After some debate we fully agreed that I will not swim in the North Sea no matter how good the conditions appear to be, without the presence of a shore walker/post swim carer. However..I am allowed to swim in Bishopton Lake. On the understanding that I inform the Surf Store of my intentions and that I report back afterwards. Without further ado I called the boss at the store to confirm permission re use of the Lake, as last year, he kindly agreed without hesitation.
Monday 31st March I awoke to a frosty windscreen on the car (I don't actually sleep in the car but you get the message) the sky was clear and very blue, even the sun was shining, amazing, a day off work with decent weather.. a rare combination.
Just after noon I drove the 3 miles to Bishopton, where I re-introduced myself to the staff having not attended since last July (see first blog entry) and was given the go ahead. Being that it was such a pleasant day the lake was free from any other wind related activity. I strolled the very short distant to the waters edge through a field of young lambs, it was silent but for the bleats of the sheep and quacks from the ducks/geese on the water.I secured my clothes in the dry bag in order to prevent theft by Mr or Mrs Wool, and waded into the very still water, it felt rather weird in comparison to Seaton. I am quite used to getting a face full of salt water and a bashing from the waves, but this was bliss in comparison. I breast-stroked through a little weedy patch in the shallower water, then began freestyle. I soon forgot about the geese who I initially expected to be annoyed at a swimmer in their lake.
The sun was blinding, and I was wishing I had tinted lenses. The lake is relatively small at around 380 metres but it was so much better than the pool. My watch was registering 48F (around 8.9C) it was therefore about 2C warmer than the North Sea which surprised me. The only interruptions were the odd weeds around the throat! After 35 minutes I returned to the tranquility of the shore. I hadn't taken a flask as I thought, with the short drive home it wasn't worth it. Big mistake. I got major shivers during the drive home and should really have waited before setting off. A lesson learnt but all in all a very beneficial session.
Aerial view of the lake and route of swim (numerous laps).