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Author: michael

Channel swim training the wrong way – everything was wrong

Channel swim training the wrong way – everything was wrong

It’s one week since my disaster and I still can’t make my mind out of it. Everything was very wrong. It was the worst moment in my life. I really shouldn’t have tried it at all before I am completely ready. I totally underestimated the difficulty of Channel swimming, thinking it’s not much different to swim 14-16 km along the coast. Let me start with my motivation. The primary reasons I signed up to do the Channel were: as a…

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Channel swim training the wrong way: the swim

Channel swim training the wrong way: the swim

All photos courtesy of my crew Deborah Vine unless specified. It has already been a few months since I made my final training update on my Channel swim, and I have now made the attempt. Here’s is the report of it. My booked tide was 12-17 September 2021. As I am a slow swimmer, the pilot had agreed that he wouldn’t take me out on a spring tide. Although the weather was good on 12 September, it was still spring…

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4-day trip to London and Dover: day 3 (Greenwich Observatory, departure)

4-day trip to London and Dover: day 3 (Greenwich Observatory, departure)

The final day of my journey had come. I wanted to explore the remaining modes of transport inside London, including London Overground and Docklands Light Railway, and visit some museums in the city. London Transport Museum was my top wish, then the Greenwich Observatory.I first travelled back to Leicester Square to find some good food but unfortunately none of the restaurants there opened in the morning, and I ended up having fast food instead. I then went to London Transport…

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4-day trip to London and Dover: day 2 (Channel swim)

4-day trip to London and Dover: day 2 (Channel swim)

I travelled to Dover by high speed train and met Kate and her dad at the marina. She was very enthusiastic and looking forward to getting across. The boat was Viking Princess II with Reg Brickell as the pilot. We boarded it and got near the Samphire Hoe where she started her Channel swim. I chased her for her feeding plan and I could finally read it. It was very complicated, listing different stuff every hour until 20 hours and…

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4-day trip to London and Dover: day 1 (Tooting Common again, night in the City)

4-day trip to London and Dover: day 1 (Tooting Common again, night in the City)

The hostel I booked was near Victoria train station, thinking that it would offer fast travel to Tooting Bec Lido which is right beside the railway line between London Victoria and Brighton. However it turned out that the fastest way to travel there was to take the tube on the Victoria Line then Northern Line to Tooting Bec, and then transfer to a bus there rather than using a National Rail train. As off-peak travel starts at 09:30, I waited…

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4-day trip to London and Dover: day 0 (departure, Tooting Common)

4-day trip to London and Dover: day 0 (departure, Tooting Common)

I went to London and Dover on a 4-day trip 10 August to 13 August this year, which was my first extended trip after I moved to the UK. I originally hoped to have a few international trips including to Poland, Germany and Sweden, but the border situation did not allow me to do that. As the United Kingdom is not an interesting country for me I didn’t travel domestically until this trip. (I’m mainly interested in countries with recent…

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Emigrating to the UK: settling down

Emigrating to the UK: settling down

Now it has been 3 months since I landed the UK, and most of the necessary things to do have already been done, including renting a house, opening a bank account, registering for GP, etc. I have joined a masters swim club and a triathlon club and started training. Also, I am ramping up my swimming to prepare for my Channel attempt in September. I have also started venturing out of the town I live. In these two months, I…

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Emigrating to the UK: the first month

Emigrating to the UK: the first month

During the self-isolation period, I searched property listings to see where I could have my first home in the UK. Finally I rented a studio in Lansdowne, about 10-minute walk from Bournemouth Station, with 7 months fixed tenancy, starting on 10 May 2021, 20 days after I landed the UK. The standard list of moving into a place has a lot of items to do. Find a home Buy things for my new home (e.g. kitchenware, beddings) Register for bills…

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Emigrating to the UK: leaving Hong Kong

Emigrating to the UK: leaving Hong Kong

On 20th April, I left my old home and my family for the final time, knowing that I was embarking on a journey of no return (the Hong Kong border is completely closed to anyone who has been in the UK in the past 21 days to prevent importing COVID variants), and I will be on my own since then. I brought 2 pieces of checked baggage because 1 was not enough. There was a lot of swimming and diving…

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Emigrating to the UK: pre-departure

Emigrating to the UK: pre-departure

I made my final decision to emigrate to the UK after I swam the Cold Half this year, such that I could apply for a visa as soon as the digital application channel opened. The newly-established visa, called BN(O) visa, is a visa specifically for BN(O) citizens and their family members to emigrate to the UK as a response to the breach of Sino-British Joint Declaration. BN(O) citizens can apply for a visa for 2.5 or 5 years which is…

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