The Monday evening swim floated effortlessly to Thursday. Edgelaw was touted as the venue. A google revealed it as a pretty spot perhaps even a venue to run round. Certainly there was fishing, and a Mr Angry on their facebook page waving his fist verbally at all who fished without permit then had the neck to post on his facebook group. But him aside it seemed less fish-centric than Rosebery. And if it was out-of-bounds then Gladhouse was just a couple of miles South.
And by out-of-bounds I don't mean we looked for please-swim-here signs. Obviously there are signs saying if you swim here you will be in deep water. I assume they are for the neds who, second hot day of summer, scratch their heads and wonder where they can throw their beer cans and sit in tractor inner tubes. I mean those signs, for numpties. Surely. Not for the likes of us?!
As soon as we arrived it was evident that this was a delightful spot. We changed and got into the water. The water was pretty warm. And brown as IPA. Being surrounded by mature trees the surface was flat calm and as you swam out your bow wave went forth ahead into the still reflections. I tried to take photos but the w/p camera struggles in the half light and didn't really capture the beauty of the atmosphere. With only one small irritant. There appeared to be a guy on the left bank shouting fuck something. I think it was off. So tricky to hear with zinc oxide tape stoppering one's ears.
Mark, our heroic interpreter moved towards the gesturing landlubber. He said some placatory things and after a bit of to-and-fro the shouter reduced the number of words starting with f-you and allowed us to continue our swim if we stayed over the far bank. It was unclear if anyone was fishing or that we were infringing anyone's happiness other than Mr Shouty who didn't seem to have a rod or much of a piece of ground to stand on. Just a rule. No Swimming! And a desire to enforce it. At our next re-group there was a bit of giggling in class. But, you know, we weren't there to cause trouble. And didn't want to return to find our bags in the water or car tyres flat.
From the moment I entered the water tonight I just felt relaxed and really swimtastic. Probably the calm smooth warm water. And the tree lined edge. It looked like the reservoir was brim full. No beaches or dirt laybys just a steep edge of trees all the way round. Birds flying overhead and the smell of bonfire smoke drifting across the water. The smoke was four dudes halfway along and I expected more shouting and waved fists. None of that in either direction I'm pleased to say and again no sign of fishing gear. We swam to the end of the straight and round the corner. Had a bit of a regroup and then swam most of the return in one go. 4 bow-waves throwing dark ripples out into the twilit evening. It must have looked striking from the shore.
Underwater: nothing to see here. I took this photo of my hand and the flash went off. I took my hand out the photo and the flash lit the empty dark depths. I didn't dare look at the screen in case a severed head winked at the camera. That's what nearly always happens.
Mr Shouty watched us get out the water but didn't come over to tell us off in person. He looked pretty angry still and I expected a telling off. However he was nowhere to be seen by the time we left, walking and chatting and laughing. There's something about a swim outside that gives you a jolt of life, like a connection to the earth, a factory reset, or maybe just like a medium cold shower. We were all feeling buoyant. It was just the best surroundings and really, were we doing any harm? I think we improved the world, albeit our world and at nobody's expense, and that is a good thing. Although the general plan is to try different places, Edgelaw definitely merits another visit. Possibly also worth a trip just to go a run about the place as it is so picturesque.
2242yards or 1.27miles