A group of regular swimmers, using either Rod’s Hut or Weymouth Bay Sea Swimmers(WBSS), swim throughout the year on Sundays at 0930 and Fridays at 1700 during BST. I vowed to rejoin them. I hadn’t swum during the winter for a few years and hardly swam with them at all for the last two.
Sunday May 6th 0930
50min 1.9 miles
Back from the Seaquest swim camp in Croatia the day before, this was going to be, “The proof of the pudding.” I arrived just with swim costume, plus my skin suit (no insulation, just protection against the wind) plus my neoprene hat.
Despite it being only 11 degrees I dived straight in with the other swimmers. I swam breathlessly for a few minutes before I began to relax. I was enjoying the sensation of the bitter cold on my body!
I’d planned half an hour at most but stopping at the Bandstand to re-group a number of us felt so good we decided to swim onto Weymouth Clock and even went past that. I was swimming well until on the way back my stroke deteriorated considerably as I became colder, but got back with a smile on my face – albeit shivering vigorously!
I only warm up again once home and in a hot bath.
Monday May 7th 1700
Still not sure if I was cut out for this, decided to go down on my own and have another go, but in the afternoon as the sea is always ‘warmer’ in the afternoons, especially after a sunny day.
As I was changing, fellow swimmer Bob arrived so we decided to swim to the Tower and back. With the sun on my back getting back to WBSS I decided to swim onto the Red Stick to make up the two miles.
I came out happy again and definitely cold. However cold you are as you leave the water, you chill considerably in the following 10-15 minutes as the cold blood in your arms and legs is released into your circulation, thus dropping your core temperature further.
My husband Nic came with me, one for cover – not sure what he could do from the shore – but mainly to drive me home. I don’t think you can be prosecuted for being, “Under the influence of hypothermia,” but it’s effects are not dissimilar to alcohol nor, I suspect, illegal substances.
Friday May 11th 1700
00:43:15 1.2 miles
I had decided just a short swim with the others, so we went to Weymouth Clock and back. I’d told Nic he needn’t come.
Sunday May 13th 0930
1:05:11 1.8 miles
Again I said to Nic I didn’t need him – how wrong could I be. Why oh why is it always so cold on a Sunday morning but even so we swam to the Tower and back. I was definitely struggling to even have a stroke as we got back and driving home was certainly on the edge of safety.
Nic would come with me every time from now on to drive me home to a hot bath!
16th May: Dorchester Pool Session 4000m
Friday May 18th 1700
1:15:05 2.1 miles
Another two miles, everyone else got out once back at the huts, but I swam onto the Red Stick to make up the distance again.
Sunday May 20th 0930
0:44:31 1.2 miles
I didn’t even consider going further as it was Sunday morning and the water would be ‘cold’. To Weymouth Clock and back.
22nd May: My last session at Dorchester pool session 100x100m !
Wednesday May 23rd 1420
2:00:05 3.1 miles
I re-arranged looking after one of our grandchildren to make the most of a sunny, almost windless afternoon. To the Tower back to the 1st Red Stick and onto the 2nd and beyond to make up the time.
First ‘long’ swim done and dusted, and it’s still only the middle of May.
Friday May 25th 1700
1:03:32 2 miles
I went in with the other swimmers, but hugging the shore line at high water, hoping for some ‘warm’ patches I swam onto the Pavilion, really enjoyable.
Monday May 28th 1210
3:01:24 5 miles
The sun had been out for almost a week. The official Weymouth sea temperature was still only 11.1 degrees, but the bay warms up, albeit in patches. So I planned a three hour swim starting a noon.
Only problem was it was a Monday Bank Holiday and ‘grockles’ were out in force. Also it was low water so they were way out in the bay, knee or waste deep in water, whether youths and lasses frolicking oblivious to anyone else as they flirted, parents and children, blow up ‘toys’ of all shapes and sizes, SUPs (stand up paddle boards) and, of course a plethora of pedalos.
Even north of the 1st red stick, where it’s normally deserted there were swimmers, more SUPs and the occasional speed boat and no way could I swim past the pier at Bowlease with its fleet of jet skis. I hugged the shore line and was grateful for my bright orange hat.
I did one complete circuit of the bay and only needing a very small loop at the end to make up the time.
Summary for May
Happy what I had completed, but not happy with my swimming. Often deteriorating or not feeling too good. I was getting the hours in my it was yet to feel ‘comfortable.