With the nights closing in and the days getting shorter, our early morning swims here in Aberystwyth have pretty much become night swims over the past few weeks.
Meeting at 6:30am and in the water by 6:45am means that it is still completely dark when we first set off. On Friday morning, the sun wasn’t due to rise until 7:59am so even after a 2km swim from South Beach, out around Castle Point and into North beach it was still fairly dark by the time we got out of the water. Although, I think that in the darkness we gave the rocks of Castle Point a slightly wider berth than was maybe necessary.
The main issues with night swimming are:
- We can’t actually see how rough it is before we get in. We usually have a good idea though just from the sound that the waves are making.
- We can’t actually see each other once we get going. I have solved this somewhat by taking a swim buoy with me that has a head-torch inside it. The head torch lights up my bright orange swim buoy like a big floating pumpkin and provides everyone else with a beacon to follow. I still can’t see them of course but I’m usually out in front so I just swim for a while and then stop and hope that everyone else is following my light. They usually all turn up like moths to a flame once I’ve been floating there alone in the darkness for a while.
- We can’t see where we are going either but that’s not actually too much of an issue as it’s a big old sea out there and there isn’t really much to bump into.
On the plus side, it means we can still get a nice swim in before work. The darkness adds somewhat to the excitement and in some ways, the fact that you’re more concerned about the dark means that it takes your mind off the cold.
The clocks go back this weekend though so I guess it’ll be light(ish) again for our swims next week. Today’s was probably the darkest of the year,