Clearing the Sea

People have sought challenges for as long as they have been around. Rising to meet the obstacles placed in front of us is one of the things that makes us human. Some challenges are simply more extreme than others.

Take for example crossing the English channel. Some do it via boat, and most people do it through the Channel Tunnel, but a brave few eschew the help of technology and attempt to do it the old old-fashioned way, beating limbs and burning dependable ATP.

swimmer in ocean

In its narrowest areas, the channel is at least 20 miles wide. This obviously presents a significant challenge to anyone with aims to swim across, but I imagine that’s the entire point.

The first person to successfully swim across the English Channel was a man named Matthew Webb. He accomplished the feat over the course of 21 hours and 45 minutes in August of 1875. Since then, a number of people have completed the challenge, some of them children.