This morning I left my home town of Plymouth for the last time. I have been so heartily welcomed by everyone that I'm sad to leave.

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Jumping in the water for today's swim, it was a very comfortable 18C (64F), which is virtually a bath in comparison to the icy waters I'm used to around the poles.

The heatwave we have been experiencing in the UK has led to blue skies, day in and day out. The oceans and the heavens have been kind.

I finally began to feel the start of the spring tides this afternoon as we move into faster currents. It feels like the days of plenty are just around the corner.

Now, I'm swimming at 4.5km (2.8 miles) an hour instead of 3km (1.9 miles) an hour.


As we approach Start Point, the next headland, I'll be pulled into swimming 5km (3 miles) an hour, then six, and hopefully seven. Tomorrow we revert to two swims a day, as we did right at the beginning, which will increase my daily distance significantly.

My team calculated that I've now swum the equivalent of four English Channel crossings.

The headland of Start Point has been a hazy spot on the horizon for days, abstract in its distance.

At last I can see it clearly, I'm able to make out the contours of the cliffs whose waters will suck me in and spit me out around the other side and into the looming emptiness of Lyme Bay. It is 122km (75.8 miles) across and the real start of this expedition.

I will have swum around a total of nine headlands by the time I reach Dover. I've survived two and am about to embrace the third.

Like Lizard Point before it, once I begin the swim around Start Point, I must commit and cannot turn back.

For now, though, I've still got the sun on my back.

5.65 miles (9.1km)