SA team as we are all booked on flights home. We are still in with a chance and scheduled departure is now Tuesday 21st. So, right now it is a whole lot of 'hurry up and wait'. We had to check out of the hotel and have been relocated to a villa where we are literally sleeping on hard wooden floors with a 'why-bother' mattress, no pillow and a swim towel for a blanket. If you wonder why we are persevering, we are the "VIP" guests of Mr Wang and he is covering all costs while here. They take hosting very seriously and if we were to relocate ourselves, it would be a big insult. Kieron & I did however sneak to the lounge last night and took all the 'Biggie Best' type cushions off the couch to sleep on. It was a good move, but we were up at 5am to go replace them as this breach would definitely be frowned upon. Yesterday we had our first sea swim. Again info supply was challenged and we only found out it was to be a 2hr straight swim as we got in the water. The sun was baking, the water temp around 28 degrees, no feeds, no chance to grease up and no idea where we were heading. To top it all off, we started in the same disgusting smelly harbour water, only this time we had to put our heads down. If you know anything about swimming, you'll know how much water goes down your throat no matter how desperate you are to avoid it! Despite the above, it was good to get in the water and better (only just) once out at sea. There was a nice bit of chop at play and the SA team clearly showed our experience in open water and it is clearer why Mr Wang wanted us here. He rates us very highly in the open sea and all the Chinese and Taiwanese swimmers look to us for direction despite the fact that they are all professional / ex-professional swimmers. This was their first sea swim and there is now a definite feeling of subtle respect / acknowledgment that we might just be worth our salt on the long haul. At dinner after our swim (which included frog, eel stew and odd looking eggs which Kieron keeps dishing up large helpings on my plate when I am not looking...) we were clearly incorporated into all conversation (read: long game of charades) with lots of jokes and fooling around. Although we know our host does not approve, we simply could not handle another evening drinking tea at dinner. Andrew broke the ice and ordered a beer. There was some silence before Mr Wang smiled again and ordered another beer to be shared in tot-sized helpings for all 20 at the table - not quite what we had in mind, so we ordered another 10 bottles to be shared, much to the delight of our younger fellow swimmers and the opposite for their coaches. A good evening followed... Today have been given a 'free' day and we planned to head out for some fun. But now apparently we must be back by 3pm as the typhoon hits at 5pm and they expect it to be of enough force to rip trees from the earth and certainly cancel all transport options. We are less convinced as to its ferocity, but best we trust the locals. Could be an interesting night for us. Imagine the blank stares when we beg for a 'typhoon swim' (in the pool) to be arranged - just for the experience! Will try to keep updates coming...not sure what reception will be like at = sea (or battery power). (Nic....you know! Xxx) Cheers Ryan

ryan at stramrood dot co dot za

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Thanks Ryan for the effort to get the info through.

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heyhey, I found your link at linkreferral. You got a cool blog with interesting content. Would you like to exchange link? I have added your link to my blog at http://cool2share.blogspot.com =)

Hey Ryan. Isn't it amazing what google will scratch up on the net. Good luck for tomorrow. We're all rooting for you guys. Go and make history....

Kevin Harris

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