The first of September! A new month and a new wild swimming challenge. Here’s a selfie from three years ago taken before I ate all the pies during lockdown. I’m wearing one of the first presents that Hot Stuff bought me. I thought it was superb but a luxury item that wouldn’t replace the cozzie on a regular base. Since then I’ve changed my mind and realised that a wetsuit is a need not a want. It takes away the shock of the initial chill and protects me from jellyfish and seals. I’ve used it so much that it’s on its last legs now held together with special glue. My BF would be muttering under his breath something about there being a lot of strain on those seams. I’m treating myself to a new one in the out of season sales.
I’ve been wild swimming for quite a few years now but started to take it more seriously back in 2018, egging myself on to take a dip at least once every month. And I’ve done just that, except in the spring of 2020 when emergency services had better things to do than rescuing plump middle aged women who’d got in trouble in the briny. Most of the time I walk down to the nearest cove after work, about ten minutes walk from my home. Such a wonderful stress reliever after a hard day. It’s always lovely to swim in less familiar places too but I’m more wary in unfamiliar places. Respect for the sea is key.
Wild swimming has definitely benefitted me physically, increasing my stamina and improved my muscle
tone. There’s so much to interest me that I swim for much longer than I do in a pool. There’s those big boats on the horizon and of course communing with nature plays its part. I see seals frequently. A couple of years ago the big bull decided it would be a superb idea to put my leg in its mouth. I was a bit wary after that. Once, in Spain a dolphin popped up at close range. Instead of being at peace with nature I screamed and scared the poor thing off.
Purists praise the health benefits of cold water bathing in just a costume but I like to keep out the cold.
My wetsuit has been a godsend. I’ve also invested in neoprene hood and gloves for when it’s nippier.
Add in my all in one snorkelling mask and I’m all set for underwater wildlife watching. Let’s hope though that Wally the Walrus doesn’t turn up at any time soon!