Sunday, 26 August 2012

Who's who on the boat crew


While we wait for news, let's chat about who's who on the boat crew.

First up there's Paul. Paul is the co-instigator of the Really Big Adventure. He was there in the pub on that fateful night when, after a couple of beers, The Plan was hatched. Paul has been Wayne's manager in this endeavour - or is the trendy word nowadays 'handler'? He's certainly done a better job looking after his charge than Prince Harry's minders have done. Today he dons the additional hats of jellyfish/orca spotter, co-swimmer and motivator.

Second up there's Jonny. Jonny, like Paul, supported Wayne during the English Channel swim. His energy levels might lead one to suspect a urine sample would show traces of Ritalin. But Jonny's just one of those people with enviable levels of energy. He's Wayne's rah-rah man, a cheerleader sans pompoms. And a superb one at that. He also has a speedo handy and will hop in to keep Wayne company when he needs it. And he looks out for jellyfish.

Sean McCarry is wearing the captain's hat. This means he calls the shots as to when, where and how. He assures the team he didn't go to the same captain etiquette school as Francesco Schettino, the dude who ran the Costa Concordia aground off Italy earlier this year. Cpt McCarry has driven the endeavour from the Irish side. A man of stature in many respects.

Jo and Carlos - navigators. Critical for keeping the swim on course through the passage of erratic currents and tidal turbulence. Also quite important is that they apply their skills to dodging wind farms, tidal turbines, submarine testing grounds and any jellyfish flotillas. And Wayne.

Mark is the on board entertainment officer and catering cad. He feeds the boys' tummies and also their psychological state. His natural ability with the spoken word means he's also in charge of boat comms.

Gerard. If he was so inclined, he would make for a superb wedding planner. He's planned, coordinated, promoted and networked in a way that would be the envy of any self-respecting event organiser. A real people person and a valuable asset to the team, for sure.

Gary is the monitor - he will officially ratify the swim for the Irish Channel Swimming Association. He has spent many hours in this stretch of water and (aside from having a mad hobby - I mean, swimming in treacherous waters WTF) is a valuable source of information about the conditions. He's also doing a fantastic job motivating and motivation for wayne. It's reassuring that he knows a lot about jellyfish stings too. 

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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.