Tag Archives: tow float

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)

Buttermere, by myself

Buttermere, by myself, 28th October

Buttermere, by myself

Buttermere, by myself

The last of my Lake District sketches (for a while). This is me, swimming the length of Buttermere, and somewhat over half way back again. At which point I finally spotted Mum, who I was unaware had followed me along the lakeside on foot for the whole length of the lake (a little over 2K). I wasn’t looking out for her because she hadn’t been going to do that, and she was wearing a nicely camouflaged forest-green waterproof…

I wimped out at this point and admitted that by now it had got a a teeny bit boring swimming all on my own in the cold and the rain. I am not particularly a fan of swimming in wetsuits, but it was only about 10 or 11 degrees, and passing by the torrents pouring off the fells it was quite a bit colder. Walking was a dubious idea, since I did that in cold wet feet with only little plastic ballet pumps on, through a number of merrily gurgling icy streams: with hindsight not the wimpy option, but the company was better 🙂

People have been confused as to how I can draw a picture of myself and have asked whether I have used photographs. This is odd, because nobody is confused when I turn out pictures of fairies and demons. People, it’s very simple: there are no photos and I make it all up 🙂 It did happen like this, but this is only how I think it might have looked.

One exchange between other walkers and Mum is worth relating I think, as some passers-by noticed her watching me:
“Is he with you?”
“He’s a she. Yes, that’s my daughter”
“Oh. How old is she?”
“44”
“Oh… oh dear, that’s the same age as me” …said in the voice of one who was hoping to be told I was something silly and frivolous like 25 😉

The shoes were in the tow-float, by the way – the orange thing that was slightly irritatingly bouncing on my bottom for a lot of the swim, but is actually an awesome object for being visible, and for carrying stuff. The very nice Chillswim people make them.