All along the coast of Cornwall and Devon, across to Wales and then up Ireland I’ve had some good tides, relatively warm water and a lot of daylight. I was averaging around 15 miles (25km) per day and looking to finish the swim mid September which wasn’t far off my original target but I was happy with that. I hoped (and was reliably informed) that the tides would stay the same in Scotland and my progress would be good. Unfortunately the tides haven’t been great and along with shorter hours, colder waters, and much longer stretches to get to and from anchorages each night, has meant my pace has dropped way down to around 7-8 miles (12km) per day. It’s been very frustrating because it seems that for every day we swim, the end date seems to get further and further away. I’ve had to call in another skipper (Lou from Nomad Sailing) who was only going to stay 10 days and has now been with us for 6 weeks. She is a legend and without her I’d be nowhere near the end right now so big up to Lou.
The water has also been getting much, much colder and had been below 12 degrees for the last few weeks. I can even see snow on the mountains when I swim. One of my toes goes a bit blue when it’s cold but happy to say it returns to a normal colour once out the water and the doctor says I shouldn’t lose it but to watch out if the darkening starts to go up my leg. I’m sure it won’t but losing a toe surely gives me loads of adventure points.
The huge lochs in Scotland are incredible, but the wind is starting to pick up this time of year. We’ve been lucky to not have many bad weather days considering but in a few weeks time the clocks change and I’ll still be swimming. If you had told me that I’d be swimming along the north coast of Scotland in November I might not have started . . . or started a month earlier.
Long-term fatigue is also a worry. I’ve had 5 days off in 40 days and I can really feel it in my body. I’m still under 10 stone and can’t seem to repair quickly enough after each session. I really need a week off but that’s just not possible right now.
So here I am, in a beautiful loch in Scotland with the end so near in sight but with the hardest part ahead. I’d like to thank everyone who has supported me along the way. It makes the hard days more bearable.
Yours in adventure