June 13, 2005

The second weekend in Dover

"It'll be better next week... can't get much worse... it's bound to warm up soon... summer will be here any minute..."

Last weekend, we repeated these trite, hopefully phrases to each other as we suffered through a weekend of bitter cold. Unfortunately, it was worse this weekend.

Just how much did we suffer out there this weekend? One of my new friends is an experienced channel swimmer. He was all ready to swim last year, but he was scheduled to go on the second last window of the year, which got washed out along with the very last. So he's back this year to wait again and hopefully get the opportunity to go this time.

On Saturday morning, he developed a heavy rash on his upper body during his 5 hour swim. It was probably the salt, or the cold, but he was in major discomfort all night (he was my roommate this weekend, so I can attest to his pain). He had to keep getting up to apply cream to his rash, and finally went to the hospital to see if they could help him. They couldn't.

Sunday morning saw him get back in for a planned 6 hour swim. I swam with him the first 20 minutes or so, out to one of the piers and back, but as we were heading in the other direction, I glanced back and realised he was gone. I stopped looking around, puzzled, but he had disappeared. Since I'm quicker than he is, I assumed I must have left him behind and kept on going.

I was wrong: his rashes had started bleeding and with blood flowing from his pores, he hastily got out.

That's how cold it was out there on Sunday.

In addition to the lack of sun, the wind picked up heavily and whipped up the waves. I spent ages battling the water as it roared up and crashed down on me (Later, on the train home, I found I had sprained my neck sometime during this ordeal). It was discouraging, looking to my right for five minutes and seeing the scenery barely move- especially when the scenery was the toilets on the promenade!

Almost everyone got out early on Sunday morning, from the rookies to the veterans of numerous swims. I was quite happy to have made 100 minutes, a new personal best for me. I was tired, exhausted, and couldn't stop sneezing all the way home (a 4 and a half hour journey), but it was a good effort and I'm slowly making progress.

However, it was still too cold. More fat is needed. Time for some ice cream... I've earned it!

Posted by pj at June 13, 2005 08:23 PM