Day 6/ Swim # 2 Sandycove Island- pictured above with calmer waters…
I awake at 2 am and pull the covers up tight, the wind is howling, the rain is loud as it thrashes against the window pane, I snuggle deeper under the covers, ” going to be a lumpy swim today”, I think, then curiosity gets the better of me, I peak through the curtains, from my room is a view of Kinsale Harbor and Charles fort, I crack the window a bit, I can hear the heavy surf crashing angrily against the cliffs below and can just make out the white caps of the waves, the sea looks and sounds like an angry monster. Back under the covers I go and drift off to sleep dreaming of calm, controlled waters of the indoor pool, I wake at 5:00am to the alarm shouting at me to get up and conquer those waves.
I bound downstairs, down some breakfast and head to the car with all my gear, we arrive at Sandycove at 5:50am for a 6:00am start time, cutting it a it close I know, fortunately it works out, there is only a small group of hardy souls, ” one lap around the island, then it’s laps on this side where it is not as heavy”, Ned delivers his instructions with excitement, ” you may be half way across the Channel and the weather turns and this is what you’ve got”, those of you who really want it swim today”, he adds.
With that I am off the get ready, I have decided that my best plan of attack is to glue myself to Colm, down the slipway we all go, Carol, Jenn and Ned are there too along with the other hardy souls. In we go, the water is calmer around the slipway, we weave our way out through the thick seaweed, out to the first corner and then it is game on, a big swell, strong menacing wind and waves, I swim beside Colm, with each wave I drive my head down and pull hard, progress down the back side of the island is slow, as we approach the far end I pull up to 5 other bobbing heads, they are popping up and down with the swells, ” doesn’t get much better than this”, shouts Ned above the howl of the wind,” this was Paul’s Channel swim for 6 hours, this could be you”, his voice carries off with the wind, ” the swell with smash you into the rocks on the corner, stay wider than usual”, Ned offers some welcome extra ” How to swim around an island in a raging storm advice”, I listen and swim wide, I feel like I am on an adventure to discover new waters and experiences, I am and I am enjoying it, I am feeling grateful,” I would not swim this alone, no boat would come out with me back home and today here are other swimmers, relaxed, happy, willing and able to be out here today,” how fortunate to swim these conditions and with company”, I think.
Colm and I do stay wide, when we do make the turn the swell picks us up like we are as light as toothpicks and hurls us forward, no reality TV for me, I am living the dream right here, right now, it is both exhilerating and exciting. Around the corner we fly until we reach the front side of the island, it takes us a lot longer to get around the island today, Carol and Jenn break off, ” one lap for us today”, they had declared at the start, I join them and swim in, a quick dash up the slipway to the car, ” straight back to the house please Robbin, I’m not getting changed, it is right into the shower for me”, I leap in the car and before we know it I am all warm and cozy in dry clothes, hot cup of tea in hand.
So what did I think of today’s swim? LOVED it!
What’s next? Tonight’s sea swim has been moved to Iniscara Lake ( you know, my favourite) so until them I am eating and resting, we swim at 5pm
Will the wind speed drop for tonight’s swim? I’ll keep you posted
If a thing is obviously right, do it