Lake Windermere

Lake Windermere

Monday, 27 April 2015


Apparently it is nesting season for riverside wildlife. I know this to be true as the swans have stopped paddling sedately away as I approach them and have adapted a " come closer if you are hard enough" attitude.

Last week I met 4 ladies who were swimming and were refused permission to swim past Mr. Swan as he got all aggro as they approached. When I reached where he was patrolling I swam way over on the other side of the river and tried to look small and inconspicuous. I know, never going to work.

Fortunately he did not worry about me but as I swam close to the far bank a young black Labrador got so excited he launched himself into the river and landed right on top of me. His mistress did not seem to give a hoot that her dog had just bombed me and never even said a word. Lucky for her that I am a cool calm individual and just kept swimming. Presumably the dog got out as it wasn't there an hour later.

The river is a strange colour at the moment. I can't imagine that it is field run off as it hasn't really rained for weeks. No matter, it is still lovely to swim in and I am still rocking.

Monday, 20 April 2015


Dear reader, all my life I have been a 4 stroke, breathe to the right swimmer. Now this is fine and dandy if the sea is smooth to my right. If it is lumpy then I get to drink plenty of sea water.

This year I have been working on bilateral breathing, that is 3 strokes breath right, 3 strokes breath left. I have to admit that it felt very strange at first but I have persevered and it is now feeling more natural.

Yesterday I did a 2 hour river swim and stuck with bilateral all the way. Actually, I covered the swim distance a little faster that I did before.

The river is now 12C although the air yesterday was only 6C when I got in. I do not even notice the water temperature now so I am able to build up the time in the water as I head towards my Jersey swim.

Counting down the days to retirement, not counting but 54 to go.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015


I am now back safe and sound from my Straits of Gibraltar experience.

The Levante wind made any chance of a swim totally impossible so I will be back in 2016 to finish what I have started.

Hey ho, can't do anything about the weather so upwards and onwards. My focus now switches to the lovely island of Jersey in the first week of August when I will be swimming the 44 miles around it.

I was back in the Nene today for an hour, 10.5 C water but a warm sun on my back made it quite comfortable. After looking at my speed for the shorter Gibraltar crossing I am now looking at building up my time in the water for the longer Jersey swim.

Start my last term at school next week. Time will fly and on the 4th of July ( oh say can you see ) I will be a retired old man, well teacher anyway.

Radar Love, voted Planet Rocks number 1 driving song. Can't argue but I went for Free Bird.

Saturday, 4 April 2015


Well there you have it. Levante wins the contest.

My attempts to get into the Straits of Gibraltar have been blown to smithereens by Lavante, the East wind. Here they are calling it moderate, everyone else would call it a howling gale! My pilot says that the wind only blows for this long about 3 times a year. Lucky me to be here to experience it!

The only still day was fogged out in as thick a peasouper that I have seen for a while so it was not meant to be this time.

Fear not dear reader I will be back. The 2015 swimming season is fully booked so I am rebooking for 2016. Another year older...............

Still my time has been put to good use exploring Tarifa which is a very lovely and relaxing place.

I hear I am going back to rubbish weather, at least the sun is out here and out of Levante's breath it is very warm.

Friday, 3 April 2015


Levante, the easterly wind is still howling through the Straits of Gibraltar making anything, let alone swimming impossible.

In a bizarre way, I am happy that the Levante is so strong as it removes any notion of "it's not too bad, I'll give it a go".

Watching the fast ferry to Tangier trying to get out into the Straits yesterday was gut wrenching as it rock and rolled baby!

I am enjoying pottering around Tarifa. It is a very beautiful place with hidden streets and places to explore.

Every night there is a Semana Santa (Holy week) parade. Huge altar thingies with statues are carried around the streets by 20 men inside them. They are made of very heavy wood and metal with life sized marble statues of Christ or Mary.

 Very spectacular with hundreds of people in hoods with candles, which all blow out, and accompanied by one and sometimes two marching ( incredibly slowly ) bands.

 Yesterday, after 2 days here, I found the huge, wide, fine white sandy beach where the kite surfers go (none yesterday, too windy even for them). It just happened to be on the other side of the town and I hadn't explored that yet! Sadly it was impossible to walk on as the fine sand was being blasted into the air by Levante creating a sand storm.

I will keep you posted but this looks like a rebooking later in the year!

At least I have wifi and I watched the Guess Who live last night.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015


You think that the UK is having rough weather, WELL the Straits of Gibraltar is having its own fun.

Today I was all ready to set off only to see thick, and I mean thick fog roll in and totally cover the African coast, the Straits and Tarifa on the Spanish side. So no go bro!

The fog is still lingering on the African coast but the winds have now picked up and swimming will be impossible for the next few days.

Oh the joys. Still, got to sit in the sun today even though it was like sitting in a hurricane testing tunnel.

Setting off. 7am. Only 13 and a half hours to go!