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Having once vowed never to attempt such madness again, Ben Lecomte is set to take on giant waves, sharks and a pile of floating garbage the size of Texas in a perilous quest to swim across the Pacific Ocean.
Faced with an epic 9,000-kilometre (5,500-mile) adventure, his bid to become the first swimmer to accomplish the daunting feat begins in Japan and is expected to take more than six months, finishing in San Francisco.
Part - Adventure - Part - Research - Lecomte
Part adventure, part scientific research, Lecomte and his eight-person support team will conduct a host of marine experiments as they seek to raise awareness of ocean pollution and plastic contamination.
Two days after turning 51, Lecomte will enter the waters off Japan's east coast Tuesday, after which the swimmer will be at the mercy of the elements.
Danger - Sharks - Jellyfish - Architect - Nose
The danger of sharks and paralysing jellyfish also lurks—but the Texas-based architect tweaks the nose of fear.
"I like to push my personal limit and try to find what that is," Lecomte told AFP in an interview aboard his yacht.
Tiger - Cage - Years - Planning
"I'm like a tiger in a cage going around and around," he added, after seven years of planning.
"The mental part is much more important than the physical. You have to make sure you always think about something positive or you always have something to think about.
Anything - Mind - Kind - Trouble - Starts
"When you don't have anything to occupy your mind it goes into kind of a spiral, and that's when trouble starts."
Lecomte plans to swim for eight hours a day, burning more than 8,000 calories.
Graphic - Ben - Lecomte - Attempt - Tokyo
Graphic on Ben Lecomte's attempt to swim from Tokyo to San Francisco.
The rest of the time he will rest, sleep and eat on the 20-metre (67-ft) support boat Discoverer that will drop him back in the water at the same spot he exits every day.
Lecomte - Wetsuit - Snorkel - Fins - Stranger
Lecomte, who will wear a wetsuit, snorkel and fins, is no stranger to...
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