Underdogs - Team toobs

Underdogs - Team toobs


Our Day-to-Day Chronicles

20 Dec 2020
Day 41
Day 41

Day 41 - We can see the beach!

Well, we have had some firsts over the last few days!

On Thursday, toobs simply decided that she did not want to swim! We are all very careful to monitor toobs, her fitness, condition and mental state. She is normally absolutely buzzing for a swim, every single time we climb into the dinghy, but this day she just did not seem to want to. We all have our off days, so we let her rest and do what SHE wanted - which was to run around after balls!

Then we had the hardest row yet this challenge! The Friday winds were so strong that I had to row against them to stop me from blowing past toobs! This meant that I had an evil row back to the support boat, that took all my strength in the howling gale and rain. It was so windy, we could not keep the yacht's heater going.

Today is the calm before the next storm, which is how we have mostly been swimming all this week. With such bad winds, we have to go swimming when there is a lull, despite the high waves, chilly temperatures and that it happens to be pitch dark out there!

It is always hardest nearing the end of an endurance attempt, but we are about 3 days from the French coast and toobs' entering the record books.

We are a bit short of our planned target of £1,000, so please pass on to your friends and think of toobs in the cold sea swimming to help dogs less fortunate than her.

{Click Here to Sponsor toobs}

16 Dec 2020
Day 37
Day 37

Day 37 - Broken Oars and Oily Seas

Holy Sploogs! Look how close we are now!

We have had an eventful few days, but despite the huge Gales that have blown, we have managed to avoid the weather and pop out for a swim in the calm in between.

Yesterday we set off just after the severe gale came through at 06:00 and the sea was still a bit choppy. toobs went completely the wrong way and as I turned to gather her up, I snapped an oar! That is quite serious at sea when you are in a dinghy with no engine! Luckily my skulling skills are just above rubbish, so we managed to limp back to the support boat. (Skulling is when you use one oar in a side to side motion in the water tilting it one way, then the other.)

So, toobs did a short swim that day, but then the usual today, after we set the humungous 9ft oars up in our little dinghy! Some adjustments are needed, as I had to row cross-handed! The howling hoollie that blew all night long, and tossed our 10 tonne yacht around like a cork, subsided so abruptly it was as if God had just switched the Gale off with a switch. The sea died down in just half and hour and looked like it was oil! With strange gentle surging movements, but no crests or waves. Very eerie!

So, toobs is on target to complete the Channel Swim by Christmas Eve.

14 Dec 2020
Look how close France is now!
Look how close France is now!

Day 34 - Holy Sploogs!

The local weather centre recorded a wave height average of 5.8m! That is the height of the eaves of your house!

That could be why it felt a little rough this morning. Actually, the official term is 'Very Rough'.

toobs still did a speedy 0.321nm though! There is no stopping her!

We hope to bring you some footage of toobs swimming in rough seas, but we are usually spending all our time being as safe as possible. So we have booked a cameraman for this weekend. Hopefully we can have some shots of toobs having a hoot!

13 Dec 2020
Day 34
Day 34

Day 34 - Choppy Seas 

Well, we managed to get out in between the worst of the rain, but the wind was pretty strong and building.

Luckily, by the time we were back on board the support vessel 'Stray', the full gale began to hit.

But, not before we made a visit to the SMS Shoalbuster - a 200 tonne British registered tug on her way to Scotland to pick up a barge and return it to Holland. A great thanks to Skipper Paul, who is originally from Bristol, and the Lithuanian crew:- First Mate Dmitrij and Prince of Darkness Alex. (See their photograph in the Friends of toobs Page)

They are going to stop off in Falmouth until the weather eases to allow them to pass Land's End.

To read all about the SMS Shoalbuster, and to see where they are this minute, follow {THIS LINK}

12 Dec 2020
Day 33
Day 33

Day 33 - We lost the Internet!

Sorry to all you followers of toobs and her exploits, but we lost internet for a while. We did NOT sink!

Here is the exciting update for you as we reach 80% there!

We plan to arrive before Christmas, to give everyone a happy dog story to talk about around the Christmas dinner table when things get boring!

And, because you asked for it:- the Swim Statistics now include the wave height and description, so that you get an idea of how big the waves really are.

9 Dec 2020
Day 29
Day 29

Day 29 - A VERY Cold Day

Heck! It is chilly out here!

toobs dodges frozen supertankers while surfing the chilly waves and still enjoys every minute!

We are about to leave the busy lane for the safety of the watery hard shoulder soon. Then it's a quick jaunt across to the French coast.

toobs put in an awesome 0.52nm today!

7 Dec 2020
France in Sight!
France in Sight!

Day 28 - Over 2/3 there!

A beautiful, yet freezing night for a swim, with flat calm seas, stars in the sky and very low temperatures.

I made toobs run around a lot after her swim, to make sure that she was nice and warm again.

Just imagine standing under a freezing cold shower, with the bathroom window open, the light off, and having to wave your arms around for 20 minutes!

That's a toobular evening for you!

5 Dec 2020
Day 26
Day 26

Day 26 - A record speed?

Well, today we thought toobs had broken all records, but then I realised that I had read the telemetrics incorrectly!

But, toobs DID reach an astounding maximum 3.0 knots in her swim across today! That is like a very fast walking pace! She swam this evening like a torpedo!

She was whimpering with excitement nearly all the way, then as we reached our goal of 0.5nm, she began barking as well! toobs has never barked while swimming before, so we know that she was having a great time out there! It certainly showed in the data as she completed the 0.524nm in 15 mins dead - which means she averaged a record-breaking 2.41 mph! The average human swimmer swims at 2 mph.

That was quite a swim, especially when you think that she has swum half way across the Channel, then she set another record like that!

3 Dec 2020
Day 24
Day 24

Day 24 - Back Online!

After toobs' day off to celebrate getting half-way to France, we were so far from the coast - we lost our internet! (Or something like that!)

Well, toobs certainly got into her stride after her day off and is now completing over 0.5nm each day.

The first swim in French waters was at night and in flat calm seas. Sadly, it was too dark to film, so you just have to use your imagination.

With waves over 2m today, she had a different task!

Now all the sea traffic is coming from our right as we cross the second side of the TSS (Traffic Separation Scheme).

29 Nov 2020
Half Way
Half Way

Day 20 - Half Way There!

She made it!

toobs is now half way to France.

With a pleasant day swim of just over .4nm, she passes into French waters and is ready to cross the southern lane of the TSS.

She is on course to finish just before Christmas!

Tell your friends! Spread the word! Let's make it the best World Record Christmas for pooches!

28 Nov 2020
Day 19
Day 19

Day 19 - We reach safety!

Today, toobs managed to complete the crossing of the SW lane of the TSS and into the relative safety of the 'Central Reservation'.

With a bouncy swim, against Gale Force winds and 1/2m waves, she seemed to just enjoy it the more!

Tomorrow will be the last day in English waters, as we pass the half-way point and cross into the French waters of the English Channel, and then have to swim across the manic NE lane of the TSS - The busiest shipping lane in the World!

27 Nov 2020
Day 18
Day 18

Day 18 - Roughest Day

Woh! It was choppy! Poor toobs was surfing down the waves, and wheelieing off the crests. I thought that she would get tired very quickly as she splashed around on every wave. I tried to shelter her from the waves with the dinghy, but it helped little.

She stuck to it and ploughed her way through it. She ended up with salt crystals on her nose for the first time ever!

The wind and waves took her well off course, so she had to swim against them to get back on track.

A Herculean effort by the mighty toobs, today; meaning that we have almost reached the 'central reservation' that is the safety zone between the busiest sea lanes in the world.

26 Nov 2020
Day 17
Day 17

Day 17 - 40% across!

toobs has made it to 40% of her target across The Channel!

Just a couple of days away from HALF WAY!

Please pass on our challenge to friends so that we can catch up with the sponsorship. Just copy this link below and paste it onto any or all of your media pages and tell everyone of toobs' amazing adventure:- 


If you have any children, then get them on the toobular Kids' Page for fun and a great competition that could win your family tea on toobs' yacht!

25 Nov 2020
Day 16
Day 16

Day 15/16 - Two lovely Days!

What a pleasant two days! toobs has made many new friends while ashore, and a few below water!

With the underwater footage we have taken over the last few days, we should be uploading our latest cool video shortly.

In the mean time; take a look at our Live News report for ITV!:-


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