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 water for two days and other days previously. Last week it was easy to train with Lisa and Kevin, I could piggy-back on their training, use their purposes to substitute for my own lack thereof.
The water had flattened out today, there was a rolling one metre swell but with little chop on top of it. The wind was much lighter and westerly so the Guillamene was nicely sheltered. Aiden and Ollie from the club were power-hosing the algae off the steps and the place was starting to settle toward autumn, when the water is still relatively warm, but the fair-weather swimmers and tourists desert us. We’re encountering the end of summer offset, when, opposite to the spring temperature offset, the water temperature will lag the lang temperature drop, not there is much temperature to drop from this year. In eight months time, when the visitors return, us regular locals will be bemused, wondering where all these people have come from, into our playground.
The water was 14 deg Celsius (57 F. ) and felt cold, a sure sign that a week in Dover had made me soft, since I believe this temperature allows, or at least should allow, eight hours plus in the water. I only swam for 90 minutes, a Guillamene Double (Guillamene to Newtown Head to Pier to Guillamene) and though at least I hadn’t developed The Claw, I did have tingling in my fingertips.
I must remember to take a photograph of The Claw during the winter.
And the sea lice were still present, in fact greater than before I left for Dover and I was constantly bitten and itchy while swimming, no sunshine.
Conclusion: Just like English Channel solo aspirant Lee “Tom” Sawyer from Yorkshire said last week, Dover makes you soft. I told him he seemed Irish.