Swimming across the Pacific Ocean: Ben Lecomte's 5,300-mile journey - Josh Loe

Swimming across the Pacific Ocean: Ben Lecomte’s 5,300-mile journey


More than 1,200 miles from the coast of Japan, a 51-year-old Frenchman is swimming in the Pacific Ocean right now.

Or he’s eating.

Those are pretty much the only two activities Benoît Lecomte does these days, as he attempts to become the first person to successfully swim across the Pacific Ocean.

“I wake up throughout the night because I’m hungry,” Lecomte told Business Insider by phone from the 20-meter sailboat, called Seeker, that’s traveling with him.

Lecomte set out from Japan in June, and is making his way toward California. An eight-person crew is sailing along with him, collecting data about the health of both the ocean and Lecomte along the way.

Their mission is far less concerned about crushing records than it is with breaking bad habits.

“We’re addicted to plastic,” Lecomte said. “That’s something we need to change.”

The original plan was to finish this awareness-raising swim in December, but the quest has faced some hiccups. The crew had to turn back in July and take a 20-day break when a series of strong typhoons hit the area.

Undeterred, Lecomte is back in the water now, and logging some of his longest daily swims thus far.

He said the journey hasn’t gotten easier over time, but he and the crew have developed a routine that guides their daily activity. Here’s what it’s like.



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