The Last Shore – II – The Golden Light

I’d swum a double handful of strokes on one breath, and seen so little and yet so much. Only water, rocks, kelp, light? You don’t understand. Time to breath and navigate, I lifted my head. Golden sunlight dazzled me, washed over me. I know it had been months, the previous autumn since I’d last swum…

The Last Shore – I – The Arch

Winter reduces my range. I swim at the Guillamenes, along the cliffs and shore of Tramore Bay.  Maybe, just maybe, I might get down to Sandycove for a lap. Days pass when I see no-one, arriving, swimming and leaving without a soul. Spring comes with almost imperceptibly warming water and air and increase in the number…

The Crowded Oceans: Swimming with Spirits

It is unsurprising that primitive peoples, faced with a world whose range and patterns they couldn’t comprehend or predict, imbued all aspects thereof with a supernatural aspect. Before the development of monotheism, the belief in a single god, often traced to Egyptian Pharoah Akhenaten in the Fourteenth Century B.C., that desire to invest every natural force or occurrence with a…

How To: Using Tide Tables

Because I live and swim in Ireland, I am constantly made aware of the large tidal range here. I’ve written extensively about tides previously because I feel they are an aspect of open water swimming not appreciated by enough swimmers and because global variations can mean that many people never see nor even realise the…

Creeped out off the Irish Coast

I got a bit creeped out in the water recently. It’s a rare enough occurrence that I can’t actually remember the last time. The sea is my home, not in Man From Atlantis way, but in a “it’s where I feel most in control” way. When I arrived at the Guillamene, my reguler training location in…