captain's final verdict came through at 7 pm: I'll be swimming tomorrow morning from 6.45 a.m GMT onwards (7.45 a.m. NL time; 11.45 a.m Bangladesh time). You should be able to track my boat's movements for most of the day by clicking here (make sure you select the map 'Folkestone' in the rolldown menu on the left - the name 'Pace Arrow should appear in the map).
Great news: Just 2 hours ago Marcel made it to the French coast in 14 hours, which is exactly what he had predicted. He is now on his way to Dover Harbour. His wife Lilian and his 2 children will be there to give him his well-deserved hero's welcome; I might if I can't sleep. An awesome achievement, especially taking into account his relatively short preparation time (7 months), though building of course on tons of experience. But it proves that his training method works.
I write this in a Dover hotel room with a view on the Channel, which is flat as a mirror right now. No wind at all! I have spent my day being quite nervous, trying to nap while Asha was roaming the shopping centres of Dover with Lilian, stuffing myself with more pasta than I though humanly possible (carboloading - yuck), watching the weather forecasts, preparing my feeds, and writing this message. It will be almost a relief to actually be in the water and swim
I'll try and catch some sleep now. My next message will tell you if my attempt was successful or not. Thanks for the messages of encouragement I have been receiving so far, they are a real support!