Sea Swims In July

Eureka – I’m over 10 stone !!

Doughnuts, double chocolate cookies, malt loaf,  bagels, toasted tea cakes, French loaves, fish & chips, pizza and chips, Snickers, etc, etc  alongside my ‘healthy’ diet have all paid off and I’ve still over a month to go !

Sunday 1st July

2:00:18    3.5 miles

As always the water was cooler than Friday afternoon and it was windy and overcast.  My feet and hands went numb, but a comfortable and strong swim for the duration.

Wednesday 4th July

1:00:00   1.5 miles

I enjoyed ‘writing’ my name.

Two days off, no running or cycling either!  Fresh and ready for fun on an early morning swim.  My Garmin recorded as I swam my name !

Still trying to work out how to dot the ‘i’.

Thursday 5th July

6:00:00.        10 miles

Sunrise SUP across the bay for two hours in the mist and the sea like a pill pond.

A few ripples, but little or now wind when I returned to swim at 1100.   Ideal conditions.  Feet still went numb, but eventually came back to life and the numbness didn’t return.  Felt as strong at the end, and even tried to dot an ‘i’, but was totally unsuccessful.   Only down side, my shoulders did ache a bit, will they hold up for 15+ hours?

8th-21st July – St Abbs, Scotland

St Abbs Harbour from our cottage window

St Abbs, a sleepy fishing village just over the border on the east coast.  Looking forward to come cold swims in the North Sea, temperatures 11-13 degrees C.

8th July – 15 mins

Evening swim in Coldingham Bay to put my toe in the water!  I always swim when I go to St Abbs, but have never swam for more than 20 minutes and usually come out cold needing a hot bath to recover.  I entered the water, and welcomed the cold on my body, mind and flesh were both prepared for it, and welcomed it.  So powerful is the mind.  Just fifteen minutes but not even a shiver!

9th July – 30 mins and still not ‘cold’!

11th July – 53 mins

Boy was that water cold when you first hit it!

Swim from St Abbs harbour to Eyemouth Harbour – two and a half miles.  Something I had been promising myself to do for years, but too scared to attempt – found it relatively easy.  Admittedly I chose a flood tide to have a little help, but the cold, out in the deep blue, dark shadows below and rough water as we approach Eyemouth didn’t phase me at all.  Had lots of warm clothing for when I got out – if I could get out – forgot, no fins and a little boat with no ladder – wasn’t easy.  However, I was slightly chilled but not ‘cold’.  Amazing photo from Jim Greenfield, he could read my Garmin at 50 metres.

13th July –  38mins  – Swim back and forth in Coldingham Bay, really not big enough – we are so lucky in Weymouth.

15th July -45 mins – Coldingham Bay again, saw some jelly fish trails in the water and got stung, dived to the left nearly headlong into a Lions Main.  Strong nettle sting that lasts about 24 hours.

17th July – 1hour 5 mins – St Abbs Harbour round to Petticowickick.  Passed a couple of kayakers who couldn’t get round St Abbs head against the pounding sea.  I missed nearly every other breath and my right arm kept ‘catching a crab’, but I made it.

19th July – 1 hour 9 mins

St Abbs in the background as we headed back

Pootle out with the boat, round the bay to Wuddy Rocks then headed off towards Eyemouth.  Jelly fish !!!!!!!!!     Just a few, all fairly deep and innocuous, then Lions Main all over the place, dodge to the left then the the right, got stung, then could hardly dodge them at all and got out.

21st July – 21 mins

Early morning swim before heading home.   Swam from Coldingham Bay round to the Harbour, again something I had always been too scared to do – rocks, seaweed, jelly fish and the Ebb or Flood tide.  Seemed easy!  Goodbye cold water and jelly fish – or so I thought!  Read on……….

Back in Weymouth

What a summer – every day like this ?

23rd July – 8 hours

Final long swim, or so I thought.  Loads of jelly fish and one stung me,  I didn’t even see it.  I thought I had left them all behind in Scotland. I had intended to do 10 hours, but the demons were playing me up.

“Why am I putting myself through this?”

“Do I really need to do 10 hours, would another 6 do?  Should I keep going – why should I keep going – will I be able to keep going in the Channel?”

Ideal conditions, no reason to stop, but stop I did.

Kate Mason, swim coach, asked how my training was going, and suggested a ‘back to back’ swim on 4 hours the next day.   Felt I ‘ought’, but not sure I ‘would’.

24th July 4 hours

Husband not available for feeds in the morning so set of in the afternoon.  Glad I did, steady pace, no angst, just got on with it – felt much more confident.

Sigh of relief – I think I’ve done all that I can.  I keep remembering that 90+ year old interviewed at the London Marathon when she couldn’t finish.  What did she say?

“I’ll just have to train harder next year so that I can finish.”

And finish she did.

A few shorter swims, and preparation for the BIG DAY.

Ten and a half stone – same as I managed last time round – thought I must be at least eleven after gorging myself for two weeks at St Abbs – but helas – not.

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