It is a challenge plagued with tankers, jellyfish and fierce tides.
But a Moray man is getting ready to take the plunge and embark on the famous swim across the English Channel in aid of the Archie Foundation and Sarcoma UK.
Andy White, 49, of Fochabers, is hoping to join the ranks of over 1900 successful swimmers who have completed the crossing since 1875.
Mr White will depart for the 21-mile swim from Shakespeare Beach, near Dover, sometime between September 5 and 11.
He said: “The rules are very strict, you have to wear a swimming costume that doesn’t go lower than your upper legs.
“You can’t get on the boat and no-one can touch you”.
As an off-shore worker, training is limited to the gym while Mr White is on rota but practice swims have become the norm when he is back home.
He said: “I have been trying to extend my mileage and get used to swimming in cold water.
“It’s really hard to acclimatise, so I’ve been spending a lot of time in cold waters to get my body prepared for the swim.
“Swimming the channel has fascinated me for years, because of all the challenges in the UK it’s always been seen as one of the toughest.”
Mr White recently achieved his qualifying swim which entailed him being in the water for seven hours.
However, no matter how he prepares for cross channel adventure, his performance will be drastically affected by the whim of the sea.
He said: “People can be waiting around for weeks at a time, you could turn up on the day and not even be able to swim.
“It will entirely depend on the swimming conditions.”
For several years now Mr White has planned to swim the channel, however, the thought of sacrificing his other sports and interests prevented him from signing up.
It was when his friend’s daughter was diagnosed with cancer at age 10, and re-diagnosed with sarcoma at age 12, that he has since been inspired to raise as much money as possible for the charity Sarcoma UK.
Mr White will also be raising money for the Archie Foundation which works in over 20 different hospitals in the north of Scotland, focusing on the Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital, the Children’s Ward in Inverness and the Children’s Ward in Elgin.
The foundation relies wholly on support from the local communities of the north of Scotland and the Northern Isles and receive no financial support from the NHS or from the local authorities.
Mr White said: “I support ARCHIE as they do a lot of local help for children in the north-east, and around Fochabers where I live.
“The work they do really inspired me to do this challenge and give something back to them, as well as Sarcoma UK.”
You can follow Mr White’s progress and training on his Facebook page: Fochabers to France Channel Swim.
He is hoping to raise £5,000 for his chosen charities, both of which you can donate to via his justgiving page: