Ballymacaw – Swimming a new location 2

I love swimming at my favourite places such as Kilfarassey, Sandycove and the Guillamenes. but I also love swimming at new places and there aren’t that many left to me on the Waterford Coast. It’s been some time since I did Project Copper Coast, swimming from Powerstown Head as far as Stradbally. There’s a gap…

How To: Using Tide Tables

Because I live and swim in Ireland, I am constantly made aware of the large tidal range here. I’ve written extensively about tides previously because I feel they are an aspect of open water swimming not appreciated by enough swimmers and because global variations can mean that many people never see nor even realise the…

Limiting Factors in Marathon Swimming – Part 2 – Environmental Factors

In Part One I covered the physiological limiting factors in marathon swimming. The various environmental aspects of a swim are not insignificant. They are especially important in that they all lay outside the swimmer’s control and often even outside the control of the support crew. Water Temperature This is generally a known factor prior to a…

A selection of swimming time intervals

100 milliseconds: Contraction time, aka male shrinkage time in 5 degree Celsius water. Zero, aka Go, aka Scratch: The fastest group, the elites, the last wave to go in an open water race. It’s ok to hate them. 0 seconds Rest Interval (R.I.): When you are not making your 100 max repeat times. You want…

The despoiling of the Guillamene Cove

How many photos and posts of the Guillamenes have you seen here on loneswimmer.com? If you are a regular visitor that is. Quite a few. (You should see the hundred of pictures in my photo library that haven’t made it here but which I still keep taking). How many of you from around the world know…

What’s the best possible English Channel record?

Trent Grimsey’s Channel record again raises the question: What’s the best possible English Channel record time? Here’s the English Channel record progression charted. No good record list is complete without an asterisk. In this case the asterisked years are France to England (F-E) swims. The records are gender independent as three women set the record.…

Tom Blower and the first successful North Channel swim

I came across this gem from 1963 in Sports Illustrated archives a couple of years ago. I’m just going to reprint it. Hey, an easy day, no writing! * From Donaghadee in Northern Ireland to Portpatrick in Scotland is a fraction under 21 miles. Between the two land masses the sea rages in swollen tides and hungry eddies. Out…

Lower Manhattan from the Staten Island ferry, Battery Park (left) to the Ferry Terminal (right), the first 10 minutes of the course

MIMS 2012 – Part 1 – Three Rivers

New York maps show Manhattan Island plumbing a line from north to south, bounded by three rivers, the East and Harlem rivers circumscribe the east curve of Gotham with the East River swerving out and around lower Manhattan, up through Hell Gate and the confluence of the East and Harlem rivers and the Long Island…

Donal swimming in front of Brown's Island, Kilfarassey

Project Copper – reflections and debrief

Reflections on Project Copper. I’ve swam about 54,000 metres to cover the 25 kilometre coast, which were swum as a series of out and back swims, so every metre of coast was swam twice. With the experience I’ve gained of the various currents on this stretch of coast, I now know there are longer swims…

The sea, the colours ...

Kilfarassey – a swimmer’s paradise

In 2010 while Channel training I did the majority of my Waterford training at Clonea, trying to eek out some fractional comfort from the average extra 0.25 degree Celsius water temperatures, after spending the previous few years mainly swimming at the Guillamene, where I returned again last winter and this spring and early summer. But…