Another very early morning swim today as the forecast for the weekend is worsening.

The swell was up as we left the lock at Eastbourne at 04.40am, and our boat crashed heavier and heavier down into the troughs between waves.

At least the waves were going in the right direction though, pushing me eastwards.

We are only a couple of days from crossing into Kent now, our last county.

As I hit 8km the outline of a large ship which had been lingering on the horizon started approaching.

By 9km it was clear it was a Royal Navy vessel.

When I ended the swim at 10km, I realised that it was a 60m long Minehunter - HMS Hurworth.

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A black rib came down the side of the ship, with three sailors in their uniforms and helmets.

They rapidly approached and just as I'd finished the swim, invited me on board.

I hauled myself over the side of the inflatable rib, and joined by my photographer Kelvin, boarded the HMS Hurworth.

We were immediately offered a hot shower and then invited to join the crew for a curry lunch.

It was just what I needed.

We were then given a tour of the vessel and learnt about how the diving teams find and then dispose of mines left in the ocean from conflict.

It was great to see how the Royal Navy is involved in broader work outside of defence - I was so proud to hear about the vital operations like mine removal and humanitarian work that they carry out on our behalf too.

As quickly as I'd gotten on board, Kelvin and I were whisked back into Eastbourne harbour in the rib, ready for tomorrow.

This close to the end of the swim, I can honestly say that I am the most physically and mentally exhausted that I've ever been from such prolonged lack of sleep, injury, consecutive days of hard swimming and campaigning.

So - my thanks to the Royal Navy for ensuring our sea lanes are kept open and safe (over 90% of the world's produce is transported by sea) and for protecting our natural resources from here to Antarctica.

6.21 miles (10km) - Total distance 296.29 (476.84km)