This week has seen the return of usual British summer weather. The winds have picked up and the kite surfers have reclaimed their territory.
I personally love a choppy swim. Perhaps it’s because all technique goes out the window and swimming becomes about survival rather than fitness or finesse. I can’t describe the feeling of being lost in the ocean when the swell picks you up, drops you down and you’re at the mercy of mother sea. For me, there is nothing more presencing.
We had a great impromptu swim with 7 members from our anarchic swimming group, playing in the waves at low tide. The spontaneous ones are always the ones that work best.
On Friday we had a visit from UN Patron for the Oceans and endurance swimmer Lewis Pugh. Lewis is swimming from Lands End to Dover sporting only Speedos, goggles and cap to highlight the vulnerability of our oceans. He talked about the effects of global warming and single use plastics on the environment and how we can do our bit to protect the oceans. Fellow iSWIM member Seamus and I left feeling inspired to organise some beach cleans with iSWIM.
Chatting to Lewis afterwards, I couldn’t resist asking for some cold-water swimming tips. Lewis has swum at the North Pole in sea temperatures of -1.7 degrees. It was so cold the blood in his fingers started to freeze. He swam in those conditions for 1km or 18 minutes. I need to remember this when Hove sea temperatures drop to a balmy 5 degrees.