Around 10:15 a.m. we walked the two blocks to Deal Beach and set up a beach chair for the Karen, to spot first. Noah and I swam first today. I'm thankful to have their aquatic companionship, especially when we bump into seaweed or other creatures. The water is so murky that you can't see your hand in front of your face. They say there is a seal populatin here and offer boat tours but we haven't seen any yet. It was much wavier today than yesterday. As our pilot Andy said yesterday, the Dover Harbor was like a swimming pool and swimming in the openwater in Deal is much closer to what we'll experience on the Channel swim. There are no seawalls in Deal, just a pier.
So today, I did two laps with Noah and then two laps with Karen. We started at one of the rocky beaches, and sprinted to the pier, into the waves. The wind was coming from the south as we were swimming towards Dover. All of us had to work very hard to get a breath. Karen said she was very glad she was wearing fins. Noah said he needed fins because I took off. I needed to keep moving quickly in the 62-degree water. The air temperature was probably around 60 degrees this morning. On the way to the pier on the first lap, there were seagulls that were trying to get a closer look at what we were. I had to duck beneath the surface several times when they came swooping from various directions, towards my head. I yelled, "They're dive bombing us!" while Noah was trying to grab them. We were under attack! When we reached the pier, we saw a lot of people watching us. There was a loose dog on the rocky shore, who ran alongside us for quite some time. This second swim didn't seem as salty as yesterday. However, for about three hours after today's swim, my tongue didn't feel normal. Prolonged swimming in salt water makes your tongue swell. Yesterday, pilot Andy joked with Noah that after my swim, he should have at least 2-3 days of me not nagging him. He's a funny guy, that Andy! We finished the morning with 3.5 miles and walked back to our house to shower. The water level must have risen 10 feet while we were there. After a turkey sandwich, grapes, and chips, we walked around the shops in Deal. Karen said her highlight was the Pastry Shop. She chose a pineapple creme puff pastry and enjoyed every bite. Noah and I picked a grasshopper brownie and a white chocolate brownie to have after dinner tonight. We're about to cook a fish dinner with rice, green beans, baby potatoes, and cucumber/tomato salad. Plan to train in Deal again tomorrow and explore the town of Sandwich and two local castles (Walmer and Deal).