A scarlet large face wristwatch called a Pace Watch with only minute and seconds hands, used for tracking swimmers times and rests

Review: PaceWatch, an interesting twist on (pool) swimming watches

A significant technological change in swimming over the previous few years has been the development and introduction of various sports watches intended primarily for swimming. Most of these watches introduce some feature or combination of features, from lap counting to calorie expenditure to GPS tracking. For example some years ago I reviewed the Swimovate PoolMate watch, my…

ZC2

How To: What is Wind Against Sea?

A regular blog reader (hi Gabriel!) left a comment wherein they mentioned wind against sea. My first reaction was that I knew right then that Gabriel was an experienced open water swimmer. My second reaction was to kick myself for not mentioning wind against sea previously. Wind against sea is a condition that most open water swimmers (who…

That perfect moment: Unbroken water, and a swimmer in flight

The first Irish blockbuster – LoneSwimmer – The Movie

In the movie of his life, “plump, stately” Donal Buckley will dramatically played by George Clooney, with swimming stunts by seven times world 50 metre champion Mark Foster, a platoon of Irish Army Rangers, and a seal. A real seal. A Common Seal. Born in 19whatever, Ireland’s year of Independence and nine months after his mother went…

Guillamenes cove old steps IMG_2416_02.resized

Cold Turkey

The Internet sucks, doesn’t it? There you are, doing your best and still struggling. Everywhere you look online everyone else is telling you how amazing they are. That’s how I feel about it most of the time anyway. Just considering swimming, everyone else says they are swimming farther, longer, faster and better. They are also swimming colder and…

The Ocean Without Waves Is Like Sleep Without Dreams

Pictorial review of the 2014 swimming year – I

As I have mentioned too many times previously, I started taking photographs to illustrate this blog. Over the course of a few years, my photography has become a creative pursuit in its own right, while still being used to capture what I sometimes think of as open water swimming life. Unable to finance any big swim, I had…

How To: Advice for Christmas or New Year swimming in cold water for irregular or casual open water swimmers

In Brief: PREPARE and OBSERVE If swimming by yourself, make sure you inform someone where and when and preferably have an observer. Your most important pre-swim action to make sure you know where to exit the water safely. Watch the water before you get in. If you have been drinking alcohol the night before, please don’t…

Open Water Swimmers Are Disgusting

As overheard. By which writers really mean, it’s something they may have said or wished they had said. “That’s the weekend swim towel so it doesn’t really probably need to be washed for another couple of weeks .” “Yes, he always pees on himself just before he starts a swim.” “Unexpected? Well, I was out in big chop and my sinuses filled…

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…

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…

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 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…