You can always rely on Niall to come up with a good suggestion.
I was pottering around the house in a post Christmas flux two days ago and a text comes through saying “Thinking might do sea swim tomorrow if tempted either, water temperature almost 10 and warmish tomorrow also… (in a suit)”
I was sold immediately. I hadn’t thought of going near the sea till May but the fact that it was nearly ten degrees and in a wetsuit made the idea absolutely tempting. There was an exchange of phone calls and the itinerary was set to go to the forty foot for an 11 o’clock dip.
I collected Niall at his house a little after ten and it brought back memories of our summer jaunts. It was sunny and very windy, though Niall was confident the sea wouldn’t be that bad. Arriving at Sandycove, there was the logistics of parking and the sudden call of nature (again just like old times).
When we got to the forty foot there was a fairly blustery westerly wind and Niall looked at me to get my sense of “Go – No Go”? I said “Sure we’ll give it a go”. There were lots of bathers getting in for their five minutes of treading water and we might have seen to be phonies in our neoprene but we were intending to venture out into the unsheltered wash, so we weren’t that light weight.
Suffice to say, in the neoprene there was no pain in descending the steps into the water, but then we weren’t in it for the sufferance. A few strokes in and I put my face in the water and yes, it was sharply cold. We stopped and looked each other to concur the headache that was growing in both out heads. We agreed that it would pass if we swam on.
And it did. We stroked on towards Bullock harbour with the sun high in the blue skies. The whole thing was like a huge reminiscence of some of the bright mornings or Wicklow and Wexford. We turned and made for the buoy north of the Forty Foot. At this point the messy waves were coming head on, but because there was no pressure to achieve anything other than enjoyment, we calmly dug into the waves and plodded through.
When we got to the buoy, Niall was beginning to feel the cold due to not having gloves but I was riding a rush of endorphins. The choppy sea was fun and we were oblivious to the wind. We then made our way back to the steps with one sprint to boot.
And that was it. For the rest of the day I felt the kind of joy I felt when covering a substantial distance of the coastline and more to the point, I have a renewed enthusiasm for the coming summer. The first swim is going to have to be close to ten kilometres as it warrants getting across Waterford estuary so I wont be starting until June, but notwithstanding there will be the spring warm up period at Bull Wall. Also I am hoping our esteemed political administration don’t see fit to close the swimming pools in response to the covid brought about by schools, retail and entertainment in the coming months.
At this point I would like to reiterate my callout for sponsorship so that I can continue this journey to circumnavigate the country by swimming. If you know anyone inclined to get involved, please get them to ping me at email: info[at]ceall.com.
Happy New Year to you and yours for 2022!