“Come on Emma, just bloody well get in!” …said Emma

Emma's first swim in Derwentwater

It was not warm in Derwentwater: not yet ‘Baltic’, but well into ‘quite nippy’. It was past sunset and Emma stood in the inky waters in bare feet on uncomfortable slippy rocks; she also had a dodgy shoulder and she was not in fact – not yet – a cold water swimmer.
She had got this far, she was already half wet and all cold. Getting out at this point was going to look like defeat, but she was going to need some persuasion.
So she gave herself a stern talking to. Strong words were delivered and after some minutes of entertaining expletives, she did as she told herself.
She got in.
…and she loved it. Briefly.
And two days later she did it again, with noticeably less swearing.

Emma's first swim in Derwentwater
Emma’s first swim in Derwentwater – digital drawing by Nancy Farmer


  1. Hi Nancy,
    I found your website online. I’m holidaying in Whitsands Bay from 12-16 April and am hoping to enjoy some OW Swims. I’m also looking to have an open water swim lesson. I’m a competent sea swimmer but looking to refine my stroke. Could you recommend anyone please, and do you know of any swimmers that go from Whitsands bay please that I can be put in touch with.
    Warm regards,
    Mel Rayner – 07966571938


    1. Hi Mel, not really my area, sorry. I’d suggest you go to Facebook and look up the swimming groups there – if you can’t find one local to the area, there are some large groups worth putting out a general shout to – I’d suggest Slow Swimming / Outdoor Swimming Society / Did You Swim Today? – ask on there and somebody will know somebody….


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