Monday, 30 April 2012


A beautiful warm, bright, sunny morning. Just as well the sauna is off, winter is over.

This left me with a dilemma, how long should I stay in the water and how far could I swim?

Carl and Kate had just arrived, Nando and Batch were getting ready. Vince had already done five lengths and was already dressed again.

Elizabeth was back after a week in Cornwall. I'm sure the water was a bit of a shock, does she have a new hat?

I think that's Kevin in the wetsuit and Carl further back, at 10ºC it's still a bit nippy. Carl advised twelve lengths but said he might do eighteen.

The contrasting strokes of Sue and Chris yet they swim very well together. I wasn't cold in the water but I knew I'd pay for it once I got out.

Nick at full stretch, he joined Sue, Chris and Ian in their mass swim. I had done eighteen lengths and stopped for pictures on the way, about 30 minutes in the water.

Carl swimming back. He got out after twelve 'I'm sensible' he told me. I wasn't too badly frozen, bundled up in coat hat and gloves I cycled into work. My feet were numb by the time I arrived.

As it's the end of April, it's time for some statistics:

I did 24 seperate swims in March
The water was between 8.5ºC - 10ºC when I was swimming
Longest single swim 30 lengths.
I swam 502 lengths.
That is 50,200 yards or about 28.5 miles or 45.5km

April this year was much cooler than last, in fact we didn't even reach 11ºC my coldest swim in April 2011. I did 82 lengths less than in 2011.

Friday, 27 April 2012

Sunshine and showers

Sue and Chris in synchronicity. Sun and showers this morning, wait five minutes and the weather changed again.

This guy is very quick, so quick I haven't yet caught his name. It would be good to swim with him because I think we're a good pace match. I couldn't quite catch him in the water but he didn't seem to be gaining on me.

Hello sailor! Batch strikes a pose before setting off again with Nando.

On their return length Nick joined Sue and Chris. Sue dived down to investigate, perhaps not my best ever picture.

I love the twist in the body of this picture though.

Not the most glorious morning, eighteen lengths completed none the less.

Thursday, 26 April 2012


A brief patch of blue but the rain was still falling. I'd swum about fourteen length when I saw Alfonso arrive, how long would he take to get in the water?

On length nineteen he came swimming across from the track side and joined me. This picture (taken later) shows his right hand entering the water without a bubble, look at his splayed fingers.

We swam my last four lengths together but then I stopped to take these pictures. Alfonso went off to catch up with Sue, Chris, Nick and Ian who had just got in.

Alfonso has a  much more powerful kick than me. The water was still around that 10ºC mark and the rain was still falling.

Heavy clouds looming over the lido. The was slightly warmer today and the wind had dropped a bit more.

Then just as I was leaving the sun broke through. 'You better cycle to work quickly before it rains again' warned David and he was right.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Wet, wet, wet

Wet, cold and fun! A little late today but still time for eighteen lengths in the rain. Six swimmers in a row, from the left: Margy, Carl, Chris, Sue, Ian and Nick.

Then there were five. Margy must have swum off at this point, the others are still swimming in the same order. It was nicer in the water than out, 10ºC and sheltered from the wind.

The rain didn't let up. Even after my sauna Carl is still swimming, this time with Fred. I put on my wet cycling things and got soaked once more going to work.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Carl & Carl

Carl was swimming with Carl today. Click on the pic to see it bigger, Carl is just taking a breath. They swim so well together keeping really well synchronised. There was a lady in the pool today whose name I didn't catch, she was a fast swimmer and I spent my swim trying to catch up with her.

Nando coming directly toward me, I was hanging down from the rail at the end of the pool. I just had time to dodge out of the way before he reached me.

A deep water shot of the two Carls. I swam twenty two again today, the weather dry but grey and the water still around 10ºC according to David.

They turned around and set off, I love carl's reflection and the stream of bubbles. I then joined them on my last length. Until I saw this going by! They were using a dragnet to clear the bottom of the pool, sending up clouds of dirt in the process.

I then had a sauna chatting to Inez and Nando before making my way to work. On my way out I saw Jason Flemyng, he'd just completed a mile swim, his furthest this year. I congratulated him as he made his way back to the sauna looking rather cold!

Monday, 23 April 2012


A busy Monday swim. Carl and Kate arrived at the same time as me. Batch and Fernando were also getting ready to swim. Carl suspended in the water, great reflection and barely a bubble except from his nose!

Pip joined us in the water later on too. She had set off with Nando and Batch but was well clear of them by the end of the length.

Here they come! Nando does his film star stroke when he knows the camera is on him. Not hard to believe he used to be David Hasselhoff's stunt double in Baywatch.

Another Carl picture, great smooth stroke without bubbles, his right had just entering the water. The water was about 10ºC, we had a bit of sun and a cool breeze.

And Nando powering back down the pool, it seems Batch had given up by this point. Twenty two was enough giving me time for a quick sauna before I had to leave.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Duck sauce

Bertie and Gertie are spring regulars at the lido, it's great to see them return each year. This time much to our surprise they have another drake in tow. Gertie still rules the roost, not sure what the new duck is called, how about Charlie?

They didn't like my waking them up for a picture so all three hopped into the water which is a lovely 10ºC today. I think Gertie is telling them the plan of action if I don't leave them alone so thanked them and left.

Pool quite empty and I felt like I could do a long swim, after about eighteen lengths I saw Steph was on the far side so I joined her and tried to get some pictures. I had to swim at full speed to be ready to try and catch her as she turned. After a few attempts I joined her at the same pace and the lengths flew by.

The water was okay and I was wondering if 'd manage a two mile. I'd love to try and get one in before the sauna goes off after next weekend. Steph had finished her swim so I carried on to thirty before calling it a day. Still my longest swim this year.

Friday, 20 April 2012


The sun shone once more, very welcome after a rather wet week. The water was about 9ºC and I was late so just eighteen lengths today. Nando was having a Friday swim, he would set off with me when I turned then sit out my next length or so before joining me again. I decided to take my camera swimming with me to get the action.

Batch had joined Nando in the water and they had much better matched pace. I was getting ready to catch them both, first nando and then? My camera went blank, the screen black. I got out of the water, the green light came on to show it was working but no picture. At work I opened the camera up and put it in a warm place to dry, it's fine now but the seal must be wearing out. A pity I didn't catch more of the morning swimmers because the light was great.

Thursday, 19 April 2012


Today I swam rather than take pictures. I wanted to do the whole twenty two lengths and also needed sauna time so no messing about in the water. Cloudy and cool the water is still around 8.5ºC which is about 5ºC down on this time last year. The pool mostly empty, a lone wetsuit for me to keep pace against, I did twelve lengths to his ten.

I fiddled the colour levels of this image in photoshop. The aerator was going strong but it must have cleaned out all the silt now. I enjoyed swimming up to the outlet in the pool, it's a really strong current and then you benefit from a push when you turn around.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012


Wet, windy and cold. I was soaked by the time I arrived at the lido, it was unsurprisingly quiet. There were a few hardy swimmers including a jolly Jonathan who stopped to wave, at least I think he was waving.

Despite the cold I enjoyed the swim. Only eighteen lengths today because I arrived a little late and wanted to have some sauna time. The water is still around 8.5ºC.

Chris and Sue were in on my last length. I dived down to get a picture, Chris stopped to look while Sue swam on.

Chris was obviously courting the camera so I took a second shot before I ran out of breath. Then on to the sauna where Jonathan extolled the virtues of shea butter.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012


'I'm only doing one dive' Elizabeth warned and I don't blame her, it was cold, raining and the water was only 8.5ºC according to David. I told her I 'got it' and she asked to see after getting out of the pool. 'You took it too early' she complained and said she'd do a second dive but I must wait until she's coming down and her feet are together.

More like this I guess! I rather like the first shot too, it looks suitably wild for a wild windy morning. Cycling up to the Lido was hard enough, the wind from the south slowing progress and blowing rain in my face. The pool was empty for most of my swim just Elizabeth, Vince and Batch all in and out while I went on to twenty two lengths. Again Sue and Chris were just setting off as I got out and went to the sauna.

Anthony taking shelter, I'm not sure which is worse the rain or the cold? Thanks again to the lifeguards who are out in all weathers.

Monday, 16 April 2012


A crisp spring morning, bright sun burning back the frost on the common. The pool was quite empty, Tricky and Michael finishing swims just in front of me, just managed to catch Tricky up as he finished then I had the water to myself.

Beautiful sun on the water. Colour and light bouncing around but the water was cold, around 9ºC I guess pehaps a little less.

No people to photograph so I tried to catch the mood of the morning. Vince and Elizabeth swam but were both out before I got my camera.

Slipping under the water I could still see the clear sky, trees and lido's signature changing room doors.

I like the abstract view, click on a picture to see them bigger.

I finshed my twenty two length swim leaving the water empty. But only for a few minutes, Sue, Chris and Nick were just about to get in.