Monday, 20 December 2010

Got my camera back

I have my camera back, they managed to repair it and it seem to work well again. It's supposed to be a rugged all terrain, shockproof, waterproof and down to -10ºC camera, so how I broke it I don't know. The information that came back with it said they had replaced the shutter button and given the camera a clean and tested it. It takes a good clear picture underwater and I was just getting used to it before it broke. I think it'll be a while before I get back in the lido with it, even if I do manage to get in the water myself it's a bit too cold for taking snaps

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Red sea shark

The Sharm el Shark attacks have been the big news of the week, the last one being fatal. It's tragic but very rare for shark attacks especially in the Gulf of Aqaba, you're much more likely to be injured on your taxi transfer from the airport. Swimtrek don't have another trip to Dahab until the beginning of February, if I was offered another trip I'd say yes right away.
This was going to be a visual blog but my camera is being fixed and the weather has been so cold I haven't even ben up to the Lido. Work is crazily busy and there have been a few parties to recover from. Two visits to the Queen Mother sports centre was pretty good going, 100 lengths a visit is only five km total but I'm getting back into a better pool rhythm and enjoying it a bit more. I miss the gossip and sauna of Tooting.

Saturday, 4 December 2010


Not a good week for swimming. First I was unwell and then the snow came and it has been bitterly cold. Managed to swim indoors a couple of times during the week at the Queen Mother Sports Centre, it's strange trying to swim a 25 metre length and the lanes are so narrow and crowded, Friday was better than Tuesday, I might try a lunch time swim to see if it's any better.
I hope to cycle up to the Lido tomorrow, but it's been so cold with ice on the pool that I don't know if I can get in. In fact with the snow and ice on the roads I haven't even cycled much this week.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Warmer waters

Pink hat at the Southern Oasis

Reach for the reef

Coming up for air

I can hardly believe this was only a week ago, I was sent these pictures of myself by Jo, a dynamite little swimmer on the Egypt trip. I've not been too well the past couple of days. I swam on Thursday at 6ºC felt fine and then went to work but by midday I had a fever and felt sick so went home and stayed off on Friday, feel much better today though.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Icy depths

Elizabeth doing some post sauna widths.

I swam for six minutes on Monday at about 7.5ºC and thought it was cold. This morning there was a frost on the ground and the children's pool had frozen over, the edge of the pool was icy and not very pleasant to sit on so I launched myself into the icy depths and did about another six minutes swim. After a good long sauna I saw David taking the temperature 6.5ºC.
The Pentax has been sent off to be fixed, it takes much better pictures than the Canon but I liked this one of Elizabeth on her post sauna swim, it's almost like you can see the steam of her breath underwater.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Back home

It could only be Fazlar

8ºC said the sign at the entrance to the Lido, I really wasn't sure if I'd get in or not. It was about midday by the time I arrived so not many of the regulars I knew were around. Then I saw that the sauna had been re-opened, hurrah! Fazlar was in the water, he seemed to do about two thirds of length before turning around and coming back out. I took this picture on my old Canon with an underwater body on it, It's much bulkier than the Pentax and the screen is very small but at least it works.
I decided to do two widths to see what it was like - cold was the unsurprising answer, but not too cold. I saw Vince arrive and then I did a couple of lengths and being sensible got out and went to the sauna which housed a small crowd of friendly chatter. I warmed up quite quickly without any shivers, this is good news and I hope I can build up a bit longer in the water over the week.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Happy life

This was the bay at Happy Life Village, we swam to the far end which was quite easy because we had the current with us and then we turned around and swam back. At the far end the the swell was quite big so we had to stay back from the reef for fear of being dashed against the rocks.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Swimming with camels


Today we had a 5km camel ride to our remote swim site. We didn't ride them down this slope because it was too steep, the bones of a camel that didn't make it were in a heap on the coastal side.
The wind was up this morning and the water was choppy, swimming in the waves was great fun, our group turned back to join the end swimmers and we had to swim into the waves which was hard work. Swam about five km in all.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Stroke analysis


In the hotel pool we were filmed for stroke analysis both above and below the water, we will watch the results this evening.
Great morning swim along the reef looking down on scuba divers and surrounded by fish of all colours. I saw a Lion Fish an impossible collection of fins like a mane of red and white stripes.
Bad news is my Pentax camera has stopped working.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Me diving

Me underwater

I managed an upload from the old PC at the hotel, this a picture Amanda took of me. It looks like I'm holding the rocks but I'm not, I did manage to cut my foot on the coral at some point though.


Arrived here safely last night, met Amanda who was on the Turkey trip and we went out for dinner. It's very warm here and the morning sun is very strong.
This is the shore line in front of the hotel, Amanda and I swam down nearly as far as the white buildings stopping on the way to take pictures of all the fish and coral. Can't upload my underwater pictures here so it's just a phone snap for now.
Met five of the other trekkers, will meet the rest this evening, look forward to a proper swim tomorrow.
Swam for about an hour, Water is about 28C.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Gusty and gloomy

The few remaining leaves had been blown in a line up the right side of the pool

The tint on my new reflective goggles added to the gloom

My flip flop was blown into the corner of the pool.

Although the air was milder it was a dark stormy morning. The water is now at 9ºC and starting to feel really cold. I was trying out a new pair of reflective goggles ready for Egypt next week, their tint only added to the underwater gloom. They kept on fogging as well which never happens with my other goggles. I swam for about nine minutes the only person in the water then decided to get out, one of my flip flops had been blown into the pool and I had to fish it out of the collected leaves in the corner. A shorter swim meant I warmed up quite quickly.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Flicking Vees

Batch trying to tell me he's on his second length (I think).

He said the cold took his breath away on the first length.

Just above 10ºC.

Yep it's got colder. Another grey dark morning, I wasn't actually as cold as yesterday because I cycled up wearing trousers and then I wore flip flops around the pool. The water felt heavy but it wasn't as choppy as on Monday. I swam for eighteen minutes, had a shower and bundled up in lots of clothes and went to work, I was hot by the time I reached the office apart from my feet which seem to take longer to thaw.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Wet, Wet, Wet

Chris stops to say hello.

Sue and Chris in synchronicity.

I was wet before I reached the pool, got a bit wetter in the water and then got soaked as I went to work. Not the most comfortable morning as it was cold and blustery too. The Lido faithfull were all there to do a few laps, the lack of light not giving the best pictures. The water is still about 12ºC and I was in for 18 minutes.

Sunday, 7 November 2010


A racing start.

Coming in full force.

Jim reaches for the bar.

It was the SLSC Vs SERPS gala this morning, the Serpentine swimmers out classed us at most events. We should have realised from their coordinated club trunks that they were taking this seriously. It was good fun and I swam in two events, the freestyle leg of a medley relay and a freestyle race. The water is still at about 12ºC but the air was much colder, I was hardly in the water for more than three minutes but waiting between races my feet began to freeze, I wish I'd taken some flip flops. Music played and there was table groaning under the huge amount of food available. After the races the sun came out and the water looked lovely, for a split second I thought about getting back in before I came to my senses and made my way back home.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Carl Vs Carl

Carl and Carl were at the pool today.

Carl racing past someone in a wetsuit.

Carl battling through the leaves.

The temperature was up a bit today, 12.5ºC was the official reading. I stayed in for about eighteen minutes but felt colder than yesterday when I got out, not too bad but I was shivering a bit. It's probably better for me not to hang around and set off on my bike as soon as possible because that seems to warm me up quite quickly.

No sauna

The water is like a leaf soup at the moment.

Sue must be about nine foot long with the outstretched arm and pointed toes.

No sauna was the big news on Friday. It's been decided it won't go on again until the water temperature is below 8ºC. The water was 12ºC and I stayed in for about eighteen minutes, a quick warm shower and then I reheated myself by cycling into work.

Reflected image

These are the pictures Elizabeth took of me when I was photographing her.

I love this one with the leaves.

Lying on the bottom of the pool.

I'm smiling so I must have seen something funny.

Don't know what I was doing here?

Thanks Elizabeth, I really like these pictures.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Even warmer

Elizabeth brought her camera to the lido today.

Take a big breath.

And take a photograph.

The water was 12ºC today and I did eighteen lengths. Ten of them racing Alfonso which was fun. The sun came out just as I was finishing my swim but my battery was flat by then so no more pictures. I spent only about five minutes in the sauna because I was getting a bit late for work. It looks like it'll cool down at the week end.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Sunny day

The combination of light, water and leaves was stunning this morning.

Elizabeth asked me to try and get some pictures.

Which was easier said than done.

Sun reflecting off the doors on to the water and leaves.

The water is still at 11ºC so I upped my total to sixteen lengths today, it looks like it should stay mild until the week-end.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Open doors

Autumn colours at Tooting

The picture above was taken on my phone and mailed directly on to the blog an instant way to update which I think is pretty cool, pity the phone isn't waterproof.

Suspended leaves

Another mild and grey morning was brightened up by the amount of leaves that had fallen over night. As you swim through them some stick to you and others scratch but it isn't unpleasant, just part of the changing season.

Hand first, elbow high

I like this shot of Elizabeth, one hand pulling at the water as the other dives in elbow held high.

Headless swimmer

Not sure of this man's name, I raced him for a length and then turned to take a picture. 

Water was still 11ºC and swam fourteen lengths.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Mild one

Here's Vince, swimming without goggles using the wall as a guide. 

His style is long and stretched, total immersion, gliding through the water.

As if to mark the first of November the water was up to 11ºC, very mild for the time of year. I swam twelve lengths.

Friday, 29 October 2010

Elizabeth swimming

Reach, roll and relax.

Smile at the camera please.

Elizabeth is normally so busy recording and photographing people at the Lido that she doesn't have time to take many pictures of herself swimming. This gave me the chance to practise more underwater pictures, it's harder than it looks to frame a shot when you have to hold your breath as someone moves toward you.

To hear what Elisabeth thought of the pictures go to lidosounds.

I swam twelve lengths (1200 yards) with the water temperature at 10ºC

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Watching you watching me

Elizabeth as seen from the bottom of the pool.