You have to have a challenge … right? … something to give a purpose to what you do? It is now January and the heroic wild swimmers (me and Alfie) are doing well with our crazy scheme of swimming through the winter in the cold, cold North Sea.
On Sunday it reached a new low (temperature) and high (exhilaration and beauty).
There was a hard frost on the ground. It was so cold that the frost was still there at mid-day. The sand was frozen hard …. it was cold. I reckon the sea temperature was between 6-7C. You can see the frost in the top photo.
That wasn’t going to stop us though and in we went. It was cold, very cold. I still don’t have swimming gloves so it was my hands that really hurt, the rest of me felt fine.
But the sea was so still and blue-brown, the horizon blurred, Noel’s fishing boat purred out to sea, the odd fish swam up to us – to be honest this kind of freaked me out – it was quite possibly our best winter swim to date.
We got out and sat outside the beach hut basking in the sun drinking squash soup (and tea) and eating a peanut butter sandwich – utter bliss.
Back to the challenge. I was looking for some gloves and found a website swim the lakes – they do half day swimming adventures, but the level of fitness required for some of these swims is that you can swim one or sometimes two miles in open water. I am not sure that I will ever get to go on any of these adventures but this is my new goal – to be able to swim 2 miles in open water (the North Sea) before the end of the year.
I think we will have to get most of our practice in when it is warmer – or get wetsuits – as the time it will take me to swim 2 miles right now is longer than I can stay in the water.
N.B. Alfie and I have noticed that we are acclimatising to the water, we can stay in longer and the shock of getting in is much reduced. Compare this to my shrieking and squeaking earlier this summer when I used to get in the sea!
N.B. please note the hotwater bottles that Alfie makes up for us before we swim. I get very cold about 10 minutes after the swim so I wear lots of jumpers and thermal tops and drink tea!
N.B. photos from Sunday’s cold swim and one last week when it was a touch warmer!