Ben Hooper faces sub-zero temperatures, and the challenge of eating 12,000 calories a day, all in the name of sport
Earlier this month, 38-year-old British man Ben Hooper walked into the waves on a beach in Dakar, Senegal. Donning a wetsuit designed to be invisible to sharks, Hooper set out to accomplish something no human has before: swimming across the Atlantic Ocean.
Hooper plans to swim up to 10 hours each day, resting on a support boat at night, to complete the nearly 2,000-mile journey from West Africa to Brazil. He is currently 18 days into the trek, which is raising money for homelessness prevention, orphan protections, cancer care, and for Hooper’s son, who suffers from a kidney disease. Guinness World Records is monitoring the effort.
You can track Hooper’s progress on his website, but we highly recommend following along on his Facebook page, where he posts daily updates that read like tortured sailor poems. Swimming across the Atlantic sounds excruciating.
[Also see: Atlantic swim a brutal challenge for the body]
Hooper started with more straightforward dispatches, seemingly written by someone else. But by Day Five, Hooper took the account’s reins and began blessing the world with staccato meanderings about Captain Nigel, food rations, weather conditions, and colorful descriptions of the “angry sea.”
On Day Six, Hooper swam past an oil drilling platform, which he called a “scary monster!” and expressed his desire for “Scooby snax.”
On Day Nine, Hooper battled a live moth infestation in his left ear, which prompted him to ask the philosophical question, “What aversions do Atlantic moths have against right ears?”
One can only imagine what Leif Erikson might’ve tweeted during his 11th-century journey from Greenland to Canada.