Bikini dip 43 (I think)
Week 9, dip 4
Yesterday I had the coldest swim I think I have EVER had, certainly the coldest with so little clothes on! I travelled to Happy Valley which is near Wooler, a lovely named spot - and very different to the tv programme of the same name (anyone seen it? Can any programme have a more ironic name...). I had to crunch across the frosty grass and defrost my car, the temp gauge reading -2.5 on the journey, but rising to a pleasant 0c by the time I arrived at my destination. I was met by Adam and Diana Stone, Adam being the boss of the company where I work, but both of whom have been incredibly supportive of my bikini challenge from the moment they heard about it. I have been blown away actually, by people’s kindness and generosity, people have been going out of their way to help me and for that I am forever grateful.
I clambered down the bank in company with a friend, both eager to get in but also knowing that the water would be a very different temperature to what we had been used to in the sea. Sara told me that her temp gauge at home in her swimming pool (a very large paddling pool with ropes on for her to swim in...see what lockdown has brought us to!) had read 4c.....
One toe in and yep...this was going to be a Baltic swim! It wasn’t so easy to get in gradually so I was in pretty quickly and immediately felt the all over body tingle, my toes and fingers cold almost instantly. I fumbled for my thermometer, guessing at 5c....nope...3.7c! Adam manfully balanced near the edge of the water to take the crucial evidence photo of the temperature, but also took videos of us in the water...he later confessed that his hands were freezing but didn’t think he could say since there were women in the water in swimming costumes and bikinis! I had brought my phone in the water but was too busy concentrating on swimming and breathing so didn’t take any photos. I managed to pop my head under for a peek, and sure enough, it was beautifully clear. It was glorious, a really cold, fresh swim, I kept on swimming constantly to keep moving, far too cold to faff about in. Usual shrieking and gasps of “this is amAZINg!” baas we decided that this would be a quick swim, so after 5 minutes we started making our way out. I had yet to have the crucial wee, but of course all my bodily orifices had slammed shut to prevent any icy water getting in...so I had to stay in for an extra 30 seconds to do the deed. I tell you, open water swimming is consistently glamorous!
A very speedy change before a drink of hot ginger cordial with a home made brownie made for a lovely end to one of the best dips so far. I was very pleased because I didn’t get any after drop (which is when you shake a lot as your core warms back up), so I had timed the swim right. I’m not in this to win any records! The key is to get out before you get cold...