The Swim
The Swim

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Ben Lecomte / The Swim

Lecomte Collides with a Propeller; Swims with Whales

Date: September 18, 2018
Approximate GPS Location: (35.25°N, 155.88°E)

There have been more wildlife encounters for Lecomte as he continues to put distance between himself and the Japanese mainland; but a couple of injuries have slightly slowed his progress.

On day 89 Lecomte and his support crew elected to move their watches forward by an hour. By doing so Lecomte will start each day earlier, allowing for an extra hour of swimming each afternoon before the jellyfish rise to the surface to feed. However, the move from 8 hours of swimming to 9 hours has had a detrimental impact on the skin under his arms. The wetsuit rubs under his armpits and it has created a particularly sore lymph node under his right arm.

A couple of days later Lecomte suffered another injury. He was making excellent headway in choppy seas when disaster struck. A large swell, combined with a mistake on the part of his support dinghy, brought Lecomte straight in to the propeller. He immediately grabbed at his forehead and saw blood. His snorkel had a deep cut through it and had likely saved his nose from suffering the same fate. While the crew patched him up a shark was spotted from the deck, perhaps attracted by the blood in the water.

After a days break to recover from his accident it was back to business, both for Lecomte and for the crew. The support team have continued to collect micro-plastics, using a special Neuston net to catch the tiny particles. On day 97 they collected a staggering 602 particles in just a half-hour trawl.

On day 99 the expedition was visited by two friendly whales. The curious creatures came within 6ft of Lecomte, dancing around him before moving off. The incredible encounter left Lecomte amazed.

Just a day later he was joined by another visitor. A strange looking fish decided to swim alongside Lecomte for 5 hours, by far the longest interaction he has had with the marine life they have encountered so far.

In his most recent updates Lecomte has reported a deterioration in the weather. Strong winds and large swells have made for tough conditions, both in and out of the water.




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