Sunday, 8 August 2010

Pash and Bash

Mid July there was a post of the 'Channel swimmers Google Group' from a person requesting advice re wetsuits having recently re-found the swimming bug at 44 years of age, there was some confusion as to the sex of the person (private joke) named 'Pash'. The good news was he or she lived in North Yorkshire and therefore a possibility arose of a potential training partner.

I responded to the email with my tuppence worth of advice and being that we live in reasonable proximity offered to meet up and swim if required. I also suggested a swim at the upcoming 3km Two Bridges event in the River Tees where the temperature will be gentle enough on the skin for a relative new comer to open water swimming. 'Pash' eventually identified himself as a male of the species and agreed to visit Ellerton Lake on Saturday the 7th together with one of his mates.

We were set to meet at 9am so it was an ealryish start for me to drop Charlie at his Granmas before driving the 25 miles or so to the lake, Pash (Mark) arrived bang on time with his friend Daz, we had a brief chat about the likely temperature, the route we would swim, method of entry and what to expect in terms of marine life/weeds/sunken objects of interest to divers including a tailors dummy! Then we stripped for action.

On arrival at the jetty we spoke with a number of wetsuited swimmers who were also having their first visit, a similar briefing took place before we took the 'commit commit commit' option of the running bomb into the water, the temperature was 64F. Both Mark and Daz soon came to terms with the temperature and we headed off to the top of the lake where we swam for an hour. It turns out Mark and I have a similar military background, I felt the three of us got on really well and expect many more swims to follow. They both coped brilliantly for their first time. Thanks for driving up boys, it was great fun and nice to have company for a change.

That concludes Saturday morning.........following the 'Wild swimming' show with Alice Roberts on TV this week KGB and I arranged to have a swim at Gormire Lake near Thirsk North Yorkshire, Sarah Tunnicliffe gave us detailed directions and a map which led us perfectly to lakeside.
The views from the lake and the location itself were quite breath taking, the ideal place if you fancy a butt naked skinny dip.!
KGB and I tentatively stepped into the water, onto hidden tree branches and a very silty weedy bottom, after what seemed like an age the water was deep enough to actually swim, we swam in the murky green water as the sun began to set, the water was 65 degrees F.  

Post swim as we dressed at the waters edge I thought it would be fun and a blast from the past to play of the rope swing (we call it a 'tarzy' up north) I was having a great time, it had been years since I had done this sort of thing, Kelly wanted me to go higher and higher and she attempted to get the ideal photo for the blog.
She was still part dressed snapping away with the camera as I gave my best push off over the water surely this was sufficient time for the picture to be taken....however the trouble was just brewing, you see, what goes up must come down, I was now inbound to shore making speed towards the tree on which the rope was secured. I tried to take evasive action to no avail, BANG, full force into the tree, my lower legs taking the full impact before I fell to the floor. Believe it or not KGB continued to snap the photos despite her creasing up with laughter. I was in agony, the wind had thoroughly been taken from my sails, as I laid in a heap gasping for breath.
Some time later I hobbled to the car, the picnic was cancelled as I envisaged a trip to Accident and Emergency. Today, Sunday the swelling is quite funny yet the pain is intense, its going to be fun trying to work tomorrow in this state. Believe me the photograph does not do my injury justice.

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