May letters

Star letter

I have been open water swimming now for around three years, and I love it so much.  However when I try and convince my friends to take part they are “No it’s too cold” or “You can’t see the bottom”, or even “I would look terrible in a wetsuit”, but mainly “No way there are all sorts of fish and other things which could get you”.  “Nonsense”, I always tell them.

Today was different though.  Today I completed my monthly winter swimming session in the lake at my local tri club (Race Hub, Six Hills, Loughborough), then continued my normal Saturday routine. Around lunchtime my nose still felt a little watery, so I went to blow it. First attempt, a little moisture, but it’s still there. Second hard blow, out popped the bogie. The bogie which was quite sizeable about a broad bean I would say. The now moving bogie. That’s not a bogie that’s a creature! Quick shout down to my husband, and yes he confirmed I had a worm/leech creature which up to a few minutes ago was making a homestead in my face. If some of your readers could help me identify this beasty it would most helpful. Has this put me off?  No, just a new talking point to gross my friends out with. And maybe I might swim heads-up for the next couple of sessions!

Michelle Strang

Ed. Can anyone help to identify this creature from the deep?

*Michelle wins a Zoggs Duffle Bag

Love at first swim

Full Size Render

My friends Zim and Laird met in the sea and are on the crest of a wave in this photo. They love this pic and so do I because it captures their happiness. It was taken on Torre Abbey Sands, Torquay, last summer.

I have been swimming every day in the sea or rivers for many years. When I lived in London during the 1980s I have happy memories of swimming in the Serpentine at 6.30am.

Jackie Wills

Going solo

I really enjoyed my first issue of the new Outdoor Swimmer this month. I’m very pleased to hear that you are planning to include more training plans in the magazine – I’m currently training for the Hallstatterssee Schwim Marathon and getting a bit nervous for my 1st 10k! However, I found that the training plans in the most recent issue made two unhelpful assumptions. First it assumed you have a group of people at about the same swim speed as you. Second, it assumes that this group have sole control of a lane, to allow drafting and a bit of “argy bargy” practice. I think most people for whom both of those things are true are likely to be in a swim club, and therefore have access to coaching. I really hope the May training plans have some more options for those of us who, for cost, location and speed reasons are doing more of our training solo.

Lorna Stevenson

Ed. Check out our DIY intensive training plan on page 46 of Issue 2.

Beginner to awesome

I picked up the last issue of H2Open for the first time, having recently taken up regular swimming and wanting to immerse (see what I did there!) myself in the open water world.

However, reading multiple stories of multiple channel crossings, Oceans Seven attempts and opinions on “cheaters” in wetsuits I quickly felt out of my depth.
So I wanted to say a big hurrah for Brian on the last page who made me feel I could be part of the community after all. Who knows, maybe I will swim Ullswater one day, too.
So I’ll pick up Outdoor Swimmer again next month in the hope of reading more journeys from beginner to awesome. I’m disappointed in name change – I rather liked it. But I suspect you’d guess that I love a play on words.

Lucy Anderson

Ed. We hope this month’s Outdoor Swimmer doesn’t disappoint in its coverage of everything from beginner to awesome.

From Facebook

RNLI lifeguards warned swimmers to wear wetsuits as the hottest weekend of the year was forecast in April.

Kerry Jutson Pffft! No wetsuit required when you have a good layer of blubber!

Carmen Scales Sensible advice for those who have no idea of what they are doing, If it stops one drunken teenager from skinny dipping late at night and getting themselves into trouble then it wasn’t a waste of print.

Faye Spooner Wetsuits make your stroke worse and turn you into a wimp!

Sarah Thompson-Cook I understand the advice for the uninitiated, but for those acclimatised it should be fine.

Deborah Herridge Today I shall mostly be sitting on the naughty step!

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Outdoor Swimmer is the magazine for outdoor swimmers by outdoor swimmers. We write about fabulous wild swimming locations, amazing swim challenges, swim training advice and swimming gear reviews.