In The Depths, The Stars

I feel. Shamanistic. I feel. I feel atavistic and pantheistic. I feel touched by what they could have, maybe did call the divine wind. Though only my fingers and eyes move here, a wind, no, a storm is blowing through me. I feel wracked, my soul exposed and blown to shreds. Around my head a cloud…

Scan of London Illustrated News drawing of Captain Webb's first English Channel attempt

Hot Coffee by Moonlight: the Birth of Marathon Swimming. Part 3 – Agnes Beckwith & Captain Webb’s First Channel Attempt

Kathy Watkin’s book The Crossing, (reviewed here), is the only currently available biography of Captain Matthew Webb. It is required reading for any English Channel Aspirant and certainly for anyone interested in the history of the sport of swimming as a whole, not just Channel swimming. Yet those of us who are familiar with detailed accounts of solo swims,…

Screen capture of the scum and villianous characters (customers) in the first Star Wars movie

If Channel Swimming Was Star Wars …

If Channel Swimming was Star Wars… Captain Webb would be Yoda, the ultimate Jedi swimmer. King of the Channel Kevin Murphy would be Luke Skywalker, while Queen of the Channel Alison Streeter would be Princess Leia. Gertrude Ederle might get a spot as Rey but maybe not, because Star Wars was lacking female characters. CS&PF President Nick Adams would be dashing…

Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotation: To Be Yourself In a World That is constantly trying to make you someone else is the greatest accomplishment

Are You Swimtastic?

In a World Where Everyone is Fantastic. In a World Where Everyone is Connected, I don’t have a Facebook account. There is ample evidence that social media can be an echo chamber or shall we say a distortion of the reality. We are all familiar with the online heroes, those who are fantastic at everything.…

Golden evening light makes a dangerous water filled slate quarry seem magical

How To: Understand the Features and Hazards of the Different Types of Open Water Swimming Locations – III – Estuaries and Man-Made Locations Including Quarries, Reservoirs and Canals

This third and final part follows: Part One on Oceans. Part Two on Lakes and Rivers. I was at the top of the 1000 foot high Cliffs of Moher with the wind was blowing Force 11. I noticed that unsurprisingly most people were unable to move easily. It had never previously occurred to me that somehow over years…

How To: Understand the Features and Hazards of the Different Types of Open Water Swimming Locations – II – Lakes and Rivers

This is the second of a three-part series covering the features and hazards of open water swimming locations, the first of which covered the ocean.The Ocean is sufficiently complex and changeable to require its own article. I had intended in this second part to cover the remaining locations but the article was simply too long. Part Three will cover…

Black and white photo of a sudden squall storm in Tramore Bay in Ireland

How To: Understand the Features and Hazards of the Different Types of Open Water Swimming Locations – I – The Ocean

  Open water is open water, right? Well, yes and no.  Sure, water itself is only water, whether fresh, salt water or brackish, and if you can swim, then theoretically you may think that’s all you need to know. Unfortunately, too many beginner and intermediate open water swimmers don’t think about the various conditions and hazards…

CS&PF Nothing Great Is Easy orange

Something orange for World Suicide Prevention Day

September the 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day, and to recognise the problem people (at least in Ireland), are asked to wear orange. As with many Republic of Ireland middle-aged men, orange tends not be strongly favoured in my clothing choices, all political persuasions recognised and discussions aside. If you don’t understand what this means, consider yourself fortunate. But…

Kilfarassey beach in summer with lots of people

memory and water

It may have been a summer or an early autumn day, back when the working class of Ireland all went on holiday in the first week of August, sometime during what I would later discover had come to be known as the New Age or Age of Aquarius elsewhere in the world. It’s not even a whole day…

Grey winter horizon in the ocean

Swimming In The Desert

I have been in a desert. I was in the desert for a long time. I didn’t intentionally go into the desert. The border of the desert is quite deceptive and I didn’t realise I was in it for a while but I spent years there. The longer I was in the desert, the further I got from the edge.…