The Worst Three Minutes

Over a year ago I wrote a popular post called The First Three Minutes, which investigated just the first few minutes of a cold water swim. (A real cold water swim, not your balmy 10 degree Celsius getting a tan (50F) water for softies). We know, us cold water swimmers, that passers-by focus on the water…

Horizon

Like fish in a barrel

An Indian summer was predicted for Ireland and the UK for the last week, and the UK certainly reaped it, along with much of Ireland. The south coast though, as I mentioned last week, had either blanket fog for days or continuous rain. In fact I decided to take a break from swimming. But this…

Home to T-bay

After a week in Dover, with two hourly swims, it is a bit tough to come home. The water temperature in Dover harbour was a glorious 17/18 degrees Celsius. By week end we were worrying about getting soft. Hurricane Katya, an ongoing back ache and lack of focus in swimming kept me out of the…

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…

Newtown & Guillame swimming website

Some of you may have noticed a new link in the sidebar. I put together another site for Tramore’s Newtown & Guillamene swimming club some time back. We’re just starting to add content to it. There are plenty of photographs going back up to 80 years to come (probably slowly), along with stories and anecdotes. Now…

My swimming range in Tramore Bay

After years of swimming T-Bay, I’ve gotten to know it reasonably well. A few years back I drew up a map of the pertinent features, from a swimming point of view. That map is a bit out of date, I’ve made a few discoveries since then, but I just keep it in my head now.…

An Snámh Fada 2011

A last-minute decision was made. What the hell, I might as well do it. It’s the closest swim and the swim run by (one) of my own clubs and at my most regular swimming location. I’d met a few of the club regulars the day before when I made a failed attempt at my own Mo…

This. Is Summer?

Once again I was trying to write while drinking a desperately needed mug of hot chocolate. Air temperature 11 °Celcius. Water temperature … 11 ° Celcius. Summer? I remember a Sunday morning at the Guillamene in early November of 2009 with the wind howling, the rain coming in, changing in the alcove and Dee asking…

Always wear a belt

It was one hour and ten minutes after I got out of the water that I started writing this, and I was still not fully warmed up. The temperature had dropped to 9.3 °C from Wednesday’s 11.0 °C, due to the northerlies for the past 36 hours, I guess. The day before I swam about 4600 metres,…

Spring at the Guillamenes

Problem: Out of ideas of what to write about next. Solution: Go for a swim. From the Guillamenes down to the pier and out the headland, ( the “Guillamenes Double” as I call it, though I only went halfway out to the headland yesterday, due to Half-Claw). Water was 9.c C under the ladder, maybe…

Waterford Coast high-resolution

Given that Google Earth doesn’t cover Tramore Bay in higher resolution, here are some pics from the OSI. First is the whole bay, some of the currents can be seen. Next is the stretch of coast on thw west side where I swim, from the Guillamenes in the centre down to the headland with the…

An Snámh Mór Fada

“Let them think what they liked, but I didn’t mean to drown myself. I meant to swim till I sank — but that’s not the same thing.” — Joseph Conrad (The Secret Sharer and other stories) The Newtown & Guillamenes Swimming Club runs the Snámh Fada (long swim) every August. In reality it just runs…

Cold spots

I measured the Guillamenes at 12.5C yesterday, a full 3.5C warmer than a week previously, sun in the sky, and no wind. However swimming outward past Newtown Cove the temp dropped, and halfway to the Metalman I’d say it was only about 9.5C. There was no particular sensation of gradually warmer water as I swam…

Lovely Guillamenes video

Shot last weekend by Kilkenny Arts Centre current Artist-in-residence Vanessa Daws when she came down for her first Guillamenes swim with me. The day was as close to perfect as it could be, glassy conditions, sunny sky, warm air (for the time of year). Click on Vanessa’s name above for her own website.