With solely 2 months until our Channel relay window we determined that we actually wanted to get some sea swimming follow in. The swim buddy and I hadn’t completed any in any respect this 12 months, and knew it might be very completely different from the lake. The explanation wasn’t solely to get a follow swim in, however to additionally to attempt just a few issues that we would have liked to make use of on the day of the swim – Nothing new on race day, because the saying goes, for instance Shark had purchased some very costly solar lotion, which included some jellyfish sting safety and we would have liked to test that we didn’t have a response to it, and in addition that it labored… I meant in its solar safety capability, however learn on…
Additionally, I had purchased a few inexperienced security lights, beneficial by the Channel Swimming Affiliation to make use of through the relay, and though not sophisticated in any respect to make use of (principally you press a button to show it on after which press it once more to show it off once more), as we have been required to socially distance on the boat, I might should be utterly self-sufficient, so wished to test I had acquired the gist of the place I might put it on the again of my costume and the way it mounted on. I might have undoubtedly had been capable of get a greater thought as as to if it had labored if solely I had truly worn a dressing up that was CSA authorised as an alternative of the non-CSA authorised one I selected to put on!
The forecast was sunny, and so anticipating it being busy we determined that we should always set off on the morning time so we might get parked. We arrived very a lot forward of any rush and had certainly crushed completely everybody else that might arrive for a day in Whitby. On one other plus aspect, it gave us over an hour and a half to discover a café on this small seaside city, and in addition, with security being paramount, time to seek for the RNLI lifeboat station and test that the vessel was firstly substantial, and secondly, solely a stone’s throw from the place we’d be swimming… simply in case. Glad that this was the case, we discovered a café straight throughout the harbour from it, and spent a very good hour delighting at how calm the water was and the way fortunate we have been to search out ourselves with such beneficial swimming situations.
Earlier than we acquired in, we went for a stroll alongside the pier, we quickly realised that the calm water within the harbour was not truly mirrored within the open sea, and while it was nonetheless comparatively calm, it wasn’t the millpond we had spent the final hour visualising ourselves swimming in as we drank our coffees.
We (effectively, the swim buddy actually) had organized to satisfy up with Whitby Wild Swimmers group member Ally, who understood the tides and talked us by means of our route and something we should always concentrate on, together with rip currents and stuff underneath the waterline. After Ally had contacted the Coast Guard to allow them to know we have been swimming, and a little bit of faffing about searching for a misplaced earbud that I already had in my hand, we set off with tow floats and inexperienced lights and smothered in solar lotion, on what promised (if the labelling have been to be believed) to be a jellyfish sting free swim.
The water was a balmy 14oc, and really solely a bit of uneven. I used to be delighted that I solely managed to swallow a few nasty mouthfuls earlier than I adjusted my respiration and located a rhythm with the waves. The water was so clear, and other than a brown blob – assumed seaweed, that went previous, somewhat randomly underneath my arm, I didn’t see a single fish, shark, seal, jellyfish or something in any respect for that matter, however I admit this didn’t cease me from swimming nearer to the shoreline than the swim buddy, in reality the entire different swimmers. And if I have been being utterly trustworthy, regardless of telling her that this was sheer coincidence, this in all probability wasn’t completely true… If we have been going to be chased, I wished a combating likelihood at attending to the shoreline earlier than everybody else.
By the point we acquired again to the seashore we have been very reluctant to get out, nevertheless after virtually an hour, I used to be beginning to really feel the chilly, and I felt that my swimming costume had been rubbing underneath my proper arm. This was new, because it didn’t normally, however put it right down to maybe salt water, and determined that I ought to bear this in thoughts for the day of the swim. It was solely as soon as we have been out that I realised that it wasn’t that my costume had rubbed, however as an alternative I had been stung by a jellyfish.
The swim buddy instantly went into nurse mode and rushed over to test I used to be okay. Her lack of any medical provides for a sting was a testomony to her religion within the solar lotion, and in a bid to assist in any means she might, or maybe simply out of guilt, she provided to wee on it for me!
Now had it have been a sting from a Portuguese man o battle, I might have been ready to attempt something, even the swim bud weeing on me, however as I used to be 100% assured that the small spherical, brown object that I noticed, and initially regarded as seaweed, however now knew in a different way, was completely positively NOT a Portuguiese man o battle, I made a decision that I might as an alternative use some cream that the opposite nurse in our group had fortunately introduced together with her, simply in case we had such an event to make use of it.
Within the meantime, Shark then found she too had a number of (a lot smaller) stings, and earlier than I used to be capable of return the wee supply, was having them handled with the cream as an alternative. Reasonably mockingly, the one 2 of us that had utilized the solar lotion with the jellyfish sting repellent in it, have been the one two that additionally occurred to get stung!?!
As soon as we had dressed and in contrast wounds, we left the ocean and straight right into a chip store, and to select the brains of a fellow swimmer that had already swum in a Channel relay, earlier than heading off in the hunt for espresso… and a few cake (for the shock).
Regardless of the sting, I completely liked the swim, and learnt loads from it. I’d wish to say an enormous due to Ally for taking care of us all so effectively, and fortunately we didn’t have to name on the companies of the RNLI for something. We determined that we do have to do a pair extra sea swims, for extra trials and to realize extra confidence, and so Shark and I’ve already invited ourselves again in just a few weeks time. On reflection, I believe THE most essential factor I learnt from this swim was that while I’ve already deliberate for lots of eventualities that may occur mid-Channel relay swim, I used to be not one bit ready for a jellyfish sting to occur, and so Shark and I’ve mentioned making an attempt a unique solar lotion, one that may truly work, in addition to being extra post-sting ready, and so subsequent time we swim within the sea I will probably be, together with every part else, armed with some vinegar, a pair of tweezer and a few antihistamine, which by the way, I’ve since learn works loads higher than wee!
Lastly, if you would like to see some movies of our jaunt to Whitby, then head over to the Open Water Girl Fb group web page.