Gear purchase for English Channel - What can be purchased in Dover?
nvr2late Central VirginiaCharter Member
edited August 2016 in General Discussion
I am wondering about the volumes of gear; food items, clothing, etc. necessary to be provided for swimmer and crew - I have seen videos of swimmers on the dock with several plastic bins of equipment, and have read long lists from professional sources of necessities, plus a list of my own which I am generating. How much of these can be purchased in Dover? I am beginning to think that I need to ship a crate to my innkeepers in advance of some of the larger bulkier items - of clothing, or blankets, etc - advice from members will be appreciated!
Channel grease is available at Varne Ridge Park in Capel le Ferne, half way between Dover & Folkestone. It used to be available in Boots in Dover but no longer. If you are staying in Varne Ridge, David & Evelyn have almost everything (non-consumable) that you need, blankets, feed poles and reels, whiteboards, flasks. Electronic lights can be bought from Michelle also on the beach at weekends. I have no idea if Peter in Hubert House provides anything.
For the extra layers that may not fit into a suitcase: There's a store called Primark in Folkstone...you can buy blankets, fuzzy socks, bathrobes and such very cheaply. They're also pretty disposable, so you won't feel too bad if you need to leave them behind.
Food: I bought most of my food in Folkestone... there's a few large grocery stores for your water + food + crew food. It's close to VR.
Make sure you bring your must-have feed foods from home - some items are not available in UK, but check with the group first if you aren't sure. In your rental, you may find that the people before you have left behind a few supplies such as tea, milk, sugar, and etc. (What else could one need?) You'll have all the cooking utensils and appliances you need to make your own meals, which comes in handy when you're looking to eat a ton of food.
And bring sandals/crocs for Dover beach.
Egad! ...the death of fashion
...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.
There really wasn't much to buy when I was there last year. I would try to bring as much as you can. That being said, if you have a car you could get a few bits and pieces in nearby towns/ Dover itself is just a port, there isn't an awful lot else going on.
Mind you, I was only there for 36 hours or so
How much do you really need? Having taken two plastic boxes on the boat for EC, all carefully packed and labelled, I then discovered that I could manage with so much less, the result of having to pare it down to fit my entire kit, together with my clothes and stuff, in my luggage to fly to Zurich. I then did the same to L.A. for Catalina. The only things I bought extra were Desitin and pain meds. You could use trek towels, which weigh very little and take up less space.... and pack things like socks, lights and gels inside drinks bottles. I also took net bags for kit on the boat and to keep feeds in. Feed was a single tub of UCan, so that was easy to fit in. I was amazed at how little I actually needed.
Buy crew food at the local supermarket, keeping it in one of their tough carriers. Take a few bungee cords to attach them to the boat rails.
The one thing which is useful for EC which wasn't needed for warmer swims is a large pump flask, (3 or 5 litres) for keeping topped up with boiling water for crew drinks and swimmer feeds.
I've just realised how old this thread is!
I know what you CAN'T buy... an EC Crossing!