Day 2/ Swim 1 Sandycove Island
It’s a foggy start this morning, there is a misty wet dense feel in the air, the layer makes the visibility poor, it looks like a Sandycove Halloween scene, minus the candy, all the same I am excited to pounce back in the water this morning, we receive our morning briefing ” it’s foggy, hard to see out there, careful not to miss the island and swim out to see or turn in too soon and hot the island, it will hurt you will be cut to shreds”, announces Ned, following that is a grim account of a swimmer last year shredded to tatters by rocks and then finished off by an elbow from Finbarr…..he has a big elbow, I make a mental note, do not swim close to Finbarr today!
We all scatter off to our cars to get ready….clothes off, grease on, ear plugs in, cap on and goggles down, I am ready to swim and make my way down the slipway hastily, once there I wade out and swim hard and fast to pull along side Ned, he is a terrific pace to swim with , I pull up alongside his hip, he stops and laughs, “I recognise that right arm”, he says and with that we resume swimming around the island, I am happy to be in the water and in such good company, I swam with Ned a lot last year, he is a strong and shrewd swimmer and navigates the island like a pro, I follow his lead.
Lap 1 down, onto Lap 2, things feels great, no cold feet, no aching head, no cramping hands, lap 2 down, we check in with other swimmers, all good, I check the water temperature on my watch 52.6 degrees Fahrenheit ( 11 C ).
Off we zoom, around the back of the island where the water is coldest, I can’t wait to hit the second corner where the water warms up to a balmy 53.8F,” we are getting closer to that lovely warm water”, I think, ” I just know it”. Then it happened, Ned starts to pull away, I pick up my stroke rate, “RATS”, I think to myself, I work harder to raise my heart rate with a higher stroke rate, it helps a bit but, I feel warm in my core, my brain is working, but my hands are starting to claw up, less power in my pull, I am showing the early signs of Hypothermia, ” Bugger” I mutter.
We pull up at the corner, Ned knows, he has seen my slow up and crash before a number of times, ” this is your last lap”, he shouts, ” OK”, I reply, ” do you want to go straight in or into the inlet”, Ned asks, ” Inlet please”, I blurt out, and off we go to the inlet, it is essentially the long way home, it adds another 10-15 minutes to today’s swim, we all pick up the pace, I swim with all I’ve got in past the Big Red House, we hit the slipway, this mornings swim is over for me, all the same I am pleased, further and longer than yesterday and I didn’t crash as fast as last year, an improvement indeed.
Robbin, my sister is there ready to help, Ned reaches a hand as I step up on the slipway, ” Blanket or towel?”, Robbins asks, ready to help, I grin and Ned answers,” She doesn’t need either”! Well I tell you I feel SO HAPPY to stride up that slipway not wrapped up ( granted it is a bit of a wobbly stride but all the same I feel proud )
Of course I have to mention, that is my small achievement of the day 1 Hour 40 minutes, there are still swimmers out there, swimming 4 and 5 laps in 2 hours, I feel humbled and happy, what a wonderful combination.
Next up: Food, Yoga, Nap, Food again then up for a 1.5 Hour drive to Loughe Ine, last year there were lots of Jellies.
What will this year bring, a few Jellies or hundreds of Jellies? I’ll keep you posted
Little steps make the Leap