Lake Windermere

Lake Windermere

Tuesday, 25 October 2016


Levante, the strong easterly wind has arrived and blown my swimming plans apart once again.

Sadly, can't be helped so I am just getting on with it.

Re booked for April 2017.

Third time lucky!

Saturday, 22 October 2016


Here in Tarifa waiting for a weather gap for my Straits of Gibraltar swim. Fog today and tomorrow, looking at early Monday morning.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016


I have to admit that it has been a long summer and now autumn as I have never had to wait so long for a major swim.

The end is in sight as I will be looking to cross the Straits of Gibraltar sometime in the next 10 days.

Looking at the weather forecast for Tarifa does not make hugely satisfying reading as there will be some days that appear too windy for swimming.

Hopefully there also seems to be a few suitable days so I am confident of getting away.
No repeat of last year please!

The Internet connection was rubbish last year but I will do my best to keep you updated.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016


Another major event in the build up to my Gibraltar Straits swim ticked of this week.

Yesterday I passed my medical so there is nothing stopping me swimming now except the weather which is obviously out of my control. Hopefully it will behave this year, second time lucky.

I have had a long build up for this swim and I am more than ready and now in the process of tapering towards the end of next week when I leave for Tarifa.

It will be nice to get back into warmer water as the river temperature has slumped to 12.4 C this week. This is 4C colder that in was at this time last year so a cold winter?..............

Got Bad Company/Free Greatest Hits in the car at the moment. Love Seagull.

Friday, 30 September 2016


I have started my tapering as I enter the final few weeks before my Gibraltar swim. 

Last Saturday I did my final 6 hour swim starting in the dark at 6 20 am. The water never rose above 16C and was still only 15.7C when I finished. 

Double plus! 

Not only a great training swim, it will also count as my 6 hour qualifying swim for the Channel next July.

This week I will be down to 15k in the river and will begin to rest up in the next 10 days. I am ready to go, it has been a long summer as I have never had a major swim so late in the year.

Rock on!

Saturday, 17 September 2016


What a great week of weather we have had. But what has happened?

After 3 swims in beautiful warm conditions with air temperatures over 30C, today we swam Lilford Lock to Barnwell Mill and it was 11C! Fortunately the water was still warm at 18C.

A lot of social media chat about the 24 hour 1 mile every hour swim next year.

 Not for me! I don't want to be ploughing out huge miles just to do that swim in April and keep that level going right through to my Channel swim in July. Plus, I hate getting in and out of the water, I would rather choose an event that would allow me to swim continuously.

Anyway, swimming well at the moment as Gibraltar is now a month away. Can't wait.

Back to a favourite in the car this week. Saw Doctors live. I have fallen for another you can make your own way home.

Thursday, 8 September 2016


Had a lot of fun swimming some of the iconic landmarks of Britain's south coast at the weekend.

On Saturday I swam through Durdle Door in rough seas and then pottered around in Man O War bay playing in the waves breaking over the rocks. We all then hiked and climbed down, yes climbed not walked down, to the pool at Dancing Ledge. Just amazing experiences but did not enjoy hauling my low centre of gravity up the cliff face looking for leg and hand holds.

On Sunday I swam in the Round Brownsea Island event. Brilliant swim but pretty lumpy for over half the course. I was the second oldest real swimmer, non wetsuit, finished 8th in the 50-60 age group and 23rd overall in the non wetsuit event. Not bad for an old fella!

Onwards and upwards towards Gibraltar. I am in a good place for someone with degenerating shoulders and wish the swim was tomorrow as I am ready to go.

Monday, 29 August 2016


Next Sunday I will be swimming in the prestigious round Brownsea Island swim in Poole Harbour.

This is a very difficult swim to get into so it is very pleasing to see that all the Wadenhoe gang have places. We will all be swimming "skins" but most swimmers will be in wetsuits pretending that they are open water swimmers. I think that there are only 30 people out of 300 in skins.

Training is going well, save for a grindy old right shoulder that is showing its age! Putting in plenty of hours in the river and had a stormy sea swim in Aldeburgh last weekend.

Gibraltar can't come quick enough at the moment, just wish it was next week not at the end of October!

Just got Joe Bonamassa live . Bird on a Wire, Mountain Time are favourites. 

Monday, 1 August 2016


This is the question! When will we get continuous days of hot, blue skies weather?

The water temperature in the river is holding around 20C which is lovely but I have had very few swims this summer with a hot sun on my back.

I don't want it to cool down at all this year as I need to keep up my milage until the end of October when I head off for my Gibraltar crossing.

The Nene gang and I have been doing long swims over the last 2 months, easily doing 6 hour swims and knocking out plenty of 8-10k swims. Feeling great, wish my swim was now!

The forecast for today and the next few days is rubbish but I will still be visiting Wadenhoe and will pretend that it is fun swimming in the cold rain.

Cold Chisel live in the car at the moment. Fires me up for my swims!

Friday, 8 July 2016


Hi y'all

Still racking up the Ks but this week has been a speed week as I have had shorter (5k) swims where I have concentrated on getting my speed up.

The water has been fairly cooperative this week, mainly flat hovering between 17 and 18C.

Early morning sees me at my best as it is just so calm and peaceful on the river with plenty of wildlife in evidence. Still plenty of chicks about, all pretty calm except the swans who are never to me meddled with!

Anyway, back to swimming. I know that I am swimming faster and feel better but can't figure out why my faster, harder sessions are only a minute or so faster than my marathon pace over 5ks.

I think it is because my comfortable speed is still way faster than last year as I am swimming more efficiently whereas my harder sessions may get a bit paddlesteamerish! Great newly invented word!

Just watching the Blues vs Brumbies. About time boys!

Friday, 24 June 2016


Dear reader, lots of swimming since my last post.

I am using Saturday as my long swim day having had 18k and 8.5k swims over the last 2 weeks. Tomorrow will be 15k with another 18k next week.

My Gibraltar build up is going well although the river levels and flow have been higher than normal this "summer". I am working on getting my speed up as I really want to do the Straits well.

Good to hear from my friend Alton in Auckland this week. I would love to be at Takapuna or Narrow Neck or Cheltenham beaches even in mid "winter".

Listening to Planet Rock today so I don't get swamped with all the blubbering about the referendum.

Tuesday, 10 May 2016


Finally, the water is starting to warm up. Last night the river was 17.8 but with the rain and Arctic winds predicted this weekend it will drop again.

Getting in serious milage now and working on swimming faster as well as longer. Swimming with faster swimmers has definitely improved my sped and stamina and I am really starting to feel the benefits.

Didn't get to do the 12 hour swim as I was pretty crook the night before. There will be other swims.

Trying some new swims in the next few weeks, Pilton lock swim this week amd swimming through the backs of the Cambridge colleges soon.

Listening to Cold Chisel Swingshift in the car. Gets me ready for my swim. Legendary band.

Thursday, 21 April 2016


Well dear reader, as the weather warms up, sort of, weird and mad events appear on the swimming calendar.

This Saturday sees the first, a Kilometre every hour for 12 hours. Fortunately I will be sharing this pain with my swim buddies Claire, Michelle and Sarah so we will all suffer together.

I am getting some good swims in now as the river hovers around the 10C mark. Yesterday I did a comfortable hour in the water and felt great.

The weather for the weekend predicts Arctic blasts. Hurrah can't wait.

Amazingly The Doors Riders On the Storm is playing now on Planet Rock as I write. Hopefully not a portent!

Wednesday, 6 April 2016


Well dear reader, here I am back in the UK after a special month in Aotearoa.

You will be very pleased to hear that I got straight back in the Nene the day after I got back. It was big, brown and bad and 8C. I did not last long.

With the Three Rivers Safari looming I had to get acclimatised quickly so I got in again for 30 minutes on Friday.

Saturday saw me back for 4500m in the Great Ouse, Cam and Nene. The water just hit 9C but I coped OK.

Hopefully the water will start to warm up as I am doing a 1K every hour for 12 hours relay in a couple of weeks.

Missed Planet Rock whilst away. Back at full volume.

Friday, 25 March 2016


My time in Aotearoa is rapidly coming to an end.

I have had some wonderful swims with some fabulous groups of people. There is no doubt in my mind that the Swimming community around the world is the most welcoming that there is.

My goal was to cover 100k in the month away but the tropical storm that hit Auckland on Thursday night whipped up the sea for 7 days so although I swam every day it was harder to put in longer swims in the surf and rolling seas.

I will finish the month over 80,000m so I am pretty pleased with that as I came from a 5C river only a few weeks ago.

Next week I will be back in the Nene with my mad mates. People here cannot believe we survive swimming in the river throughout the year. They swim all year here but most go into wetsuits as the water can drop to 13C. Ha.

I have an 18 non stop flight from Auckland to Dubai and then onto Birmingham. My arise will be even more square.

Monday, 14 March 2016


Well dear reader here I am in Auckland having had a few days in Perth.

I am staying with my brother and his family and LOVING the warmth.
It seems incredible that I was swimming in water last week that was only 5.3C.

I have already done 36K here in Auckland in water that is 23C plus.

Swimming again in the ocean is a real pleasure as I have been fortunate enough to swim with some local groups who swim every day. They complain about the winter swimming when the water gets down to 14C! Poor souls.

The work I am doing here should stand me in good stead for the Straits of Gibraltar later in the year.

Sun, swimming and barbies, what a hardship.

Saturday, 27 February 2016


Greetings Fellow rockers.

My winter swimming season is now officially on hold as I head to the Southern Hemisphere for a well earned holiday and warm water training.

Today the Nene was cooler than expected 5.8C and I did a pleasant 1.2K followed by sausage sammies at Nicola's before we headed to the Old Barn for a round of cakes.

I will be back in the rivers for the 3 rivers swim in April and hopefully the water will have warmed up as I will be swimming in 20+C in Perth and Auckland.

Look forward to reporting from the bottom of the world. Chat soon!

Sunday, 31 January 2016


It seems incredible that the water temperature has actually risen this week to a fairly "comfortable" 8C.

Yesterday the gang had a great swim although the river was very high and fast. Tom Reed and I swam up to the gate, a 1400m swim which was very hard work up to the gate but rapid on the way back!

I am doing a couple of pool swims a week to keep the mileage up but nothing compares to the river which is just a blast!

With my Gibraltar Straits swim in October, I am in a pretty good place with my training at the moment and will build huge mileage during March when I am in New Zealand.

My touch screen music system in the car continues to erode my hearing as meat should be thick and music should be loud.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016


Dear reader my new website is up and running I hope that you enjoy!

I have had great fun continuing to swim in the river and on Saturday at Parliament Hill Lido for the PHISH event. A great day's swimming in 3C water.

The Nene is still pretty high but we are still getting some good swims in by jumping in and whooshing down with the flow.

2016 will see me return to Tarifa to swim the Straits of Gibraltar. Hoping the wind behaves this year as 2015 was a total blow out.

Sad to hear about Glenn Frey today. I saw the Eagles in Auckland at Carlaw Park. One of my all time favourite bands.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Happy 2016

Happy New Year y'all.

This will be my first full year being old and retired. Hurrah!

This year will see me return to beautiful Tarifa in Southern Spain ready to swim across the Straits of Gibraltar to North Africa. As most of you are aware I was unable to do this swim in 2015 as the weather presented a week of gale force winds.

I am still swimming in the lovely Nene although it has been incredibly high and fast this week. The water is now around 7-8C so it is still possible to swim fairly comfortably for 30 to 40 minutes.

2017 is a special birthday year so I have decided to treat myself to another paddle in the Channel. I have managed to get a slot with Suva and Neil Streeter thanks to the lovely Sarah.

My best news is that I have finally got a CD player fitted in my space age touch screen Peugeot. Rocking all the way to the river.

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