Today felt like it was two days long and had the two most significant milestones.

My alarm went off at 1am and my crew and I climbed out of the warmth of our beds and quietly set off into the darkness.

It was far too early for the chatter that normally goes on - most of us had only had three or four hours sleep.

Mercifully, the wind had finally died down to a level that we could operate in, but tonight's swim was necessary to make up for the lost kilometres of yesterday.

This middle-of-the-night neaps tide is the one that we usually ignore as there are often only marginal gains to be made from it.

Right now, though, we need all the marginal gains we can get.

We had a Sky News team on board to record the drama of the swim - we haven't swum through the night since the middle of Lyme Bay weeks ago. The problems that we had then were jellyfish and total lack of visibility. Fortunately, the jellyfish are no longer an issue, but the inkiness of the water and the sky was.

When I dived in at 03.30, the moon was blocked out by the heavy cloud cover, so the horizon and even the end of the boat were invisible.

My crew had collected every torch we have on board to shine on me and in front of me. They needed to be able to see me in the water and I needed to be able to see where I was swimming.


They had attached an LED dynamo light to the back of my goggles strap and - to their amusement - a 15cm long glow stick to the back of my Speedo swimming trunks with a safety pin.


The two-hour swim felt endless, I lost all sense of time, speed and direction. The only thing that gave me any orientation was the small glitter of bioluminescence as my hands cut through the water every few strokes. It was mesmerizing to watch, and I found myself getting lost in it.

Eight kilometres later, I clambered out, exhausted, to learn that we had crossed the Meridian line - we had passed Greenwich and were now in the Eastern hemisphere!

Comforted by the knowledge, we motored back to Brighton to nap until this afternoon's swim.

After only a few hours rest, Skipper turned on the engine and we were off again.

Twelve hours exactly after today's first swim, I was in the water again. This was a much easier swim, with little wind and almost no swell. The sun occasionally even broke through the cloud.

Towards the end of the swim, we reached the end of the seven sisters and finally rounded the iconic lighthouse at Beachy Head. The rock now looks very much like the chalky white cliffs of Dover.


This was also a momentous swim - there was now only 100km to go! Breaking this swim down into small, more manageable chunks was paying off and the rest of the swim now feels within my grasp.

Time to bring the message home.

11.3 miles (18.21km) - Total 273 miles (439.53km)