Saturday, 24 October 2015

Amanda Bell.. A 'Cool' Windermere 10km

Amanda asked me some time ago if I would assist her with boat support for a swim on Windermere, on a date to be confirmed once the water temperature had dropped below 14 degrees. (it was nearer 12 today) I was very happy to assist on what turned out to be a 10km swim, the start of which was in far from ideal conditions. The strong wind from the south was sending waves over the front of the boat, it was more like swimming/boating in the sea than freshwater.

The plan prior to the start had been to head down from Bowness (South) to the large yellow buoy about a mile north of Fell Foot, where we would turn, however, very soon after the start, due to the poor conditions the route was altered in an effort to afford Amanda some protection from the worst of the weather. I took the boat into the flatter waters near to Ferry Nab where the water levelled out almost instantly. It was a different world, much nicer for everyone concerned.

Then the rain came.. in biblical fashion, this flattened the water further still and we had a pleasant tour behind Belle Isle and through the Lillies in the general direction of Wray Castle. 

By this time, the feeds had dropped to every 45 minutes, following the initial 2 at one hour intervals. It was however, too late. Amanda was already in depletion (she should have started on 30-40 minutes between feeds due to the colder water) and it would not be possible to fully recover/refuel. 10 miles would not be doable today.

She probably (hopefully) won't mind me saying that she was ready to quit at 7.8km, as a result of which she was given a portion of what we call 'advice'. I also asked Graeme to jump in and offer some morale support by swimming alongside. This definitely helped and there was a marked increase in speed (to the extent that Graeme had some difficulty keeping up). 

Having already made the turn we headed south to the jetty at Bass Rock where Graeme exited the water. As per the video we then adjusted the course to encompass a small loop simply to round up the distance to 10km and facilitate the return to the jetty in order to collect our support swimmer.

Great training swim in 'cool' water. Well done.

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