December 2nd 2023
Swim Distance 1.1km
Air temp 2 degrees
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Last night was without doubt the darkest I've ever swam in. A heavy blanket of freezing Sea Fog cloaked the coastline. The fog lay thick on the surface of the water, allowing no light to penetrate. The inky black swell lines approached in silence before breaking with force onto the lurking sand banks. If I was too far out they would rise me up as they passed beneath me, if I was too close to shore they would catch me off guard and surge me into the darkness. The white froth of the aftermath which often holds light for a moment or two was overcome immediately by the darkness. The Christmas decorations outside a house in the distance cast light up white rendered walls enough to give me a point of reference in the haar. To the east six street lights fought the darkness as the murk attempted to swamp them. It was an eerie scene and a very out of this world experience, in contrast to the raging full moon light of the past week.
These dark murky nights are the ones that I fear the most. The sea disguises its hand until the last moment, offering me very little in the way of clues to what it is about to do. I find it difficult to relax on these nights, always waiting and wondering as I swim. I rely on the motion of the water, the sound and my instinct to keep going despite not having the full picture. These conditions bring fishermen out, their lines lie in the gully in which I further along the coast. The gulley is where fish swim too, shells and dead crab litter the seabed. This little track through the dark waters allows me to swim through the chaos near shore, it feeds life among the unruly surf and currents.