Making his mark from coast to coast

Onboard the vessel. 159460

OCEAN Grover Mark Stone completed a successful swim across the English Channel recently.
The 56-year-old made the epic journey in 11 hours and 59 minutes.
Mark was in the water at Dover at 2am with his support crew aboard the vessel the Viking Princess.
The water temperature was a comfortable 16 degrees and Mark quickly settled into a good rythmn of 65 strokes per minute.
Four hours into the swim, the sun started rising and the next few hours resulted in Mark suffering from sore shoulders and his stroke rate was down.
“The shoulders began to ache and the back was a bit annoying but I still felt good and my confidence continued,” Mark said.
“I started to imagine what the feeling would be as I arrived in France. The next few hours ticked past and the pain got steadily worse and the shoulders and arms seemed to get progressively weaker.”
By now Mark had reached the ’swimmer’s graveyard’, the point, at 6km from France, where most unsuccessful channel crossings fail.
Mark then found his second wind and his stroke rate picked up to 63 per minute and the shoreline was in sight.
“From 30 metres out I was instructed to swim to shore on my own and I could then pick up some rocks as a memento, spend a couple of minutes and then swim back to the boat,” he said.
“It was a fantastic feeling swimming the last few metres and finally setting my feet down on a gorgeous French sandy beach.”
Next was the trip back to Dover on the Vicking Princess and then the obligatory visit to the White Horse pub where successful channel crossers can write their name onto a wall.
All up, Mark did around 45,000 strokes during his swim.
“My arms were a bit sore but I found the whole swim across much easier than expected,” he said.
“I had a light meal and my crew said I fell asleep the second my head hit the pillow.”