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Swim Through Darkness First Swim!

Intro- 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 for some people it can be extremely overwhelming.



Swim Start Time - 22:22pm

December 1st 2020

Causeway Coast

Charity AWARE NI

Swim Distance 1.03KM


No matter how you look at something, there's always another way you haven't seen it. I've played on this beach all my life and tonight I walked it alone in the darkness. The further I walked from the lights, the darker it got. I was continually wondering is there someone else out here or is it just me. In my training I hadn't done much swimming at this beach, I preferred to use Downhill Beach, at little further to the west most of the time. It's darker there and there are less people around to wonder what I was up to in the pitch black dressed like some sort of aqua ninja in my all black wetsuit and hood and big red beard protruding from the front of it.


Slipping into the water in the blackness heightens the other senses. There is a calming acceptance that comes with that. At the start it is easy to get a little panicky about not seeing everything, but when I realised that I cant and wont see everything and accepted it, I relaxed. Letting my hearing, the movement of the water and the little that I could see help me find my way. There is something very freeing in that.


Anyway, I have this watch which allows me to record my swim using satellite GPS. I'm going to post my swims here for anyone interested.


If you notice the line I swim is far from straight. That is because I am continually hit by waves and washed in a little, then out a little and so on. Sometimes in training I've had big surges wash me in a lot or suck me out a lot, other times its dead calm and I just swim. I dont always get into a rhythm as I swim, sometimes the waves just do not allow it and I have to stop and start. On other nights I get a really good flow going and power forward, it just depends on the conditions. Depending on currents and conditions I sometimes change direction. I don't swim every night. Some nights I deem it unsafe to do so.


You will see my distances vary too. At times I almost double the swim distance if conditions allow for it and at times I shorten it. But I will eventually get to 100km total.


If you can spare some money for AWARE NI please donate at the link below.


https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/al-mennie


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.