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 for swim together in 2013, but at the end of this (2014) summer, he and I were due to meet for a swim out to the caves so that Sam could do a bit of filming.
September in Ireland in 2014 was extraordinarily good, the best I’ve experienced since I started swimming. We’d set a day for the swim out, not too concerned about weather, used as we both are to the local conditions.
But the day was gorgeous and warm with a little movement in the water and a bit of a breeze. We had a very enjoyable swim starting around low tide. It was entirely relaxed and fun, one of those days when open water swimming is about the pure enjoyment of the water and the glorious Copper Coast. As we swam I strove to avoid Sam’s filming in the cave and around the coast.
Over the years, I have on occasion tried to convey various aspects of the sensations of open water swimming. Not the mechanics of the How To articles, not the marathon and Channel swimming stuff, essential as they are, but the feelings and experiences and joy and essential life-enhancing experience of swimming because I enjoy it. Only occasionally have I felt that I’ve succeeded.
I think that Sam, partly because I was unknowing of what he was actually doing, caught the pure essence of our enjoyment of open water swimming and for that I am very grateful and humbled.
Out, out from the Guillamenes, past the Metalman, beyond the cliffs and the bulk of Great Newtown Head, alone around the stacks and into the caves, extremely unlikely to be seen from land: we were in no hurry. So we swam and stopped and chatted and swam.
It may be that this film only means anything to Sam and I, but I hope you watch it. It’s 18 minutes long and it absolutely requires sound as becomes really obvious later in the film. If you do watch it, I’d ask that you do it when you have time to watch it through and don’t skip or fast forward.
Don’t analyse my stroke (I didn’t swim hard or think of stroke, speed or distance once that day). Don’t think about racing or distance or wind or doing it better. Just … go with it.
Uaimh an tSolais & Uaimh na nÉan are Irish names and mean the Cave of the Light and the Cave of the Birds.
Try to feel the sensation, the essence.
And if you are so inclined please leave feedback for Sam, either on Vimeo or here.
Edit: Uaimh an tSolais & Uaimh na nÉan and Sam and myself have been nominated for the 2014 WOWSA Offering of the Year Awards. If you want to vote please follow the link.