CAPTAIN WEBB'S SUCCESSFUL SWIM ACROSS THE ENGLISH CHANNEL.
The following review of Captain Webb's great chamiel swim, related to the writer by W. H. Webb, brother of the Captain, may prove inter esting.
The first attempt of Captain Webb's was unsuc cessful; the second attempt, which proved success ful, took place on August 24th, 1875, under the most favorable weather conditions, the sea being quite calm, with no wind, and very little tide. With these kind moods of the elements in his favor, Captain Webb, well smothered in porpoise grease, dived in from the end of the Admiralty Pier, Dover, at one o'clock, swimming westwards in the direction of Folkestone.
2.45 p.m.—Webb was swimming down channel with the breast stroke, doing twenty-two strokes to the minute.
3 p.m.—A number of porpoise were swimming in close proximity to Webb, which were probably attracted by the smell of the grease which he was anointed with.
3.30 p.m.—The tide was turning and Captain Webb was being drifted a little to the west, being only four miles from shore.
4 p.m.—Dover Castle was just visible in the mist. It was about this time the Captain took light` refreshments, consisting of strong beef tea. He rarely spoke, evidently determined to do die, for he went on swimming steadily through the closing hours of the day until dark.
9 p.m.—Webb had now been in the water eight hours. It was just at this time he was severely stung by a jellyfish, which is a very painful ordeal, as sea swimmers well know.
12 p.m.—Webb took a little coffee and brandy. The moon had risen by this time, and we were about fourteen miles from Dover.
2 a.m.—We were drifting westward, with the white chalk cliffs near Cape Grisnez standing out in bold relief. Webb could see the light, which seemed to cheer him on his solitary course.
5 a.m.—Daylight, with a haze over the land. Webb took some refreshments, coffee and cod liver oil, treading water while drinking, refusing to even rest his hand on the boat, although told to do so by the referee. Webb had now been in the water sixteen hours. The tide had turned and carried him further and further away from the goal he so longed to reach.
9 a.m.—Webb takes a little beef tea and brandy; fearfully exhausted, but still toiling on. His hands now began to drop, and his fingers open, a bad sign, barely making headway.
9.30 a.m.—We had, however, drifted until we were directly off Calais Pier. We sounded and found we were in five fathoms of water.
10.15 a.m.—We were two hundred yards from the shore, Webb barely keeping afloat; it was now or never, Webb doing twelve strokes a minute. We were within one hundred yards of the shore ; the men in the mail boat passing out of the harbor struck up "Rule Britannia," and cheered Webb on for the final struggle.
4 10.40 a.m.—Great excitement on shore. Webb had touched shore in about three feet of water, tried to stand up, but fell heavily forward. Will ing hands rushed in waist deep and carried him to the carriage, when he was rolled in a rug and hast ily driven to the Hotel Paris. Many of those on the boat had tears of joy in their eyes, after watching the terrible struggle of the last hour. The people of Calais looked upon Webb in the light of some extraordinary being—half man, half fish. The crowds increased hourly, and a ringing cheer went up as Captain Webb appeared on the verandah some six hours later, after completing the most difficult swim any swimmer in this world has yet accomplished.