Marcella MacDonald's Loch Ness experience....
OK, after some 24 hours, I have had some time to reflect on that crazy COLD swim.
The Distance: 23 miles: certainly challenging but fine
Temperature: averaging 51 degrees F: do-able
Put the length and temperature together = one really Uncomfortable Sunday swim.
Thank goodness the wind was light or non-existant: a mill-pond, a gift from Aeolus (Greek god of wind), taking pity on me.
Advise to other swimmers: Seize the day, don't wait for a "better day" : chances are you will not get it., make the Most of your opportunity.
My crew took wonderful care of me. Margaret minding the kettle (hot water is very important in warming the core), Teresa entertaining me and Janet, My inspiring feeder. Helen Beveridge from Inverness was our official BLDSA observer and Ryan Tozer and his crew, Robie, (of iPowerboat) safely escorted us north and delivered us warmed back to Fort Augustus.
I'm told I was pleasant but I don't think I smiled much yesterday, until it was over. There were times of amusement, Margaret swimming, Teresa dancing and Janet putting Gumby and Pokey out for me, but when that pink flag with a pirate came out, .... Feeding time, 45 seconds of rest and warm nourishment.
I don't know I did it, I kept reminding myself of my past swim experiences, night swimming in the channel, early season swims in Jersey, UK, my early years at Globe Hollow and playing night water tag at Columbia. All these helped adjust me for the ever dark
water of the Loch.
Thoughts of people going through worse things than me, Homeless people living in their cars, if they one, in the winter,: how do they get through the cold.
All and all, I had a peaceful sunrise, flat water and a cold long swim that I NEVER have to do again.
No injuries or hypothermia, I guess another may be in the plans, just not this cold.