Have you ever experienced jelly legs from too much time in the water? French swimmer, Benoit “Ben” Lecomte, is feeling that and more. He just stepped ashore after 115 days at sea. Lecomte finally reached Hawaii after beginning his journey in the waters of Japan in the beginning of June.
He said: “My legs are a little shaky. I’m not used to having something stable, but it feels good. I grabbed some sand with my hand to feel the earth.”
His goal? To travel to San Francisco through the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. His hope was to raise awareness of plastic pollution in the oceans. Throughout the journey, researchers were studying and collecting samples. There were researchers from twelve different scientific institutions on board. They focused on a number of different factors in their research. While plastic pollution was one of the main concerns, they also checked radiation. Also, they monitored the impact of the swimming on the French swimmer’s psychological state and heart.
Unfortunately, bad weather caused him to have to make the stop in Hawaii before continuing to San Francisco. The bad weather also was cause for the crew to abandon their other goal with the swim.
Initially, Lecomte and his crew were trying to break world records with his swim. He was joined by a yacht, “Discover,” with both researchers and support crew aboard. The goal was to swim eight hours per day. In those hours, they wanted to cover about 30 miles. Unfortunately, the boat faced some bad weather in November. After these issues, they decided to abandon the record.
But, as Lecomte wrote on his Facebook page: “Today, The Swim as a world record attempt has stopped but The Swim as a platform keeps on living because it has always been the most important goal of the expedition.”