I can hardly believe that I´ve swum 364 kilometres across Sweden since the start in Stockholm on July 6th! I´ve moved past the Baltic Sea and I´m right now crossing Sweden, mostly in Göta Kanal, a man made canal from 1832. Göta Kanal connects through a number of lakes as well, especially the two largest lakes in the country, Lake Vättern and Lake Vänern.
The weather in Sweden has been absolutely outstanding with temperatures reaching past 30 degrees Celsius (90 degrees Fahrenheit) and obviously the water is at an all-time high in warmth. Göta Kanal is 25-26 degrees and even the largest and deepest lakes is a pleasant 22 degrees.
I´m much more sensitive to heat than to cold temperatures and in order to stay healthy and strong I´ve opted to not swim in a wetsuit but rather in a HUUB Swimskin, or even in just swim trunks (I´m picky with getting an even suntan:) The swimskin though is just awesome. It protects me from getting to burnt and giving my a smooth streamline. I could never have dreamt of having such great conditions as this summer is offering. I was quite intimidated by the prospect of having to spend hours every day in really cold water, and even spent some time trying to ”get fat” by eating lots and lots of cake and pastries:)
During the past two days I crossed the infamous Lake Vättern, infamous in part due to cold temperatures and very crude conditions. Although the lake is at the warmest ever recorded (22 degrees smack in the middle) we did get a taste of the fury yesterday. I had wanted to try covering the entire lake (approx 34 k) in one fell sweep but headwinds and the forecast of thunderstorms made us stop halfway at the island of Fjuk. After dropping us off on the other side our boat escort hit a vicious storm with 8 feet waves and heavy rain and winds. They actually had to take rescue at that same island to save themselves. Had I swum on I would have been smack in the middle of that. Scary!
The water in Lake Vättern is actually clean enough to drink while swimming! But as great as it is to be fortunate enough to live in a part of the world where clean water and a great environment is offered in abundance, this is not the case for a lot of people all over the world.
My swim across Sweden is a great adventure and a personal quest, yes. But more than that it´s a charity project with a goal much more worthwhile than just excelling my endurance horizon. We´re working with WaterAid and raising money to support their work with providing clean water and sanitation for developing countries in the world.
If you want to help us with our goal to raise 600000 SEK to WaterAid, you can contribute through our website! 200 SEK is approximately 30 USD.
I love this project! I´m tired and cranky and I scream profanities while swimming but that´s my way of coping with adversity. Getting angry helps! But I truly love it. I´ll miss the hell out it once I´m done…
Check out the movie update below; we filmed it yesterday before covering todays stage.