Polar Bear hits Southend Pier. (not literally)
Lewis Gordon Pugh reached Southend-on-Sea in Essex today and finished his 21 day swim of the entire length of the River Thames. He finished at the famous Southend Pier, which re-opened to the public after last years fire only yesterday. What a lovely first visitor. Most people take the little train.
Lewis said on local news that this was the toughest swim that he had even done, harder than he expected, and never again. This is the notice on the home page of his website.
UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES IS ANYBODY TO ATTEMPT TO SWIM OUT TO LEWIS AS HE PASSES
THROUGH LONDON. THE TIDAL SECTION OF THE RIVER THAMES IS FAST FLOWING AND DANGEROUS.
He travelled with a kayak next to him, and a support launch behind. My husband went out to the river bank yesterday and took this photo as he passed the ADM works in Erith Kent. Interestingly ADM trade in vegetable oils, some of which go to make biodiesel. You can see Lewis's head in a cap just behind the kayak, but not his support craft. The river is very wide at this point. I won't end by saying that only mad dogs and Englishmen would attempt such a thing as he is South African. But I have been intrigued and impressed by the expedition, as you may have gathered.
Posted on 08/06/2006 2:13 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax