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…

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.…

A Further Shore – III – The Harbour

Instead of a beach, shadows loomed over me and the water went from gold to black in sudden deep shade. A wall of dressed stone met my fingertips and loomed two metres over me. It was a pier, stone mooring bollards along the edge. There was another pier twenty or thirty metres away to my…

Burke's Island & reefs, Kilfarassey

A Further Shore – I – The Arch

Winter reduces my range. I swim at the Guillamenes, along the cliffs and shore of Tramore Bay.  Maybe, just maybe, I might get down to Sandycove for a lap. Days pass when I see no-one, arriving, swimming and leaving without a soul. Spring comes with almost imperceptibly warming water and air and increase in the number…

Spring is swum

Real spring arrived most tentatively and late in Ireland this year, following the coldest early spring in 50 years. The water has been cold at its usual lowest point in late February, but recovery from the bottom took longer to occur than usual and many of the coldest days swimming have occurred after the normal…

Best LoneSwimmer photos of 2012 – Part 2 (last part)

These are the final of my favourite photos from 2012. In the course of doing this series I’ve been very happy with the overall result and some of the rediscoveries. I’ve been reading a lot about photography lately, and one of the things that resonated most was actually a comment, to try to find the…

Lots of thrift.resized

The Copper Coast: a Thrifty shore

Sea Thrift that is, Armaria maritima, also known as sea pinks. Ireland’s Copper Coast has a lot of it, growing all along the coast on the cliff edges, in rock crevices and stony ground where nothing else grows. It’s a perennial which has a high drought and salt tolerance, in fact it seems to do best…

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…

Annestown to Kilfarassey

Back at Annestown within a couple of days, when I doubt I’d been here for a year. I’ve described Annestown from a surfing point of view in the Annestown to Boatstrand post. When I arrived, it was a bit different. There was some actual groundswell (not very large), the sky was blue and the day…