Elephant coast swim day 6

Today I woke up after a phenomenal sleep. My best night’s sleep since we have been on tour. I felt fresh and ready for another big day. We had ideal weather conditions again with no clouds, bright sun and the north wind picking up later in the morning to give me a push. Breakfast was flapjacks with yoghurt and honey and a power smoothie. We met the boat at 7:45 and loaded it up. I opted for a trip in the car to the start which was a good call. We had a mattress in the back and I got to rest all the way to Mabibi. We met Layla from Thonga beach lodge who shared with us how they are doing their bit for a plastic free ocean. They invite guests to do a beach clean-up and incentivise them with a free cocktail for each bag collected. They then collect all the litter and are in the process of making a giant octopus sculpture with the plastic they find.
John and Angelika met Sarah and I on the beach (they swam from the boat) and we all set off though the surf for day 6. We swam 2km out to sea and on the way came across a whale about 20-30m away from us slapping its tail and it was remarkable, unfortunately the whale did not stick around and disappeared before we got any closer. The first 8km I was flying and loving it. At one point I felt very present with my surroundings and it felt as if God was smiling down at me from above so stoked to see me living my passion and purpose for his glory and a plastic free ocean. It was a happy moment.
At about the 12km mark my lats started seizing up and my arms felt tired. I worked on lengthening my stroke and shifted my focus to remembering why I was there and just trying to distract myself by the beautiful jellies and stingys I saw below me. We came to 7 mile reef which was a welcome distraction with a beautiful school of fish below me and then the sea became like a washing machine. We hit a current and John was having flash back moments of our time on the shelf in Hawaii. I had a moment or 2, but it was very different this time seeing where I was going. For about 2km we battled the swell and the current until I finally saw the sand on the bottom of the ocean. A welcome sight and I knew it was the home stretch from there. Sarah jumped in the water to accompany me to the beach and we finished a good solid 17.8km swim.
The drive home was a welcome one away from the wind and chop of the sea and we headed home for the usual recovery of Epson salt bath, massage and fueling for one more final stretch tomorrow.