Tuesday Evening: Swim # 2
Location: Muckross Lake- Killarney
After this mornings fresh water swim Robbin, Alan and I loaded into ” Pooh Bin” and followed Ned to Cork, the plan for the middle of the day is to practice feeding off Ned’s boat in Cork Harbour, I am excited to try this and get pointers on how to receive a feed and how my crew can best deliver it to me.
Ned launches the boat and Robbin, Alan and I all climb in along with Owen, our Irish host. The day is stormy the rain comes and goes as we motor out into the Harbour. While we drive Ned is telling stories of swims that have been held in the harbour and stories of Channel swimmers, meanwhile Owen is spurting out the most incredible historical information on not only the Harbour but also Ireland itself…..there is the last pot of call of the Titanic, there is the British navel base, the list goes on and I am fascinated skipping in and out of Ned’s stories, into Owen’s and back again, it is terrific. While all this is going on I am loading up on my Carbo drink Maxim in an effort to recover from this mornings swim and prepare for tonight’s, I have also downed a good amount of water. The boat tour goes on, I can’t believe how much we are seeing, Ned points out our Church Bay swim from last night, it is so great get a perspective of where we have swum.
Time ticks by, the Harbour starts getting rougher and the boat leaps up and down as it travels across the waves, I start to notice that I have that “I have to pee feeling”, ” OK don’t worry, we are out here to practice feedings, just politely ask Alan if you can swim first, then you can pee in the water as soon as you get in, just wait, just wait”! I do wait and I wait and I wait some more….. 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes…I JUST CAN’T WAIT ANYMORE!!!!”
Ned, can we please stop I have to get in to pee,” if you want to get in but I would be hanging off the back of the boat, your choice”, Ned replies matter of factly. The boat stops and Ned, Alan and Owen all turn their back away, Robbin is in the back with me and I go about navigating holding onto the back rail of the boat with one arm, the other manoeuvring my sweat pants and swim suit to make sure I don’t pee on them. Well I start peeing, I would be mortified to pee on Ned’s boat and to prevent it hold my deepest squat all while holding on with my right arm, I continue to pee, and pee, and pee and pee……and pee, my arm begins to burn, it is fatiguing holding my 137 pound frame, my thighs are burning and still I pee on. Well I start to get the giggles, ” I’m OK back here I laugh”, the boys remain facing forward in the most silent way, ” Still going’, I say and continue to pee, minutes go by, ” Hurry up” I am thinking to myself, ” I promise I am not a Camel”, again working hard not to a. Fall in and b. Laugh so loud they think I have something other than Maxim in my drink bottle. Finally I am done and Robbin hauls me back into the boat, we motor on looking at more historical buildings, I am feeling much more comfortable and then wouldn’t you know it Robbin had to go pee too!
All that squared away we drive the boat onwards. Ned pulls up the boat, it is time to practice feeding, Alan goes first, he falls into the harbor and swims alongside the boat for a few minutes, we lean over and pass him his feed, he downs it super fast under 10 seconds, drops the bottle and swims on, we all applaud, he did great! Than it is my turn, I jump into the water, relieved at another chance to pee, I swim long easy strokes beside the boat, Robbin leans over the side and passes me my feed, I down it, not as quickly as Alan but still under 20 seconds, then I make an error, I start putting the top back down on my bottle, ” drop and go, don’t throw” yells Ned, I know to do it but old habits die hard and I was automatically putting on the top and about to toss it to my crew, LESSON LEARNED….” Gulp’n Go” , this is not a tea party. Back into the boat and we motor back to the boat launch, since we left the tide has gone out, a yacht that was happily in the water when we left is now bone dry leaning against the jetty, Owen tells us that the tides cause the water level to lower and us over 25 feet, it is amazing.
We follow Ned back to his house, on arrival he says ” your job now is to shower and scrub up the best you can for lunch”, we do, I have a bag of clean ” street clothes”, it feels great, when I come down stairs I smell a BBQ and see a table set up with all sorts of treats. The 5 of us sit down for what feels like a lunch fit for Kings and Queens, BBQ sauasages, seared fresh Tuna, a selection of cheeses and a baguette, I tell you I have not eaten a sausage off the Barbie in over 20 years…it was insanely good and I swallowed down a few more along with Tuna, then Ned pulled out Vermont’s finest ” Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, NO WAY!
Well with our tunnies full, I am feeling content, time is ticking on and it is time to head back to Kinsale to get ready for tonight’s swim, before we leave Ned takes us into to his office, we see maps of swims he has completed and swims he is planning, then there is “the big map” on the wall of the English Channel, out comes a slew of information, he points out Cape Gris the ultimate landing point in France, I am amazed at how small it is, then he shows us all the other possible landing points, some less appealing than others, it is such an experience to listen to him, both Robbin and I learn so much from Ned and from Donal another Channel Swimmer who shares his knowledge as well.
We say our farewels to Ned, Donal and Alan. Alan and Donal are heading to Dover for the day tomorrow to let Alan get the “Dover feel” and see France, I am excited for him and am looking forward to hearing of his experiences when he returns on Thursday.
We make it back to our Apartment and go about changing and packing up for tonight’s swim, within an hour we are in town ready to meet Craig, then we are off to yet another lake tonight, this one is reportedly the home to a good population of blood sucking Lamprey…..”something new to think about while swimming tonight!”, I think to myself.
Will I be a” latch on Lamprey victum?”…….I’ll keep you posted!