It’s pretty hard to draw from memory, even on a last lap round the lake, breaststroke, with nothing much else to think about than to pay attention to what it looks like. But it might have looked a little like this, more or less.
There had been other swimmers yesterday evening, though fewer lately, but the last time round there was just two of us. All too soon Autumn will come in and it will be a mere handful of hardy souls left. And then after that just three of us, catching the sunrise again not the sunset, on our Tuesday mornings.
But please join us if you feel inclined, we’d love some more company.
Vobster, yesterday. It was indeed fine weather for ducks. Fortunately there we were to take advantage of it: a flotilla of five rubber-clad ducks. Two of us training for Coniston-end-to-end, three for the Dart 10K; both end-of-the-summer long swims, though I have to say I think that the summer may have ended early. It’s not like we weren’t going to get wet anyway, but cross your fingers if you would, for a bit of sunshine the weekend after next!
This is the drawing I meant to do two months ago, the start of one of Vobster’s Aquathalons. That’s me, the odd one out – the one without a wetsuit and who has no intention of going for a run either. It’s always good fun though and the presence of lots of frantically thrashing neoprened bodies makes me swim a little bit faster!
Yesterday was August’s Aquathalon, and I have to admit I skipped it in favour of swimming a lot more laps, but I was there in the lake at the same time, doing my own thing.
Anyone without a knowledge of perspective and wetsuits may fail to spot the subtle fact that I am lower in the water than everyone else, so I just thought I’d draw it to your attention. Of course that may just be because of the cake I ate first …
And anyone who was there, I know you all had white hats on not red ones, but red looked better: Beauty is Truth, Keats said so.
Our early Tuesday morning swim and the changing rooms, always deserted before, have become a disconcerting gothic scene of hanging rubber gimp suits! It is TEK Camp at Vobster and they have got here before us. These are not swimmers’ wetsuits, these are so reinforced, padded and booted they are practically people all on their own.
The Rubber People
[note to the pedantic: I do not have a pink swimming costume, it’s artistic licence, innit.]
Now we know that it is summer: last week Jim took off his wetsuit, and got back in the lake! It was a sort of milestone, we have never seen this transformation before. Jim has been shedding some of his rubber skin for months now: the gloves, the boots, the balaclava, the thermal layer, and now like a butterfly he finally emerged, fully formed. For a few minutes…
(For the sake of fairness I would like to add that Jim did in fact swim with us all through the winter, when all the warm-water creatures had fled the lake.)
Swimming in the rain, at Vobster. I would have liked to draw us and the bubbles all in one picture, but hard enough to get an impression of just the bubbles, on my scribbly phone… worth a scribble nonetheless, just to remember the way all the bubbles sat on the surface, just like that, each staying for a second or two but the rain was so heavy we were surrounded by them.
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…