The Cave of Light and The Cave of Birds – A film of the pure essence of open water swimming – by Sam Krohn

Sam Krohn is an Australian open water swimmer, resident in the south-east of Ireland since his family moved here when he was young, Sam’s a regular swimmer at my own usual location of Tramore’s Newtown and Guillamenes coves. He’s also a regular reader of and the most regular commenter to this blog. Sam and I kept missing opportunities to go…

After I abandoned my first Ice Mile attempt

Ten More Common Myths of Cold Water Swimming

Following the previous Ten Common Myths of Cold Water Swimming. There are quite a few myths, most probably better described as misunderstandings, about cold water and cold water swimming. A few are even true. 11. Fresh water feels colder than sea water at the same temperature. This myth is usually confirmed by most experienced cold water swimmers.…

cold

Ten Common Myths of Cold Water Swimming

You know how one can reliably tell that summer is certainly over? I start writing about cold water.   Let’s kick the winter swimming season off, shall we? Okay, I know the water is still warm, but it’s often this time of the year that people stop or get close to stopping open water swimming…

Donal Self portrait b&w 95% IMG_3831_01.resized

LoneSwimmer Has No Balls

A couple of years later, I am still a little surprised that LoneSwimmer.com won the inaugural 2012 Irish Blog Awards for Best Sport and Recreation award (when the  site was also a finalist in a second category). Ireland is a sport-obsessed country, even more than many others. Football (soccer), football (rugby), football (Gaelic), football (compromise rules) and even…

the Doglet barking at Gararrus IMG_3810.resized

Copper Coast Bay to Breakers – II

Due to the goggle change the stop at Gararrus took about two minutes before I set off, the Doglet once again having a barking fit as I left (his normal reaction to me swimming). It was low tide by now so all the reefs off Gararrus were exposed and I had to swim out the…

Swimming into Gararrus IMG_3806.resized

Copper Coast Bay to Breakers – I

Sometimes an idea is so obvious you wonder why it hadn’t occurred to you previously. Ideas or inspiration though are often just a product of two things; timing and interest. It was a few years ago that I first heard about San Francisco’s South End Rowing Club’s Bay to Breakers swim. Ten kilometres swims are rarely…

Swimming out

Swimming for beginning open water swimmers and triathletes is like planting a tree. Twenty common beginner triathlete questions answered.

Swimming is very much like the old saying about planting trees: The very best time to start was ten years ago. The second best time to start was yesterday. The next best time is today. But tomorrow is too late. I myself did not start ten years ago but I did incrementally improve my skills and technique…

Swimming into the tiny cove with the Hood Tower behind.

Swimming Around Hook Head

Though it sits at the tip of the Hook peninsula, the historic Hook Head lighthouse is almost more remote than some of the Irish offshore lighthouses. The Tower of Hook, as it’s known locally, is the world’s second oldest operational lighthouse, and it’s said locally that the phrase “by Hook or by Crook” arose because…

Dark Night of The Soul

Dark Night of the Soul

Swimming for me, as for many of you my readers, provides a valuable part of my life, not least of which is the meditative and mostly non-stressful pursuit, where we swim not just in water waves, but also in alpha-waves. (Though occasionally the more dangerous the water is, the better for my mood and preference). But as…

Measuring life in metres

In the original Star Wars A New Hope movie Harrison Han Solo Ford famously said that the Millennium Falcon had “made the Kessel run in less than twelve parsecs“. I still remember how annoyed I was, because even as a kid I knew a parsec was a measure of distance, not of time. (No thanks,…

Copper Coast Distance Week Reefs, Rocks & Islands

2014 Cork Distance Week & the Copper Coast swim

After repeated poor wet cold summers, 2013 was pretty decent by Irish standards. Or at least mid-May to mid-July were good. After that it reverted to recent type but did allow me to run a Copper Coast Distance Week swim which had been blown out in 2012 by a ridiculous summer storm which stopped swimming everywhere that day.…

Niagara maelstrom

July 24th, 1883

This is a maelstrom. Indeed the very definition of such, as it’s the whirlpool at the base of Niagara Falls. It’s where Captain Matthew Webb tragically died on this day, July 24th, 1883. It was taken by a photographer zxo  and it grabbed my attention immediately I saw it and they gave me permission to…

A Further Shore – V- The Greensward

Swimming is a lot of things to different people at different times, even to me. But what it isn’t, is a method of travel. We may travel long distances while swimming, we may even be swimming to a destination, but we are not traveling per se.  But somehow, I’d traveled. The buildings stopped before I…