I cunningly managed to get Mary to bring forward swim-Sunday by a day since I am racing tomorrow at Devilla. (Can I really get away with Thrilla-in-Devilla as a header for a third year in a row? I have 24hrs to think of a better one. All suggestions gratefully received.) Anyway Mary was up for it but wanted to get a longer run in earlier which she did. So we headed to Gullane later in the pm with a brief stop off in Longniddry to deliver all the work kit I will need on Monday for a couple of weeks. The commute on bike should be interesting.
just checking for sand
In the car park we were mid change into wetsuits when AGF appeared. Walking the dogs. Lots of chat and must-meet-ups although it did distract from the usual suiting-up procedure and this was noticed as cold water flooded into improperly snugged up neck lines when we got in the water.
Far fewer photos today. Partly because M left the SD card in her machine after her morning run today and the internal memory of her camera can only hold so much - actually around 30 photos which was more than we required. And partly because although pleasant enough weather, it was unspectacular - neither big waves nor amazing sunsets. Actually there was one of those later - we just arrived too early.
The water was 4 degrees today and the air about 5. I hadn't realised there was going to be such fluctuation - I'd thought it would be a slow and steady decrease from summer through winter then about April bottom out and slowly increase. With a lack of strong wind it felt milder out. Mary was road testing new socks today - £13 from the Dive shop and well worth it, much better than the previous ones which cost more. They are more waterproof so hold onto the water which they let in slowly, and it warms up, keeping feet ok. Not like lovely warm, but not painfully cold. Hands were getting towards that as we stayed in for nearer 20 mins today swimming both East then back to where we started (rather than get out and run back up the beach.)
There was an audience today of folk and spaniels. A small crowd on the beach. I hadn't really noticed they were watching until Mary sidled over and gave me a kiss, and then they cheered. It was not a from-here-to-eternity kiss either (see top photo) - after you've been in the water a couple of minutes you can't work anything on your face. More like a cold drooling wipe. Certainly did not merit applause. But thanks anyway.
I was also imagining we were out for a-g-e-s: I did enough backstroke to recover from the face-achingly cold front crawl to sustain a brief departure from the shore line and venture out to beyond that moment when a foot reaches down while treading water and fails to find solid ground. My heart still flutters as the foot sweeps nothing below and the best action is to get on and swim rather than try to discern the actual depth of lung filling water between your toes and Davy Jones's locker. Looking at the time of the first pic taken (3.27) and the last pic (3.42) we weren't in for much more than that 15 minutes but it did seem longer and I wasn't horribly frozen by the time we exited. The old guy (with the Boxer dog) who swims here regularly was in again during the week. No wetsuit. In his 70s. So until we match that I don't think we can get too boasty about our weekly dooks. Next weekend's immersion, after the Borders XC finale, will feature a special guest swimmer. Must remember the SD card for that one.
When we got out I was taking photos of Mary and happened to look incredulously at her mouth. I couldn't remember her sporting such a moustache and beard combo before we got into the water, and she wasn't exactly delighted about me pointing it out. My brain, in a state of hypothermia couldn't quite work out how she might have produced such luxuriant dark growth in just 15 minutes and I wondered was it perhaps a chemical reaction like dyed hair going green in chlorinated swimming pools? We ran up to the car park where still the Movember look perplexed me - it was like one of those iron-filings-on-a-line-drawing-of-a-bald-dude games you used to get.
Until I got closer and wiped off with my towel a load of sand that had lodged in the ahem soft downy hair around M's mouth. I've no idea how it got there and Mary says she wasn't flopping along the shoreline like a flounder. Another of the magical mysteries of the briney! More next week.