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$11,182 pledged of $52,800 goal
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All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .

By Ben Lecomte
$11,182 pledged of $52,800 goal
backers

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .

About this project

Version française disponible ici 

 A swim from Tokyo to San Francisco to better understand and protect our oceans

This is Ben’s challenge: swimming 8 hours a day for 6 months to cross the 5,500 miles from Tokyo to San Francisco.

Ben has always swum for a reason, it’s his way of expression. In 1998 he became the first man to swim across the Atlantic Ocean without a kickboard, as a tribute to his father and to support cancer research.

This time Ben will jump in the water in the name of science and protecting our oceans. The Longest Swim will be the first citizen science expedition of its kind, as Ben and his crew will collect valuable data on the ocean and human body for 8 research projects directed by 13 scientific institutions, including NASA and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

The Longest Swim is also a story we want to share with you. With your help, we will open up a window to the ocean, explore this mysterious world together, and learn how to better protect it.

In the coming days, Ben and his crew will be gathering in San Diego to work on the final preparations of their support sailboat before heading to Tokyo where will start the swim on the next weather window available.

 

 

Ben will be escorted by the support sailboat Discoverer and her nine crew members. After a day of swimming, Ben will come onboard to eat and get some rest. The crew will mark his GPS location when he breaks for the day and bring him to that exact same spot to dive back in the next morning. The Pacific Ocean, one mile at a time…

 

 

Under the direction of researchers from 13 scientific institutions, we will collect oceanographic and medical data throughout the Swim, helping- in some instances- to build datasets of unprecedented scope. From plastic pollution to space exploration, and nuclear disasters to heart health, our scientific program aims to one day positively impact the lives of people all around the globe.

 

In coordination with World Oceans Day as well as several other organizations, we will highlight heroes and initiatives around the world to make The Longest Swim a platform of expression and reflection on the actions we can take to protect our oceans.

 

And we won’t be out there alone! We will bring you with us right to the middle of the Pacific Ocean for a six-month journey. Everyday, we will share our adventure with videos, photos, and on our online logbook. You will also be able to follow the progress of the Swim with our live GPS tracker, and directly interact with Ben and the crew through social media.

 

Ben and his team have been preparing for the past six years to start this adventure of a lifetime. Today we have a swimmer, a boat, the equipment, and a wonderful team of volunteers. We need you for the last pieces of the puzzle: six months’ worth of food, and a satellite connection.

Ben will have to eat 8,000 calories a day to sustain 8 hours of swimming every day for six months. The crew will also need energy to assist the swimmer, control the convoy, and complete scientific protocols.

Limited space, no fresh products (except fish!)... despite these constraints, we need to make sure everyone on board eats a healthy and balanced diet. Examples:

 

Our support sailboat Discoverer is equipped with a satellite communications system (“satcom” for short), but it will take more than a Sprint plan to communicate from the middle of the ocean. Since our antennas use a specific satellite network, the connection costs are very high.

This connection will be crucial for us to communicate with our team on land every day for navigation, research, and safety purposes.

We also need it to connect you with the Swim! The connection will allow us to directly interact with our followers and to post pictures, videos, and updates directly from the boat.

 

Beyond the Swim itself, the preparation for a six-month expedition in the North Pacific required a big investment for the acquisition of the boat and all the necessary equipment. Getting as far as we have today is in large part thanks to the trust of donors, partners, sponsors, and our team of volunteers who share Ben’s dream.

Since the beginning we’ve had an enthusiastic group of supporters, and The Longest Swim community is growing day by day. Today more than ever, we need your help to set sail!

Read more about the project on our website 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

+ the previous rewards: 

  • your name on our online Wall of Fame 
  • your name + message on our live tracker for 2,5 miles

 

+ the previous rewards:

  • the postcard written by Ben in the middle of the Ocean 
  • your name on our online Wall of Fame 
  • your name + message on our live tracker for 2,5 miles

 + the previous rewards:

  • the nautical keychain with a monkey fist knot
  • the postcard written by Ben in the middle of the Ocean 
  • your name on our online Wall of Fame 
  •  your name + message on our live tracker for 10 miles

 + the previous rewards:

  • the digital copy of the expedition logbook by Ben and the crew
  • the postcard written by Ben in the middle of the Ocean 
  • Your name on our online Wall of Fame 
  • Your name + message on our live tracker for 20 miles

 + the previous rewards:

  • your name in the credits of our online short-documentary 
  • your name on the support boat Discoverer 
  • the digital copy of the expedition logbook by Ben and the crew 
  • the postcard written by Ben in the middle of the Ocean 
  • your name on our online Wall of Fame 
  • your name + message on our live tracker for 50 miles

 + the previous rewards:

  • A chat with Ben and the crew from the middle of the Pacific Ocean
  • your name in the credits of our online short-documentary 
  • your name on the support boat Discoverer the digital copy of the expedition logbook by Ben and the crew  
  • your name on our online Wall of Fame 
  • your name + message on our live tracker for 100 miles

 + the previous rewards:

  • A chat with Ben and the crew from the middle of the Pacific Ocean
  • your name in the credits of our online short-documentary 
  • your name on the support boat Discoverer 
  • the digital copy of the expedition logbook by Ben and the crew 
  • your name on our online Wall of Fame 
  • your name + message on our live tracker for 100 miles

 + the previous rewards:

  • VIP Access to the homecoming event in San Francisco
  • your name on the support boat Discoverer
  • the digital copy of the expedition logbook by Ben and the crew 
  • your name on our online Wall of Fame 
  • your name + message on our live tracker for 200 miles

+ the previous rewards:

  • VIP Access to the homecoming event in San Francisco
  • your name on the support boat Discoverer 
  • the digital copy of the expedition logbook by Ben and the crew  
  • your name on our online Wall of Fame 
  • your name + message on our live tracker for 500 miles

 + the previous rewards:

  • VIP Access to the homecoming event in San Francisco 
  • Sailing on board Discoverer for the last miles of Ben's swim for 2 peoples
  • your name on the support boat Discoverer 
  • the digital copy of the expedition logbook by Ben and the crew your name on our online Wall of Fame 
  • your name + message on our live tracker for 500 miles

 

Risks and challenges

WEATHER

We cannot control Mother Nature. The North Pacific is known to be quite hostile, with a summer typhoon season to the west near Japan, and winter storms to the east off the California coast. We are working with our team of meteorologists from Weather Routing Inc., to choose the weather window that will allow us to spend 5 to 6 months at sea with the best chance of avoiding these systems.

INJURIES AND FATIGUE

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and Ben has been training physically and mentally every day during his six years of preparations. Working with a kinesiologist, a cardiologist, and a nutritionist, Ben took care to ensure he was in the best condition possible before jumping in the water.

The crew is also well prepared, with all nine members trained in emergency and first aid procedures. Our onboard medic will provide daily medical care to Ben and the crew, using a kit specially designed for our expedition.

The team from Medical Support Offshore will be available 24/7 and will assist our medic if needed, to make sure everyone arrives in San Francisco in one piece.

Concerning fatigue, even with many years of training there will be occasional lows. During the hard times Ben will be supported by his crew, and you will also have your role to play by cheering him up on social media!

SHARKS AND MARINE WILDLIFE

During his Atlantic swim in 1998, Ben was followed by a shark for five days, and was often stung by jellyfish. The Pacific crossing also comes with risks, as we will sail through part of the great white shark migration area.

Ben will wear a magnetic bracelet used by several surfers to keep sharks away without harming them. He will also wear a wetsuit, a mask, and a swim cap to limit the amount of skin left exposed to jellyfish stings.

TECHNICAL PROBLEMS

To make this long, offshore crossing possible, we had to customize our support sailboat Discoverer so she could be autonomous for six months. As technical dysfunctions are expected to happen, we are carrying back-up solutions for our most critical systems (watermaker, generator, sustainable energy equipment, etc.). Our mechanical engineer will take care of the belly of the beast, and make sure our Disco is happy. At sea there are no problems, only solutions!

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    PHYTOPLANKTON PACK

    $10 = 1 mile of The Longest Swim

    Thanks for your love little plankton!

    You will get:
    *Your name on our online Wall of Fame
    *Your name + message on our live tracker for 1 mile

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    CLOWNFISH PACK

    $25 = 2.5 miles of The Longest Swim
    $25 = 1 meal for Ben and the crew

    Thanks for your love little clownfish!

    You will get:
    *1 postcard written by Ben in the middle of the Ocean
    *Your name on our online Wall of Fame
    *Your name + message on our live tracker for 2,5 miles

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    SEABIRD PACK

    $50 = 5 miles of The Longest Swim

    Thanks for your love little seabird!

    You will get:
    *1 nautical keychain with a monkey fist knot created by the crew
    *1 postcard written by Ben in the middle of the Ocean
    *Your name on our online Wall of Fame
    *Your name + message on our live tracker for 5 miles

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    JELLYFISH PACK

    $100 = 10 mile of The Longest Swim

    Thanks for you love little jellyfish!

    You will get:
    *1 digital copy of the expedition logbook by Ben and his crew
    *1 nautical keychain with a monkey fist knot created by the crew
    *1 postcard written by Ben in the middle of the Ocean
    *Your name on our online Wall of Fame
    *Your name + message on our live tracker for 10 miles

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    12 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    DOLPHIN PACK

    $200 = 20 miles of The Longest Swim

    Thanks for your love little dolphin!

    You will get:
    *Your name on the support boat Discoverer
    *1 digital copy of the expedition logbook by Ben and his crew
    *1 postcard written by Ben in the middle of the Ocean
    *Your name on our online Wall of Fame
    *Your name + message on our live tracker for 20 miles

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    9 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    TURTLE PACK

    $500 = 50 miles of The Longest Swim

    Thanks for your love little turtle!

    You will get:
    *1 chat with Ben and the crew from the middle of the Pacific Ocean
    *Your name in the credits of our online short-documentary
    *Your name on the support boat Discoverer
    *1 digital copy of the expedition logbook by Ben and his crew
    *1 postcard written by Ben in the middle of the Ocean
    *Your name on our online Wall of Fame
    *Your name + message on our live tracker for 50 miles

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    3 backers
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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    WHITE SHARK PACK

    $1,000 = 100 miles of The Longest Swim

    Thanks for you love "little" white shark!

    You will get:
    *VIP Access to the homecoming event in San Francisco
    *A chat with Ben and the crew from the middle of the Pacific Ocean
    *Your name in the credits of our online short-documentary
    *Your name on the support boat Discoverer
    *1 digital copy of the expedition logbook by Ben and his crew
    * 1 postcard written by Ben in the middle of the Ocean
    *Your name on our online Wall of Fame
    *Your name + message on our live tracker for 100 miles

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    Limited (49 left of 50) 1 backer
    $
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    HAMMERHEAD SHARK PACK

    $1,000 = 100 miles of The Longest Swim

    Thanks for your love "little" hammerhead shark!

    You will get:
    *1 autographed piece of Ben's kit : a fin, a snorkel or a swim cap (first-come-first-served)
    *A chat with Ben and the crew from the middle of the Pacific Ocean
    *Your name in the credits of our online short-documentary
    *Your name on the support boat Discoverer
    *1 digital copy of the expedition logbook by Ben and his crew
    *1 postcard written by Ben in the middle of the Ocean
    *Your name on our online Wall of Fame
    *Your name + message on our live tracker for 100 miles

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited (50 left of 50) 0 backers
    $
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    MANTA RAY PACK

    $2,000 = 200 miles of The Longest Swim

    Thanks for your love "little" Manta ray!

    You will get:
    *1 sea trip for 2 people (half a day) on board Discoverer with Ben and the crew before the departure or after the arrival
    *VIP Access to the homecoming event in San Francisco
    *Your name in the credits of our online short-documentary
    *Your name on the support boat Discoverer
    *1 digital copy of the expedition logbook by Ben and his crew
    *Your name on our online Wall of Fame
    *Your name + message on our live tracker for 200 miles

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    Limited (19 left of 20) 1 backer
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    WHALE PACK

    $5,000 = 500 miles of The Longest Swim

    Thanks for your love "little" whale!

    You will get:
    *Sailing on board Discoverer for the last miles of Ben's swim for 2 people
    *VIP Access to the homecoming event in San Francisco
    *Your name in the credits of our online short-documentary
    *Your name on the support boat Discoverer
    *1 digital copy of the expedition logbook by Ben and his crew
    *Your name on our online Wall of Fame
    *Your name + message on our live tracker for 500 miles

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    Estimated delivery
    Limited (10 left of 10) 0 backers
    $
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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    ORCA PACK

    Thanks for your love "little" Orca!

    You will get:
    *Discoverer is yours for a private cruise with Ben and his crew (or without, it's up to you!) before the departure or after the arrival.
    *Sailing on board Discoverer for the last miles of Ben's swim for 2 people
    *VIP Access to the homecoming event in San Francisco
    * Your name in the credits of our online short-documentary
    * Your name on the support boat Discoverer
    * 1 digital copy of the expedition logbook by Ben and his crew
    *Your name on our online Wall of Fame
    *Your name + message on our live tracker for 1000 miles

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    Limited (10 left of 10) 0 backers
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  13. Select this reward

    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    OCTOPUS PACK

    Are you a business and would like to become an official corporate sponsor of The Longest Swim?

    Put your name and logo on the hull of Discoverer, the support boat!

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