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Coldest Swim Night Yet

Swim Start Time 23:03

January 3 2021

Causeway Coast

Charity AWARE NI

Swim Distance 1.41km


The water that lies on the sand at the entrance to the beach was frozen. The big clear sky had let any heat from the low winter sun escape at sunset. The sea was relatively calm, just little two or three foot waves breaking the silence and the still air. It looked like the entire solar system was out to watch me tonight. Stars littered the sky despite the bright moon trying to steal the show.


The fishermen are back, they too do not like the raging northerlies. These hardy men stand on the shore with multiple lines out all through the winter and late into the dark cold nights. I try very hard to not disturb them and often change my swim route to where they aren't fishing.


Despite the still, cold conditions tonight, there were little currents at various points along the shore line which held me back at times and at others pushed me forward. Almost every time I dove my hand through the shimmery moonlit surface as I reached into my next swim stroke I could feel pieces of smashed up seaweed suspended below me in the darkness. Small chewed up remnants ripped from their bedding at sea I presume and driven ashore by the heavy northerlies last week. The tides are big at the minute and in daylight on the dead low you can see lots of this stuff deposited along the shore line. The relentless north wind and chaotic surf last week had distrubed the nearshore sandbanks but they appear to be rebuilding nicely. It is between these banks that I often find my swim route.


It looks like a cold, still week, almost perfect for me to catch up on some kilometers. I'm just over the 25km mark.


Thank you for reading this far! Please if you have a few spare quid use it to help the charity AWARE NI via the link here.... A massive thank you to the few of you who have donated so far! I cant reply to you on the justgiving site but know that your words and the money for charity are greatly appreciated. I know how hard it is for everyone at the minute and to find something to donate is a great and kind thing thank you! https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/al-mennie





Al Mennie. Swim Through Darkness. Photo by Mark Millar.

Info - I am swimming a total of 100km through the darkness, in the darkest and coldest months of the year off the North Coast of Ireland. My aim...to inspire those who may be struggling in dark times to keep going. I also aim to raise awareness and funds for the depression Charity Aware NI. We all face dark times in life at some point and it can be extremely overwhelming.


Safety - Please don't think that because I am doing this that you too should do this or something similar. I am very experienced in the sea with knowledge that is only gained through many years of exposure to the sea in all her moods. I have a safety and location system in place including continual contact with people on land every time I swim.


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