Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Life gets in the way...

Yes, I am still alive and training. But college is getting in the way of my online life for the moment-I have a deadline for a research paper this Friday and it's nowhere near finished so every spare moment is going towards that at the moment. Thankfully it's a light training week since EilĂ­s is on holidays. Good timing!
Just thought I should pop in and do a quick update-I'll update properly at the weekend though, I've got plenty to catch up on. After spending so much time on the PhD this week I think that I'll be taking the full weekend off that though...I have to reward myself somehow or I'll never get through the stress of the next few days :) 

Monday, February 2, 2009

At last!

Yesterday I headed down to Sandycove for my second sea swim of 2009. I've been down 3 times since the start of the year when we haven't been able to get in, so frustration has been starting to set in. So when I got to Kinsale yesterday to find the river all choppy, I was seriously annoyed, I knew that probably meant that Sandycove was going to be bad. And it was...waves coming over the wall AGAIN! There was chop coming from all directions, waves at the first and second corners and the slip was just a mess.

I was contemplating what I was going to do-would I go home and get someone to accompany me to a beach later in the day-but then the tide would be out so I'd be frozen by the time I'd get to the water-and then again maybe if the wind changed like it was supposed to things might get better later in Sandycove-but then it would be low tide there too-I was weighing up all my options when Sally turned up. And, like me, Sally was determinded to get a swim in. Regardless of where it was, as long as it was in open water. So we tried to figure out what our best option was. The inland places that would be much calmer than the sea are so, so cold at this time of year, and we'd have had a decent journey to get to any of them. The other option was to head further along the coast in one direction or the other to either Oysterhaven or Garretstown. We figured that since Garretstown was on the other side of the headland, it wouldn't be affected by the same winds as Sandycove, so we decided to give it a try. We headed for Garrylucas beach, which is the safer of the two beaches in Garretstown-the other one is a surfing beach. And we were glad we did! There were some waves, but only close to the shore, and beyond them was much calmer than the water in Sandycove. It was worth the trip!

The wind was bitter cold (the air temperature was 3deg C apparently), so we got changed in our cars and then hobbled down the stones to the water-I missed Sandycove and it's lovely slip at that stage! In we got, it was cold, but probably no worse than Sandycove when I was last in, even with the cold air temperature. I had expected that I'd be freezing when I hadn't been in for a few weeks. Regardless of how warm or cold it was anyway, we didn't have too much choice about getting wet-the waves made sure of that! By the time we were knee-deep we were soaked so it was time to start swimming-we headed out past the waves, and while it wasn't glass calm out there, it was swimmable. We didn't venture too far from the cars, we just swam up and down a bit-the current was tending to carry us out which was a bit unnerving but it was probably just because the tide was on its way out. We found the if we swam slightly diagonally towards the shore we ended up going more or less straight so it was fine.

We swam for a little over 15 minutes before deciding to call it a day. Getting back into shore without getting knocked over proved to be a bit of a challenge, and I was really hobbling getting back up the beach, my feet were so numb that walking on the stones felt like walking on glass. And of course there was a mini sandstorm at the same time-Garrylucas beach has big sand dunes so there's often sand blowing down the beach. So it was nice to reach the car and wrap a nice big towel around me! We got changed and had mint tea that Sally had sensibly brought-lovely for getting us warmed up fast :)

On the way home I dropped by Sandycove to see what the conditions were like at that stage-it still wasn't pleasant but it had calmed down a bit and because the tide was lower, the waves weren't breaking on the slip any more.

So maybe if we'd just gone down to Sandycove an hour later than we did that might have been a better idea, but then again there's more rocks exposed at lower tide so with the waves and everything we'd have only been able to do a small triangle anyway. All in all we got our swim in, and we were happy with that!