The Swim
The Swim

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The Swim

Typhoons Pass; Back to the Grind and the Jellyfish

Date: August 22, 2018
Approximate GPS Location: (36.47°N, 151.79°E)

In our last update Lecomte and his team were forced to pack up and retreat to safer waters as two typhoons converged on their position.

While waiting out the storms Lecomte provided updates on the many challenges he has faced thus far. Though he tries to ensure he gets 8 hours of swimming in per day, he prefers not to swim in the late afternoon. This is for two reasons, the first is that his field, and depth, of vision rapidly decreases as the sunlight wanes, making spotting sharks much more difficult. The second is that jellyfish come to the surface to feed. While he is well covered by his wetsuit, his exposed nose is vulnerable and he has received a number of very painful stings.

He has also encountered a number of “ghost nets”, these are nets lost at sea that can entangle sea creatures, and potentially Lecomte himself! In the last few days the crew have spotted three of these ghost nets from their sail-boat, managing to bring two aboard and leaving a GPS transmitter on the third, which had proved too large to retrieve.

It took till day 75 of the expedition for the weather to improve. The team then headed back out towards their previous location from Yokohama Bayside Marina, keeping a close eye on the weather reports as they went. While sailing, the crew have been collecting fish to study for micro-plastics and micro-fibre. After a slow start in which only one fish was caught in their first 50 days, their luck has turned, catching 16 since they left the marina.

After two days sailing Lecomte was finally able to resume his swim on August 22.




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