Day 4/ Swim # 2: Blackwater River
A shorter drive to tonight’s swim, the swim starts at 7pm, we leave Kinsale in the pouring rain, during the 60 minute ride to the swim it is beautiful sunshine, everything looks bright and cherry, as we arrive at Blackwater River the clouds darken and the wind picks up, it looks ominous.
The river itself is glass like flat, with a closer look I can see the strong current, we wait tucked up in the warmth and safety of the car and watch the young rowers training on the river.
Soon it is time for instructions and to prepare to swim, it is an up and back 7.5km swim, Owen gives us the run down on staying close to the bank on the right, “ Heads up for rowers coming straight at you” Ned adds, with that it is into the water.
The water is river cold, it is different to the ocean, it feels dense. The entry is very slippery, one by one we launch, the swim is underway.
“I feel good”, I say to myself, swimming upstream requires a higher effort level, I breath heavily yet under control, I start to pull up the river. I sight regularly, I am on the lookout for the fallen tree that slashed across my shoulder last year, I don’t want a repeat tonight.
The sky remains dark, there are swimmers to my left and right, we are to turnaround at a large house on the right or at one hour which ever we reach first, I check my watch 45 minutes, close to turnaround time, Colm is swimming beside me, we both pull up, the water is still flowing downstream but swimmers are not heading up, the current has picked up, one after another the river flow prevents swimmers from going further upstream, I turn and head for home, the current is strong the return journey is fast, I can’t feel either of my feet, yet my hands are good, my mind is strong and I swim with all my might, I am having fun. Ned appears downstream, he has been herding me and my fellow swimmers into the bank, watching over us all like a flock of sheep, now we are all homeward bound he too swims downstream, we swim in together a good clip, it feels good.
Before I know it I am back at the slippery steps , out of the river, dressed and huddled in the chair, yes I am shaking and shivering AND VERY PLEASED. The water was a refreshing 12 degrees Celsius ( 53.6F), my swim time was 1 hour 20 minutes. Biscuits and hot chocolate and then it is off home, we pull into Kinsale late, it is close to 11:00pm, what next hand cut Hot Chips, at the local “chippy”, the chips are wrapped in paper and I toss in extra salt. Robbin holds the chips…
Well, there we have it, a comeback day indeed……. Did I have something to prove? YES
And who did I need to prove it to? Me of course
Come back stronger than you were before