Jonathan swims the 22-mile North Channel crossing.

On Friday 7th July, Jonathan Ratcliffe swam the 22-miles of the North Channel
Swim from Ireland to Scotland. The North Channel is the strait between
north-eastern Ireland and south-western Scotland and connects the Irish
Sea with the Atlantic Ocean. The swim is 22-miles.

Last August, Jon swam the English Channel http://www.peterboroughtoday.co.uk/news/no-sting-in-the-tale-for-channel-swimmer-1-7558381

According to Wikipedia / the ILDSA no more than 3 swimmers have
achieved this swim in any one year. In 2017 Jonathan was the 4th
swimmer to successfully swim across the 22-mile stretch to the Mull of
Galloway. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Channel_
(Great_Britain_and_Ireland) Jon is only the 33rd swimmer to ever cross
this stretch. It is one of 7 swims that long distance swimmers regard
as the holy grail. Last August, Jonathan swam the English Channel. This
North Channel Swim is one of the hardest of the 7, so Jon is happy that
he has beaten the back of the challenge, and is now ready to move on to
the other 5 swims.

Jon was well aware beforehand of the
giant jellyfish in that stretch of water. I don't know whether he had
the accompanying Whale that was present just 2-days earlier.

The water temperature was just under 14 degrees.

From Facebook:

"Irish Long Distance Swimming Association
July 3. The first North Channel crossing attempt of 2017 - by Team MAD.

"Irish Long Distance Swimming Association
July 5· Team Peninsula Paddlers made the second successful relay
crossing of the North Channel for 2017 season.

"Irish Long Distance Swimming Association
July 5· The first successful solo North Channel crossing of 2017 -
Simon Olliver.

The Belfast Telegraph reported "Another whale joining a North Channel
Swimmer today ... Pilot Brian Meharg of Bangor Boat said "Perhaps this
is going to be the escort for swims this season". "It was mostly
interested in the boat though, and didn't take much notice of the
swimmer."
"Whale joins man for swim to Scotland. Swimmers making their way to
Scotland have been joined by an unexpected companion.
BELFASTTELEGRAPH.CO.UK"

July 5. Carmel Collins made the second successful solo crossing of the
North Channel for 2017 season.

"Irish Long Distance Swimming Association
July 6 Herman van der Westhuizen has made the third successful solo
crossing of the North Channel for 2017 season.

"Irish Long Distance Swimming Association
July 7 at 8:43am ·
Our 4th Solo Attempt of the North Channel of 2017 started this morning
08.41.
We wish Jonathan Ratcliffe all the best and hope for a successful swim.
"

"Jonathan Ratcliffe has had a good start to his North Channel Solo
Crossing just under 5 miles done, had his 3rd feed and only a few
jellyfish!!!! Fingers crossed they stay away or we will be looking at
hiring a sea turtle next time for a buddy swimmer."

"Jonathan Ratcliffe has under one mile to go. Sea is a bit choppy but
Jonathan is still swimming strong. Not far to go you are so nearly
there."

"Subject to ratification, Jonathan Ratcliffe has made the 4th
successful solo crossing of the North Channel for 2017 season.
Well done Jonathan, crew and Infinity Channel Swimming."

"Irish Long Distance Swimming Association
July 8 at 9:21am ·
Wow!!!! What a fantastic start to the North Channel 2017 season. The
first tide window finished yesterday, next one opens soon.
We had 2 one way relay teams and 4 solo one way. All attempts have been
successful subject to ratification, which is amazing.
Team MAD - Trisha Harvey and Rachel Hughes
Peninsula Paddlers - Jonathan Groves, Michael Dines, Caroline
McFarland, Mark Hardy, Arthur Crowe and Bryan McFarland
Simon Olliver
Carmel Collins
Herman van der Westhuizen
Jonathan Ratcliffe
You all should be so proud of what you have achieved.
Well done to all the crews, observers and pilots.
Can't wait to see what the rest of the 2017 season holds."

More information on the North Channel swim is here http://www.nelsonsboats.co.uk/north-channel-swim-pilot-boat/

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