We are so lucky living where we do in the middle of Dorset and having Weymouth Bay to swim in. Just under two and a half miles long, running north- south. Being partially sheltered by Portland, it’s swimmable on all states of tide and weather. Although in extreme conditions when fighting the waves the drift can mean we swim for 20 or 30 minutes in one direction only to be swept back to our starting point in fraction of that time.
The water warms up quicker than the main body of the sea due to the tides coming over the beach, but the temperature can drop by over two degrees overnight if the wind picks up. Conversely in the winter with the sea coming over the frozen stones, it can get very cold!
In the middle of the Bay are the Greenhill Beach Chalets. A number of us have been using Rod’s for years, a local keen sea swimmer who swims practically every day, enticed us with his heater and kettle. Swimmers meet every Sunday morning at 0930 throughout the year and on Fridays at 1700 during BST.
Then a few of the regular ‘cold water junkies’ persuaded Weymouth & Portland Borough Council to allow them to use the long unused former lifeguard station and balcony above the huts to securely dump their swim kit, change, swim without worry and then warm up with a hot drink at any time. A brilliant enterprise much appreciated. Now known as Weymouth Bay Sea Swimmers (WBSS), enthusiasts can pay on line to get a code for the lock to use use it for either one day, a month, six months or a year.
Most swims in the winter and colder weather are to the south, with a measured mile to the Tower and many interim points for shorter swims.
In warmer weather we also go North, but however calm the bay might seem it is always a bit lumpy up that end.
For the more adventurous, and with boat or kayak cover and favourable conditions, we can continue north to Osmington, Durdle Door and then onto Lulworth.