Day 7/ Swim 1 Iniscara Lake
The stormy weather continues, the wind has dropped considerably since yesterday’s howler of a day, still sea conditions are still heavy so Ned has rescheduled this morning’s swim back to the lake, we arrive at 5:45am, the road is littered with remnants of the storm, leaves and smaller branches from the trees are scattered everywhere, “so windy yesterday I couldn’t even leave my dog outside the store”, said one local shop owner as he was describing the force of the wind….
We check in for the morning swim instructions and then prepare to begin our swim, that’s me on the left, I stay bundled up to the last possible minute……….
Then down the slipway we go, time to launch, time to peel off the cozy hoodie and kick off the boots, then into the lake……
The air temperature has dropped over night to 9 degrees Celsius, the water has cooled down also to 13 degrees yet, still it feels warmer than the sea and I enjoy the soft warmth on my skin as I swim, it feels refreshing rather than a piercing cold, I like it. We soon form a pack and power down the lake, no white caps to drive through this morning making the trip down the lake fast, before I know it we are at the far end of the lake ready to return to the slipway, “I would like to swim 2 laps today”, I think, “ feed at the end of lap 1 and check in”. My feed, flip flops and Ned’s blanket in the dry bag, patiently wait for me on the slipway……
Everyone is swimming well this morning, many skipped last night’s swim, “ they must be feeling rested, cool to see everyone punching it hard this morning”, I think. This is the 3rd swim in the lake for me this week, meaning it is getting more familiar every swim, I recognize the yellow house half way down the lake, the pump house at the end, and my favorite the overturned boats stored on the grass a few hundred meters before the slipway, when I see the boats I know a feed or for the end of my swim a hot chocolate is near.
I see the yellow house,” half way back on lap one, excellent, time to bring it home strong”, I coach myself to pick up the pace, my brain sends the message to my body, but my body is not having a bar of it, it defiantly SLOWS DOWN! “Mate”, I sternly say, “ what’s up with this?”, I again try to pick it up, it feels like I have no pull, then I see it, I have the claw, I can see it as clear as daylight on my arm recovery, both hands are clawed up like hawk feet, I pump my fingers open and closed, I continue to swim slow, Ned stops, “ you’re slowing down”, he shouts, I reply by hauling one of my claw hands out of the water, “ I know, got the claw, I’m OK though”. We swim on the last 500 meters, me slow, Ned pulling up frequently to wait, I am sure he must be getting cold swimming slow in order to limp me back into shore.
We make it in, “ thanks for swimming in with me”, and with that Ned tosses me a blanket, I LOVE the blanket and snuggle it up around my neck, “ your’e probably tired, you feel the cold more then, end of the week”, I nod and walk up the slipway, he is right I do feel beat today, but beat and happy, I am pleased, no second lap but I am feeling in control and walk up on my own, quickly dress and before I know it am sucking down a hot chocolate, it’s the simple things that mean so much. After 10 cookies and a good few Jelly Babies we are off to Kinsale, a 45 minute drive home, then it is food and a nap.
What’s coming up this afternoon? A swim of course, but this swim is listed as ” play in the surf”, I am intrigued.
What will surf play be? I’ll keep you posted
– Frank Mcgee