Thursday, 17 November 2011

Logistics update....intro Sean McCarry, now we have a boat. (post by Paul Greenhalgh).

Hi, Paul here again.

I'm a natural optimist. Glass half-full, and all that.
But the reality is, that when you consider a frankly bonkers and dangerous exploit such as this, you generally come up against a veritable army of nay-sayers who can each give you 1,000 reasons why it's doomed to failure, and furthermore, why you're actually being irresponsible for even attempting it.
My background is that I'm an enthusiastic amateur in the area of endurance events. I've never attempted a swimming endurance event (I don't have the nuts for that) but I have done some particularly long runs. Without fail, before each one, there have been people who have been at pains to warn me of the sheer irresponsibility of undertaking such events, the long term harm I'll inevitably do to my body etc etc. And in every single case those nay-sayers have not been runners themselves. It's absolutely fine once you understand and anticipate them, but in the early days there's a significant risk that for no good reason they will completely rob you of your natural drive, energy and self-belief.
So, I've developed a significant aversion to such negative souls, and I must admit that when Wayne first started to contact the locals in Northern Ireland for advice, I was bracing myself for a barrage of negativity.
It would be wrong, and quite probably disrespectful, to suggest that there's the tiniest hint of madness amongst those coastal communities; let's rather describe it for what it really is, and that's a can-do attitude.
So when Wayne first contacted Sean McCarry, the Regional Commander of the Community Rescue Service at Ballycastle, Sean's immediate reaction was "well you know about the tides, and the dreadful currents, there'll be whirlpools for sure, and then there's the jellies......... but you know what? If we plan it properly, we might just get you across so what the hell, let's give it a go..." Now that's the attitude!
Wayne, crank up the training mate, it's game on!
Wayne likes pork pies and Guinness. He likes routine and predictability. He loves his family. He's 40+, short(ish), balding and battling with waistline expansion. He's been known to occasionally play a good round of golf, likes to tinker with 'stuff' and has rescued a group of friends from the African wild by fixing a Land Rover with a jellybaby.

He's never been a great fan of physical exertion. In short (apart from the jellybaby incident), Wayne is an ordinary person. And he's about to do something really amazingly, astoundingly and astonishingly extra-ordinary. He's going to swim the the treacherous, never-been-swum-before channel between Kintyre (Scotland) and Ballycastle (Ireland). For charity. This is his story.