July 30th 2017 Union Hall to Glandore and back to Union Hall swim @ 10.30am
Low Tide 05.14 (1.01m)
High Tide 11.03 (3.10m)
Low Tide 17.35 (1.04m)
High Tide 23.28 (3.07m0
First Quarter Moon
The Leap, Glandore and Union Hall fundraising branch of the RNLI organise this yearly swim event. Some how in my three years of open water swimming I have never made this swim. It is an early start and we are carpooling. There are four of us all a bit tired, nervous and excited. Chatting away in the car calmes me down. Thanks to Nicola for doing the driving.
There is a que to register and so its always lovely to chat to new swimmers and of course see many of the Lappers already signed up. Sonia is number 1 and Debbie number 2. There are 210 swimmers registered, a mixture of either 2k,Union Hall to Glandore and back or 1k, Glandore to Union Hall. I am signed up for 2k. The 1k swimmers are taken over on ribs to Glandore. They are told in the safety briefing they will not be allowed in to the water till the last of the 2k swimmers has gone around the bouy/ flag. I have my ear plugs in during the briefing which is not a good idea. However I can see Glandore from the Pier so I know the general direction, I do hear the important information that we are to go around the marker on our right. I hope I am not last to go around. Keep ear plugs out during briefing too.
The sun is shining as we stand on the small but lovely beach. The water looks a very light turquoise. The Lappers are relaxed and lapping up the sunshine.
Anne – Marie who has swam this before gives Louis good advice. She is going for it, no wetsuit. I am too chicken and more importantly want to get photos so my orange armed wet suit is on toady.
My advise to all first time swimmers is to wait until the masses swim off. So I take my own advice, when the starting whistle blows.
The swimmers that time and speed is important are off.
Some of the swimmers here will catch them up no problem.
Last minute good lucks are said.
Last minute checking of goggles.
Go, go, go…
In the back of my mind is being the last swimmer around the marker and I start swimming.
All legs, arms and bubbles. I even recognise swimmers by their feet, and see a swimmer with some kind of calf protection! New gear to look into..
All action above the water, I love it but hate it at the same time. It is exhilarating and nerve racking, the adrenalin is high.
I recognise Anne- Marie and lose her when I stop for a quick photo of this amazing boat.
I hear a voice say ” great shot” and its Declan, he is right I love this pic. A boat and a swimmer in one go. I have been working on boat drawings in Heggartys boat yard, progress of this new work can be seen on my website, under New Work. New ideas to combine swimming will follow for sure.
Declan looking for Glandore.
I follow the swimmers in front of me.
There is a slight chop in the water but it is fabulous.
I bump into Aisling flying along.
I turn around and snap behind us back to Union Hall.
Dark grey clouds have suddenly appeared.
We are near rocks heading into Glandore harbour.
The heavens open and raindrops bounce a good height of the surface of the water. I can hear them bounce of my wetsuit. I LOVE IT.
Below the water too.
I can see Glandore now and weave my way around the moored sailing boats.
Swimmers are on their way back, I swim more to the left and look for the flag.
I spot it and see the waiting swimmers on the pier, reving up to get in the water.
I swim around and see we are being looked after by ribs and kayakers. A big thank you to you all.
I spot the only jelly fish gliding gracefully along. I had feared they would be many.
The sun is back out, two seasons in one swim. There is also a bit more of a chop.
I do seem to be on my own then I see swimmers speed past me. The 1k are on their way.
I look back to a very sunny Glandore and yes more swimmers are definitely steaming ahead.
Now my sites are back to Union Hall Pier.
I spot the same boat and decide to swim around the other way. She is beautiful.
I see the waiting, cheering crowd on the pier.
I don’t get out and get some shots of the swimmers coming in.
Fantastic young swimmers, just brilliant well done.
And legendary swimmer Steve Redmond.
Everyone delighted and thrilled. A huge thank you to all the organisers, Pamela Deasy told me they raised 3, 600 euro for Union Hall Life Boat Station. So I am delighted to have had a great swim and raised money for such a great cause.
Anne- Marie awe inspiring in her togs 2k no bother.
Declan and Nicola and the amazing Joan in her togs too.
Noel Browne is the ambassador for the safety campaign of “Respect The Water”. A life saving message if you do ever fall into the water is not to try and swim as we all would think, but to float and try to relax. Good advise and one all of the Lappers respect is not to swim alone.
Keep swimming and stay safe, congratulations to all swimmers.