Eish!!: SA swimmers tackling Taiwan Strait - Update III

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SA swimmers tackling Taiwan Strait - Update III

Just to let you know that (at the time of writing) the swim is definitely on from tomorrow (Tuesday). We are due to start at 9am, but will first have a press conference and 'departure party'. We would normally be excited about a 'party' before the swim, but a) the SA team is on such a tight timeline and b) the Taiwanese idea of a party is a brightly lit room, crap food and speeches which we can't understand anyway...! Expect to leave late afternoon as we know how superb their time management is!!

We have been supplied with a small tog bag which is the only luggage we may take on board. We have been strictly briefed on the exact items we are permitted to pack - no food, water or cell phones - Andrew, Kieron & I are now concerned as to how we are going to conceal our case of beers, bottle of whiskey, 10 packets of chips, 6 boxes of biscuits, loads of Energades, chocolates and plenty other Western-looking snacks!! But a plan will be made!

For a minimun of 3.5 days from tomorow, we will have 28 swimmers and 5 crew (33 people) on board a 15 x 3 meter, multi-coloured boat...all sleeping together in a 3 x 2 meter cabin ( 15 at a time). Other attractions are 'face cloth' showers, aqua-dumps and water restrictions. But we are so ready to get this done. A second, larger boat will be alongside with a press contingent, management, coaches, etc...

As tensions between Taiwan and China are super sensitive, no flags will be flown and we have agreed to leave ours behind too...pity!

We are off to do our packing now, then a final briefing. It is possible that my next communication will be from an island called 'Matsu' on the Chinese coast (if we are successful and if I can smuggle my phone on board).

Thanks for all the wishes and interest...keep em coming!

Cheers

Ryan Stramrood

ryan at stramrood dot co dot za

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