Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Ocean's Seven - the North Channel swimmers


I've done a bit of sea swimming this summer, it's become really popular with our local harbour at Ballyhalbert packed with people when the weather and tides are right. Donaghadee has had a crew of 'chunky dunkers' for a good few years now, who swim there all year round. I have found that the 13˚ is pretty cold until you either go numb-ish or else just adjust, and after that it's not too bad really. The best advice is to bring a hot drink and warm clothes to regain your temperature as soon as you get out of the water.

The route across the North Channel, usually done from Donaghadee and always to Portpatrick, is one of the world's "Oceans Seven" routes (Wikipedia here). You need to be a supreme athlete to try it, as this story shows. Just yesterday, my friend Graham (who swims in the sea very regularly) took the pics below, which he described as "Dina Levačić, 24, from Croatia who attempted to cross the North Channel from Northern Ireland to Scotland. After circa 11 hours of swimming, mother nature denied Dina success this time, a mere 5km from Portpatrick, Scotland".