February 18th 2018 Lough Hyne swim @ 11.30 am
Low Tide 00.21 (0.70m0
High Tide 06.40 (3.50m)
Low Tide 12.43 (0.80m)
High Tide 18.53 (3.40m)
Only this week I lost a friend to cancer, the very talented artist Helen Stringer. She will be greatly missed by all her friends and family. R.I.P Helen.
So it seemed very fitting for The Lough Hyne Lapper’s kick off this Sundays swim with a presentation to Cancer Connect. The rather large cheques are from three different fundraisers. The Ice Bath Challenge where some Lapper’s sat in a tub of freezing ice, they very bravely raised €1,701. The Shave off, which involved a few male Lapper’s growing a beard in November and the beards were shaved off after a swim which raised €677. The Dip in the Nip which was ladies only both Lappers and Dippers, stripping off and dashing into the cold December waters which raised an amazing €3,622. Giving an overall whopping total of €6,ooo. A huge thank you and well done to all involved.With this money Cancer Connect can continue to offer a transport service to cancer patients who need to travel to Cork City for life saving treatment.
On the subject of Life Saving after our swim we were given a safety talk by Sean O’ Keefe from the Cork Water Safety Board. He made some very valuable points of which I will go through over the blog.
Sean’s number one point was to never swim alone. If you do (and I have to say a few of us do, myself included.) Always tell someone that you are going where you are going and give a time of when you would be back. It is safer to swim around the edge and not to swim in exposed open water. There is another advantage of swimming with others as there is always a bit of adjusting to the extra gear some of us need to get into the cold water and you can see here we help each other out.
As we do swim all year round we are used to the cold water. We get to know our own bodies limits and you can see the various amount of gear some of us need or do not need. Sean mentioned the swim floats which are fantastic for swimmers to be seen in the water, especially necessary for swimming in areas where there are boats and other traffic. I have one which also has a waterproof inside for putting things in like a phone for emergency or food or drink. It is also a float so if any one does either need a rest or a minute to calm down it is there as an aid. I should swim with it all times now.
I am not the fastest or straightest swimmer. Sean mentions sighting and how important it is. I can easily swim away and look up and I am heading in completely the wrong direction to where I think I am heading. Having a landmark to sight is very important. What the Lapper’s are very good at is waiting for each other. I know that I am never left on my own and the gap is where I am aiming for so I look for the White House and I know the faster swimmers always wait for us slower ones.
Decisions are made at the gap where to head to next. Today it is either heading directly back or to swim around the island. It is very important to know and to understand your own body and capabilities. If you do not feel good turn back. I did once go around the island and did not feel 100%. I was with a newcomer to open water swimming and at the other side of the island I felt very faint. I was able to swim around the island and follow the swimmer we stayed in shallow water all the way back. I was lucky the other swimmer remained calm and she is a qualified life guard. However it was an eye opener for me. I am now much more aware of how my body and how I am feeling as I realised I put someone else in danger as well as myself.
Feeling good today I am following the bubbles of a swimmer here to go around the island. The gap and around the island are shallow and you can see the bottom all the way. It is my most favourite part of the swim as you skim over the amazing delights.
The colours and textures are always changing and surprise me with each swim. What can also surprise you during a swim is the change in weather. Look at the blog following this one and you can see the incredible change of conditions in a matter of seconds. So being prepared for that and having the experience of swimming in all weathers is vital.(Definitely not during a storm though).
Two swimmers do swim into the back of the island which is easily done again showing how important sighting is.
At the other corner of the island is the next point where we wait and decide where to go now. Today five of us are heading straight back directly deep to the car park.
I could stay here for ages looking at everything but it is at this point that the cold can creep in.
I try and keep up with the others on the way back. I love watching the bubbles.
Hypothermia is something to watch out for. A swimmer suffering will slow down and their stroke will change. Sean went over what to do in the water. Reassurance is very important and again reconfirms the importance of swimming with other swimmers. He said you can huddle together and that even in the water body heat can help. However if you were at this point of the swim you would have to swim back over deep water. So swimming together is vital maybe changing the stroke to keep talking to the person and again stopping for a huddle to get the vital warmth to the body. Two swimmers can link each arm with the hypothermic swimmer and swim with them pulling them backwards.
Once out of the water you should get the person dry and most importantly is the core. So take off the wetsuit from the body dry as quickly as possible and put on dry clothes and wrap up in blankets/towels.The person should be sat up and take small sips of hot water.The most important thing is to keep the core warm and not to warm up the hands ( as you would automatically think ) This would take the heat to the hands and away from the core. Most of us do bring a flask of a hot drink. Through taking about this Sean suggested that Declan’s van is ideal for taking someone to and he should park his van the closest to the pier in case of emergency.
Having Sean come and chat with us about our safety has been fantastic and given us more to talk about and to think of other ways in which we can all be safer in the water.
A huge thank you to Sean his wife Anne and Celine from Myrteville. They also had a hat for everyone in the audience. More information on www.corkwatersaftey.ie.
Turning the Plastic Tide Tips
This tip is from a friend of a friend and all about nappies. Anzhelika is a strong advocate for cloth nappies for several reasons. Babies skin is less likely to be irritated and they are more comfortable. Anzhelika reckons there is also less washing ! Surprising but apparently there is less leaking with cloth nappies rather than with disposable nappies. So although washing the nappies, there is apparently less washing of the dirty clothes. Cloth nappies are a major money saver. Anzhelika recounts a saving of €700 for an average family over two years !! And of course environmental it takes 500 years for a disposable nappy to decompose and that is the scary part. There does seem to be different kinds of nappies available look up www.clothnappiesofireland.com for more information.
More tips on my Turning the Plastic Tide page on my website.