The Irish Sea

How much further from Dover, within the UK, can you get for this week’s training session? We’re here this week in North Wales for an early celebration of Pat & Arthur’s Golden Wedding Anniversary, so training today will consist of two lengths of Colwyn Bay (to Ross-on-Sea and back)  4.2 miles – clocked it yesterday.

Whilst swimming on my own today, my beach crew are going to consist of Christine, Megan, Sarah as well as Pat & Arthur, but instaed of a hot summer stroll along the promonade they are planning to shelter from the driving wind and rain were ‘enjoying’! Yesterday we bought a bright red swimming cap and then last night we made a swim-bouy, made from 3 balloons (yellow, white and pink) tied together, that we could tie onto my trunks with some fishing line – designed to assist the beach crew in spotting me.

Any consideration of Sarah joining me for a swim today was cancelled out yesterday after she ran a brilliant 5 mile run in under an hour – headwind on the way out, towards Llandudno and then as we returned we benefitted from an eaqually strong tailwind aong the beach – dodging the beached jellyfish.

This morning we headed off for a 10.30 start, getting soaked, just getting from the house to the car! We arrived at the coast to see a million whitehorses – the chop was significant. I exited the car and changed quickly, Sarah and Christine came with me on to the beach and Sarah took my shoes from me at the waters edge.  I waded in with balloons trailing me and set off for my swim.

For a while I struggled to get into any sort of ryhthm, the chop really was knocking me all over the place, I made it out past the breakers but there really were whitehorses all over. The plan today was to follow the green marker posts of the beach breakwaters, however I found that due to the waves I needed to be a bit further out than that.

As the wind increased, I found a problem with my homemade swim-bouy, swimming with a tailwind meant the buoy kept getting blown ahead of me. At one point it felt like I was wearing it as a hat and on many other times I was having to stop to untangle the string caught up in my arm stroke. I pulled further away from the prom’ in order to give the pier a wide birth and just as I did, the rain turned to hailstones.

I kept going for ‘one length’ and reached the point where I had agreed to turn, I turned round, knowing full well that it was going to be much harder on the return leg. I pulled long and strong strokes for another 1/4 of a mile and just before reaching the pier again, I decided enough was enough! the wind was up significantly and as well as making little progress, I was being thrown back and forth across the waves, I’d enjoyed about ten facefulls (of wave) and drunk 2 or 3 pints of Wales’ finest… sea water that is.

I swam towards the beach looking for the XC90 which I’d seen a few times on the swim, but all I could see was a young girl wrapped in her waterproofs waving her arms frantically, as I climbed out of the water… Sarah told me she had lost Mummy and the others in the car; they had driven ahead, but she’d been quite happy walking with me along the prom’ all the way. We then walked together in search of the others, Sarah in her waterproofs and me in my trunks, a swim cap and tail of multicoloured balloons! As we did we passed people holding their brollies horizontally – the wind was driving that hard and after just a few minutes we saw Christine and crew pulling into the layby next to us.

A short yet eventful swim – probably 2 – 2.5 miles and a little over one hour.

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