Swim Start Time 18:24
December 27 2020
Charity AWARE NI
Swim Distance .99km
Tonight the tide was nearly in the dunes at the pier at the eastern end of the beach at Castlerock. On these big tides and swell there is often a strong current running to the west. The current slips between nearshore sand banks counter to the direction of the swell and wind. I knew it would be flowing hard tonight because of the big swell. There is another current which works its way out along the western side of the pier which is fed by the surf coming in and turning to the east close to shore. I knew when I entered the water that my intitial swim would be against this easterly flow for a few minutes until I got into the westerly flow. Thats exactly how it went. To be honest the current was flowing so perfectly I barely swam at all. It zipped me along the shore to the other end of the beach in record time (19mins 27secs) ! It was the fastest I completed the distance. In fact my GPS watch told me I only burnt 75 calories and I needed no recovery time! To give that some perspective, it usually reads between 350 and 600 calories for the same distance. I have to say it is great fun doing that when conditons allow it, just lying on my back or side ducking under waves watching the moon as I zip along the shoreline. Most swims I've done involve a lot more swimming!
I wont swim for the next two nights, we have big north wind forecast again for the next 2-3 days. I don't swim in north wind as the water can be dirty and have stuff in it. Even last night the water at the pier smelt like a field! I will use the time to keep fuelled up.
Tonight was bitterly cold with sleet and snow showers but a beautiful big moon overhead. Relatively it wasnt very dark tonight. As the moon peaks soon the darkness will be begin to return in the days that follow.
If this north wind holds direction longer than 2 days I may switch to my back up location to keep the kilometers going.
To date ive been hit by a fish in the leg and one in the side. I've also seen a live seal pup and a dead one!
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.... https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/al-mennie
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.