Swan on river

Tales of the Riverbank

We have tides in the river here but we are not an estuary. Here we are above where the ocean tide meets the down-flowing stream. We are quite up the river, well away from the sea in a winding route. There is no tidal bore so the tide is backed-up river water, not brackish estuarine…

Winter storm on west coast of Ireland

Real Sport

“Did you see that video on Facebook Donal? Complete tool”. “I mean what the hell Donal, is your sport all gobshites like that?” “It doesn’t matter you don’t use Facebook. It was on the news last night as well. Here it is here on my phone. Look!” “What kind of a fool goes swimming in…

How To: What Is Afterdrop

Some concepts or acts can be so fundamental to a communal activity that the members of that community can forget that they once may not have known of the concept, let alone the meaning as the activity becomes second nature. These acts, which we might call unconscious assumptions, are not ignored, but accepted, language grows…

The Deep

When you look around from wherever you are reading this, whether it’s an office, at home, on a train, you can’t see The Deep. Even if you are sitting at the coast. The words have no weight. The Deep doesn’t exist. It’s a fairy-tale with which to scare yourself. You imagine it. Step off the…

Oversized padded coat

Warm Clothing for Cold Water Swimmers

“Loneswimmer is a brand now“, my buddy and two-way English Channel and Double Round Manhattan swimmer Lisa (Cummins) said to me one day and not as much alcohol or hypothermia as you would guess was involved. Now let’s get this out the way. Having Lisa as friend is a bit of trial. You go through…

The Truth Is Cold

Though I had been pool swimming, I hadn’t swam in the sea in four weeks, and if I didn’t get in at the weekend I would go a month without an open water swim for possibly the first time in a decade. On Saturday the bay was lousy and blown out in howling onshores, breakers…

Swimming Secrets for New Year Swimmers

For some years, my New Year’s post for those taking up swimming for exercise or weight management has been one of the site’s most popular and has gone viral on a number of occasions. But like with my Christmas Swim post, I wanted to change it up this year. Like so much of what I’ve written,…

Announcing the North Channel Swimming Association

The tenth of November, 2018 sees the launch of the new North Channel Swimming Association, with a public announcement by Channel Swimmer  and inaugural Chairperson Antonio Argules in San Francisco (and here on Loneswimmer). Since before Tom Blower’s first successful North Channel solo in 1947 (previously covered on Loneswimmer here), North Channel swim attempts have been…

The Reef

The reef. Should I say it reposes, lurks, or waits there? Whichever, it changes by weather, by season, by my direction, by my desire. It does all these things. Regardless, it posts sentinel beneath the headland of Great Newtown Head, breaking southerly seas from the eroding lower Old Red Sandstone terraces that encompass the entrance.…

Wave Shadows in Tramore Bay

The Open Water Swimming Year: January’s Dark Rituals

“The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the Deep”. It’s occasionally struck me that in the second verse or chapter (or whatever these biblical couplets are called) Nothingness, the Void and the Deep are all co-equal. The Deep cannot exist without the Not-Deep, without its face, (nonsensical theological…