What Would Captain Matthew Webb Do?

What Would Captain Matthew Webb Do?

Would Captain Matthew Webb, the first person to successfully swim across the English Channel in 1875, would have worn a wetsuit if neoprene have been readily available in the 1870s? Would he have worn a neoprene hat? Would he have used a shark cage if there were the same number of Great White Sharks and delicious seafood (e.g., seals) in the English Channel as there are in the Farallons, Molokai or Cape Town?

Captain Webb smeared himself with porpoise oil according to historical records, so he was presumably interested in using the latest methodology at the time to at least temporarily ward off the cold. Great White Sharks are not a threat in the English Channel, but what if they were? One possibility, at least theoretically, would be that if he had the opportunity back in the 1870s to wear neoprene, he would have done so.

But we think not. No way, no how. He did it without neoprene in 1875 and he would have done it without it in 2011.

Copyright © 2011 by Open Water Source