Day 7/ Garrettstown : Swim and Play
6:30pm we roll up to the beach at Garrettstown, the wind is gusting, as I open the car door I feel like I am about to get sucked out, like Dorothy and Toto in the Wizard of Oz, Robbin and I climb out of the car, there is a small handful of people gathering for tonight’s swim and play, Robbin and I use the ” clutch on to each other technique” to prevent getting blown off the footpath….
The surf is heavy, the wind relentless, the roughest of days and guess who is planning to be first in the water?
Robbin, that tough sister of mine is planning to swim, in fact her bathing suit is already on, only thing is she forgot to throw in her wet suit so now she gets to go in bare skinned, wahoo…..
Down towards the sea she runs, skipping here and there to avoid the fleet of Jellyfish that have washed up on the beach, she dances around the surf excitedly then dashes back up to the car, what fun, she gives me the 2 thumbs up and I toss a towel around her shoulders, what a treat to be supporting her, even if it was a meager towel throw, I enjoy seeing her have some fun after the stress of watching me wade in for my ice bath swims day after day over the last week, I feel for her, harder to be on the beach waiting, then watching me shiver and shake post swim, than being in the water, I feel grateful that she is here in Ireland.
Next up Sarah and Aussie Andrew head down the beach with their Li Lo’s, if you’e asking what the heck is that? Here is the scoop……a Li Lo is what we call a smallish inflatable raft, if you’re still not sure what I mean look at the picture above, meanwhile I scurry off to change too and we all weave our way through the Jellyfish towards the sea……
There is a rip, the waves are big , it takes some effort to get out through the breaker waves but once there we bob about laughing as we get picked up and tossed this way and that with each wave, Andrew paddles out with his Li Lo, ” want a try?” , he asks, ” you bet”, I reply, ” OK climb on and kick hard before the wave breaks”, I do, along with a squeal of delight as the wave picks me and the raft up and thrusts us both forward at what feels like a high rate of speed, ” good old fashioned fun, this beats a water park any day”, I grin as the thought crosses my mind.
After a bit it is time to head in, there are 3 kite boarders whipping back and forward near us, I can see their sails speeding by, super fun however I am concerned about an accidental collision in the unpredictable surf, I start the swim in, harder than you would think, it takes some effort and a number of tangles with tall house plant like seaweed, I make it in and up to the car, I pull down my suit to change and discover screeds of seaweed down my front, I change regardless, it is itchy under my clothes, ” now today, I REALLY can’t wait for that shower”, I laugh.
With all swimmers out of the water, Ned pulls out two massive chocolate gatteaux cakes for me and my fellow swimmers, we all pile off to Finbarr’s place to eat the cake, ” where’s Robbing, first in the water gets first piece”, shouts Ned above the crowd, Robbin heads over for a chunk of cake, I am proud of her. One by one we head up to get a piece of cake, it slides down VERY easily, Yum.
Robbin and I punch out early and head back to the house for a shower, dinner and sleep, next up Day 8, the ” Torture Swim”, last year I found this terribly hard and left with some hard learned lessons that have served me well over the last 12 months.
Oh and did Robbin experience “the claw”? I’ll give you a hint, that is not my hand in the picture above…. I say YES
Is it possible to learn even more through another ” Torture Swim”? All signs point to yes, I’ll keep you posted
” To a young heart everything is fun”
– Charles Dickens