Open Water / Wild Swimming Blog

Wild swimming is something that I have been into for a few years now. It involves swimming in lochs, rivers or in the sea. I prefer swimming in the sea, thankfully the gulf stream / north atlantic drift keep my favourite spots in north west Scotland a little warmer than equivalent latitudes on the east coast. North Sea = Brrrrrr!

11 May 2024

First wild swim of the year. We were at Black Rock Sands in North Wales. Interesting beach that you can drive onto. Nice when you have a camper and can make a brew or some lunch without having to walk miles.

Spent about three quarters of an hour swimming and playing in the sea. The water was warmer than I am used to and it was nice to get my face in the water without it being too cold. I was even diving under and swimming to the bottom before getting hauled back up by my tow float.

I had my wetsuit on, but I would have been fine with just a normal swimming costume. Just before I came out I unzipped the wetsuit to get a feel for how cold the water really was. It was pleasant, not warm, but warmer than the old swimming baths that I used to go to. Certainly warmer than Findhorn last September.

23 September 2023

The final swim of the week was back at Cuil bay. The water was quite calm and I was able to swim back and forward until I felt my arms ache. After that I held onto the float and just swam back and forward kicking my legs. I need to get fit. Andy was a great help with my swims, as soon as he saw me coming out of the water he had the kettle on for coffee and biscuits. Did I mention that swimming in cold water with a wetsuit on is still not as cold as Eastwood Baths back in the day?

22 September 2023

Fourth swim of the week was at Findhorn on the Moray firth. The Moray Firth is open to the North Sea, so was a bit cooler than the gulf stream blessed waters of the west coast. That was fun, I was swimming between well spaced waves with large breakers. I had to try and watch for the breakers getting close to avoid getting pushed under. I lucked out a few times and got shoved under once or twice. I'm not scared of getting my face underwater and was not too bothered. Between the waves I was chest deep, so I was confident I could stand up when I felt the need. Eventually I just played around with my tow float.

21 September 2023

Third wild swim of the week was at Cuil Bay between Ballachulish and Oban. Tide coming in and breezy. It was too choppy for me to swim well, so I just played with the tow float kicking my legs and riding the waves.

20 September 2023

Second swim of the week was at The Sands camping and Caravan site near Gairloch. There was a stiff wind and the tide was coming in. The sea was quite choppy and there were fair size waves. It wasn't great for swimming as I had to syncronise my strokes with the waves in order to stop getting a faceful of cold brackish water. Eventually I just held my tow float in front of me, kiccking about and rolling over the waves. Great fun. A tow float is an inflatable buoy that a wild swimmer tethers to their waist to increase visibility of them in the water.

19 September 2023

Had my first wild swim of the week and first ever with a wetsuit at the lovely Firemore Sands on the shore of Loch Ewe in Wester Ross. Getting into the water, I kept thinking 'this isn't going to work'. I had so much hope pinned on wearihg a wetsuit and had been planning to get one for ages. My other half bought me one a while ago for going on holiday. Turned out the thing lived up to my hopes and I spent about half an hour swimming back and forth. The worst thing was the water hitting my face, it was freezing. Tide was going out, so I stayed within my depth.

26 September 2022

Had the opportunity for a couple of wild swims last week. First was at Cuill bay on Loch Linnhe, in Lochaber. Spent about half an hour in the water there, Was cool but not cold. A basic swimdress served me fine on that day.

The second swim was in Loch Gairloch in Wester Ross. That was from the sandy beach at the Sands caravan and camping site. The water was a bit colder and I only managed to stay in for about twenty-five minutes. Again this was in a simple swimdress. It was a bit of a struggle this time just staying in the water. Sure a swimdress is cute, but I think at my age if I want to do any more serious wild swimming I'm going to have to get myself a wetsuit!