Winter swim at home

Necessity is the mother of invention

So said Plato, a dude with a beard

So this is a first for me, swimming in the pool at home in March. Usually I clean the pool at the end of April and we swim from May to the beginning of November. The temperature is a very cool 13ºC., not icy, not heart stopping but definitely ball shrinking. “No colder than the Findhorn in summer!” (the river near our house in Scotland where we spend some of our summer holidays) I tell my girls but they are unconvinced and walk away leaving me to clean the pool of dead spiders and lost frogs, happy to see the light once the cover is off.

The River Findhorn last summer, every year we raft the dark waters in search of some form of enlightenment (really?)

Soon it’ll be a proper spring and within a week the temperatures should be regularly in the early to mid-20’s however with the sun still relatively low and night time temperatures hovering between 10-12ºC. the pool doesn’t warm up properly to the 20’s until early May. By June it’s 28ºC and in July and August the water drifts into the 30’s, so warm we often swim at night with a full moon and jasmine in the air.

First swim at home of the year

So today I enjoyed (sort of) a starter swim, an easy 1,000m. a 20 minute swim. I don’t last long without gloves or hat. I suffer badly from Raynaud’s syndrome, (inherited from my father whose fingers go a livid purple in the cold) so I wear neoprene gloves when the water is below about 18º. If I don’t wear the gloves within half an hour my fingers become immovable claws and though I can swim alright the water seeps through fingers which I can’t cup slowing me down tremendously.

1,000 metres is 72 lengths of the pool. My daughter Maria reminded me (eyebrows raised emoji) how to calculate the diagonal of the pool so I get 14,25m. out of a 13m. pool. Cool. That’s a few turns less. 3,000 metres will be 214 lengths and if I ever do 10,000 metres I’ll probably have died of boredom by the time I’m halfway there.