elation and deflation


16/06/2013 by Carl Reynolds

Swimming in the sea is elating, but this potential for elation comes with it’s counterpoint of danger. We little apes are swimming in an immensity which we can only superficially comprehend. Yesterday I was privileged to swim with the competitors in the BLDSA’s Championship of Champions; a 5, then 3, then 1 mile swim in the sea in Dover Harbour. Several completed it all. Of those I know – Ella Dunn, John Donald, Philip Hodges and my co-Tooting adventurer, Pip Barry. But I am sure others did too – Bel, Jeremy, Sian and Mark? Ella the Mermaid, swam it all through stings, choppy chop, puking and laughing – as her blog said, “Cancer Sucks”, and swimming is easy in comparison. Pip, the hatless wonder, was last, but certainly not least. Not the least of which because I had to lend him some budgies – see below. I was out after 5km, arm jabbing me with needles of pain, but strangely not cold at all after 1hr 50m in 12.5C water.

And this morning, the deflation. A friend of a friend, caught by the vagaries of the sea, died swimming yesterday. Swim with care people, but do not be too careful or you will not wonder or wander. And life without those would not be life at all.


8 thoughts on “elation and deflation

  1. swansswimmer says:

    Once again just a few words but so very poignant and apt. Good bye fellow swimmer, RIP

  2. wildswimmers says:

    So very sorry to learn this sad news.

  3. David Davies says:

    Several comments… first sadness at the death of a swimmer…. a sobering reminder to all to swim safe.
    Great photos as always Mr Ape, you’ve captured the apprehension beautifully. Though the image of Pip in a pair of your budgies will, I hope, not live long in my memory!
    Finally the kayakers…. were they from a local club? Interested in the boats; would they be substantial enough to rescue a swimmer in distress? Are swimmers pleased to see kayakers or are they a nuisance?
    Yours in sport

    • David – it’s a pleasure to know there is someone there to feed or save you if necessary. As far as I understand it, you hold on to the front and they paddle you in. Or you hold on until another rescue boat comes along.

    • David, the safety briefing said that if you got into trouble and needed help from a kayak you were to only hold the noise of the kayak and not attempt to climb onboard or do anything else, unless instructed by the kayaker. They would then signal one of two rescue ribs to come and get you.

      I personally thought they did a great job, spread out during the bulk of the event but then as the numbers thinned down with people finishing or dropping out they then started to shadow the few remaining swimmers.


    • As to the pics – Mrs Ape in the main.

  4. David – also be good to have a chat before this weekend, as a little bird tells me that you might kayak support on Saturday between the door and the cove? Can you mail me at carl.alan.reynolds(at)gmail.com. Ta.

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