Tag Archives: chillswim tow float

To Wildcat Island…

Chillswim Coniston end-to-end 2016

coniston-2016

On Saturday we swam the five and a quarter mile length of Coniston, me and about 700 others. The drizzle was brightened by a procession of pink and orange tow-floats.

My second time at this fantastic event,  but my first without a wetsuit, and despite the rain I had a fair view,  randomly choosing to swim the majority of it breaststroke having trained front crawl all summer.

It kept me warm. A girl can change her mind.

So for the record: 3 hours 14 minutes, 20 minutes slower than last year,  but most of that is the lack of a wetsuit.  Wetsuits go faster, but they’re not as much fun, not when one has a cossie with ‘some like it cold’ printed on the bum.

This is near the start, on the way towards Peel Island, or Wildcat Island for fans of Swallows and Amazons.

Calendars now available…

…of a new selection of swimming pictures for 2017, see my other blog for details and photos: https://nancyfarmer.wordpress.com/portfolio/2017-calendar-is-it-cold-swimming-drawings-by-nancy-farmer/

Clevedon Pier and the way home

To Layde Bay and back with Steve and Tow-Floats

This was yesterday at Clevedon, from the Pier to the Bay, turning with the tide, and back again. It was a little bumpy in the water and here is the pier and home looming, though from my vantage point I couldn’t actually see it that well. Apologies to Colin Hill of Chillswim, I failed to do the bright orange of the tow-floats justice – Their incongruous orangeness much appreciated in water like this, not least for being able to keep an eye on your fellow swimmer as we both bobbed about a little bit cork-like!

Clevedon Pier and the way home

Clevedon Pier and the way home

March Winds

March Winds

The weather was a little frisky for our swim on Tuesday and I had to resort to front crawl on the way back from the far end to avoid being smacked round the face by a succession of waves and swallowing more lake than usual. But at 7 degrees it’s still colder than it was at the start of January and front crawl is very cold on the face. There is only on solution to this ongoing problem of what I think is a pretty cold spring: cake is compulsory until the lake reaches at least double figures…

March Winds

March Winds

The Race

The Race

(…being a thing run not against each other but against the onset of the shivering.)
Whether we dress in a rapid flurry of efficiency or a slow-motion hypothermic clumsiness l cannot say. For me, the experience of dressing after a proper cold swim has that closed-in concentration of a drunk person going home: still capable of the essential task, but extremely vague as to the actual passing of time. And there are times when I am simply not prepared to deal with the profound logistical challenges of a bra…
The Race

The Race

The Winter Swimmer's Recovery Position

The Recovery Position

This is the recovery position for winter swimmers, not for drunk people. Though addled brains, an inability to speak in long sentences and a tendency to throw your drink all over the place are common to both conditions. You probably haven’t known shivering until you have known winter swimming, And still I persist in finding it strangely amusing.

The Winter Swimmer's Recovery Position

The Winter Swimmer’s Recovery Position

A bob in the sea at Clevedon

A bob at Clevedon

Went for a bob in the sea this morning. Couldn’t really call it ‘swimming’ as it was rather like this. Though I did make it almost as far as the first buoy, apparently about 200 metres out, before I decided that discretion was the better part of valour. I am used to the lake at Clevedon, not this stuff, but it was fun!

A bob in the sea at Clevedon

A bob in the sea at Clevedon, with the Pier in the distance

Vobster at Sunrise

Too cold for wetsuits, we better go in without them! Vobster, 16th December

Vobster at sunrise yesterday! Still mist on the water. Ruth and Jim ahead of me and when I looked up to see where they were, all was suddenly blinding golden light.
We had thought if we put on wetsuits we could go twice round. Not making that mistake again! We could, but as Ruth put it: “none of the endorphins, all of the cold!” No shock to the system, but the pinchy cold was appalling on hands and feet. I won’t say l missed the shivering like an idiot afterwards, but next week it’s back to shorter swims in swimming costumes 🙂

Vobster  at Sunrise

Vobster at Sunrise, with Ruth & Jim (there are two heads here and one orange tow float)